Esso site planning proposal – residents feedback

Thanks to everyone for the feedback so far.

Here are the collective pros and cons:


  1. The Esso site is an eyesore, developing it will benefit the area.
  2. New people will invigorate local business.
  3. Younger people will bring new energy to the Vale.


  1. Parking could prove problematic.
  2. Rental accommodation  will not be maintained with as much care as  owner occupied property.
  3. Too many people of a particular age group could spoil the villagey feel of the Vale.


8 comments on “Esso site planning proposal – residents feedback

  1. Mohan on said:

    Please note the following;

    1) 14 Car Parking spaces will be provided. This represents 10% of the total number of units and is in accordance with Highways Requirements.

    2) The site will be managed. There will be a 24hr site warden.

    3) The site will have CCTV and will provide a secure site for students and local residents.

    4) The provider will have a detailed Student Management Plan to tackle issues like anti social behaviour, noise, littering & drug abuse.

    5) Students will be provided with Free Cycles to commute to University.

    6) The bus stop on Kingston Vale will enable the students to use the University Intersite bus service. Therefore, students will not increase the congestion on the bus routes. This also helps to reduce car travel.

    7) The width of the pavement on Kingston Vale outside the site is very narrow and unsafe. The proposal makes provision for increasing the width of the pavement on Kingston Vale to allow easy access for students and local residents.

    Thank you

  2. James Campbell on said:

    1) Inappropriate development for the area
    2) Proposed scheme far too dense
    3) The proposed scheme does little or nothing to benefit the local community or enhance the local.
    4) More appropriate locations within the Borough to satisfy the University’s student accommodation requirement.

  3. Linda Jones on said:

    Despite the fact that the site remains a terrific eysore (I live virtually opposite) the proposal to house this number of students in this relatively small area will impact negatively on the local area – particularly the Parade and those residential houses close to it – it is far too dense. Kingston University has a lot of land and it must be much more desirable for students to be housed within their own campus environment. We desperately need this site developed but it must be appropriate for the space and the local community. The proposal promises free cycles to students; this raises another, quite separate issue of the increasing number of cyclists who use the pavements rather than the roads and at considerable speed. We should consider the (perhaps) inevitable increase in litter; the Vale is already blighted by litter and we wouldn’t want this problem excaberted. In short, I think this proposal is admirable in its intent but inappropriate for the current site.

  4. Shirley Farrell on said:

    Re: Planning application for 134 student dwellings on the corner of Robin Hood Lane.

    Having attended the public exhibition held in the Church Hall of St. John the Baptist Church on Friday the 3rd August, I am still quite definitely of the opinion that the planning application for 134 students is inappropriate in number of students and construction of the buildings. The buildings are not in keeping with the local houses which are mostly two story houses and bungalows . I agree, the parade of shops are three story high but the proposed structure would be oppressively high on the suggested site.
    The site of the former Kingston Vale service station is inadequate in both size and location for a multiple-occupancy structure.

    The housing of 134 students in an already densely occupied area is likely to cause considerable logistical difficulties in terms of local amenities , & especially parking, as it is highly unlikely that the aforementioned students, many from outside of London, will wish to rely on public transport – this will result in the already overstretched availability of parking spaces being further overloaded. Many residents are also concerned that there could also be a significant increase in noise.

  5. Yulia Shulgina on said:

    As I understand so far, there is no any involvement of Kingston University in this progect. What we will receive after the building will be errect – just huge ammount of cheap accomodations, and nobody guaranted how it will be distributed. As presentative of the developer said on the meeting, they have only oral feedback from University that they POSSIBLY will interested to lease the building, an if not, the owner will be itself rent out accomodations to students.
    If not enough student will be interested to rent it, they will be rented out for anybody – and it will be absolutely different sort of habbitant then currently we have in our village.
    Before the planning permition is granted, they can promise us to care about noise and nuisanse issues, but I very doubt that it will be case after that. And if something will go wrong, we will not be able to get rid of it.

