3rd or 4th time lucky for St George - who eventually in February 2016 got planning permission for their mixed-use development on the former Post Office site in central Kingston. The revised proposals included some reductions in height and general bulkiness, a green wall, changes in the materials used for facades, more 3-bedroom flats and fewer flats... and, most importantly for this campaign group, community space in the old PO building, which has survived all the changes demanded by the Council and protestors.
People who don't like tall buildings still won't like the development - and opinions on this were mixed even within this consortium so we have never made public statements about height or other aspects of the development that were beyond our remit - except to point out that all the things the community wanted on the site would have to be paid for, one way or the other.
The TOPO bank account will soon be closed, as we have achieved much of what the TOPO consortium was set up to campaign for - the promise of a community venue in the Old PO building in Eden Street - and so we envisage no more campaign or printing expenses. The TOPO steering group has agreed to donate our tiny remaining balance of some £30 to Transition Town Kingston and Kingston Environment Group, who have been our main supporting organisations and will probably in due course become active users of the community space.
It will be some years before the community space is operational – it is not part of Phase 1 of the TOPO development – but we hope at least some of our supporters will still be around to use and enjoy it, and we look forward to the launch party!
In the meantime we will use our Facebook page to share any updates of progress on the site that come our way, and tips on other useful affordable community venues in central Kingston.