Kingston town centre gets green light for new school, flats and cinemas

Kingston town centre is set to see a new two-form entry primary school, 11 flats and a new rooftop cinema at the Bentalls Centre, following the approval of two planning applications at Development Control Committee on Wednesday 6 September.

The new 420-place free school and 11 flats will be built on the site of 45-51 High Street, as well as the associated building to the rear on 30 South Lane. The school, which is due to open in 2019, will include a two-floor learning resource centre, school hall and classrooms across two interlinked buildings.

The green light was also given to the creation of a glazed roof terrace and boutique cinemas at the second and third floor level of the Bentalls Shopping Centre. The works will also include improvements to Clarence Street on the side of the centre.

On the approvals, Cllr Kevin Davis, Leader of Kingston Council, said:

“Both of these developments offer fantastic new opportunities for the borough. The provision of this long awaited new school will provide over 400 new places for children in Kingston and will be a very welcome addition to our local family of schools.

“The innovative new rooftop cinema will add another dimension to our already-thriving cultural offer within the town centre. This is exactly the type of regeneration that we want to achieve for our Royal Borough.

“I look forward to seeing both projects progress and the benefits being felt by residents and visitors alike.”

Jodie Croft, Chief Executive of the GEMS Learning Trust, said:

“The GEMS Learning Trust is delighted to have secured planning permission for our third primary school in Kingston Upon Thames. The planning committee praised the architect for their sensitive design for the site which straddles two conservation areas.

“Tendering for the contractor starts now and the school will be ready to open in September 2019 with two classes in Reception. Interested parents will be able to attend open events and apply for a place from next September.”

Sam Eastwood, Centre Manager at The Bentalls Centre, said:

“We are delighted to have secured planning for the cinema and look forward to working with all our partners to develop the project.”