  6. Vitas Poshkus on said:

    We have been residents in Kingston Vale for over 6 years and obsoletely love the area. This area has an extensive history, strong community ties, people know each other, it is quite and safe, mostly family owed properties. Construction of student accommodation will not bring any benefits to the area but quite opposite will create new environment that is not appropriate for family orientated area. This proposed project is commercially orientated to get maximum profit to the developer without any consideration for local people. Student accommodation does not suit Kingston Vale area morally or psychophysically.
    P.S. Agree with comments of James Campbell, Linda Jones, Shirley Farrell and Yulia Shulgina

  7. Ann & Tony Munday on said:

    A bit of feedback from the open evening held in the church hall regarding the building of student accommodation on the old Esso site. There were a number of drawings and plans on display supported by a “team” consisting of the architect (who unfortunately didn’t know the size of the rooms that the students would be living in), representatives from an unnamed PR company and the “Leader” a gentlemen call Rohan. Despite the fact the this was billed as a transparent meeting at no time was the owner or developer divulged despite numerous requests, however, Rohan did say that the accommodation would be “rented” back to Kingston University for that I read leased, so it could be holding company for Kingston University for all I know. The “Pitch” was a little wrong as well had I been an eager parent looking for accommodation for my little Billy Gates I would have signed up there an then, it needed to be about winning the residents over.

    One of the questions that arose was, why not build houses on the site, perhaps town houses in more in keeping with the local area, Rohan said that permanent residential accommodation could not be build as Esso had put a covenant on the site stating it could not be used for permanent residential accommodation. Hence student accommodation that can only be let out for 50 weeks per year. (So not permanent).

    So accommodation for 134 students in 134 rooms of an average square footage of 132 sq ft. each. The question was raised about rubbish and the fortnightly collection that Kingston Council so kindly provides (I’m thinking 1 bag of rubbish per student per week, so 268 black bags per fortnight, with smell) quick as flash Rohan responded that a private waste company would be employed to collect the rubbish twice a week! No recycling was discussed!

    There is also to be a 24hrs security person /warden on site to monitor the behavior & safety of the students (and to quell any unrest) but only has the power to call the police, same as all of us. Apparently the accommodation fees will have to be guaranteed up front so if a student does get ejected for any reason then the balance of the fee will be due from the guarantor. (Ok Rohan but we really need to see the small print on this!).

    Parking, the anonymous owner will provide 9 parking spaces as shown on the plans and yes like the other contributor says not all students have cars, sorry but even if 7% have a car then the spaces are full. (A great opportunity for Kingston council to make the Vale permit parking only…….for a small fee?) . Rohan and his team didn’t really have an answer for the start and end of term arrivals & departures, assuming just half of the parents turned up to drop off or collect their loved one, that’s still an additional 65 cars in the area, if they all turn up then it’s 134 cars (only twice a year though, & weekends, Christmas etc).
    The owner/developer/management company will also provide bicycles for the students which is highly commendable, nothing like an early morning cycle up the hill to Uni. The other contributor is also right there will be an increase in cycle traffic on or round a busy road junction (how long before a student is hurt)

    The noise: Again Rohan had no real answer for this and yes if you put 134 students together then there will be more noise but at what level we can only wait and see. Although with my own limited interpretation of the plans the inner atrium area would be like a sound box making the noise appear louder that it actually is.

    The person who put the leaflets through my door was being very emotive about students saying they will increase crime, drug abuse, mess etc and I think that is quite an assumption to make at this stage we just don’t know. It’s a bit like saying I have bad neighbours now so if they move I’ll have bad neighbours again, not necessarily so.
    There was comment from Rohan that all the local businesses supported the development, too right any increase in footfall is good for business, will the students use what the Vale has to offer? Possibly, I don’t know until they arrive I’m sure Asda won’t mind a bit of extra business either.

    Rohan was happy to engage in any tangential discussion that moved people away from the building project and even spent 10mns discussing whether Kingston was a worthy University. Sorry Rohan we need lots of reassurances’ on this project.

    What our objection is concerned about is the number of students that will be accommodated in such a relatively small area and the ancillary issues that brings with it, and knock on effects such permit parking. If it is built, it will be with us for a long time so we do need to think carefully and make sure the voice of the Vale is heard.

  8. Marysia Hewson on said:

    I agree with the above comments. The site is just not suitable for 134 “students”. We already have a problem at that end of Robin Hood Vale – it is extremely dangerous with buses and cars constantly going in and out and if we add an additional 134 people using it the consequences can be imagined. It is just too great a density.
    Speaking to Rohan, I mentioned the parents coming in cars and friends coming for parties and he completely dismissed this saying that the students would use bicycles or walk. Will they be doing that at 2 a.m.?
    As for a Warden – they are implying that this would be a sensible older person paid for this job. When my son was at Uni, he was a warden – universities use students and let them pay less rent in return for their duties.
    Let us not be fooled, the whole plan is purely a money making exercise, where I understand Kingston University are not involved and the company are just using the site to make a good profit for themselves. The whole thing will disrupt our community and once built, cannot be “unbuilt”.

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