Plans are afoot to redevelop land across the much-loved Surbiton station, and never everyone seems to be completely happy.
We just lately described Surbiton station as “an artwork deco masterpiece” and “a modernist tackle the pearly gates of heaven”. Lengthy might it stay so. However new plans to redevelop land across the station have raised just a few issues.
Let’s begin with the visuals. This is how Surbiton appears proper now (properly, in summer time 2023):
The pearly white Thirties constructing stands proud, dominant in its setting (which, let’s face it, does not do the constructing justice). Now, this is an artist’s impression of how the location would look after redevelopment, and from an virtually similar place:
The builders, Solum, suggest many modifications, a few of which may be seen from the picture. These embrace:
- Eradicating an enormous automotive park (not pictured) behind the station and changing it with a cylindrical-fronted multistorey to the aspect of the station (very a lot pictured). The variety of parking areas can be reduce from 446 to 250, and EV charging factors can be launched.
- The previous automotive park land can be used to construct 243 new houses, a few of which might be reasonably priced (the proportion is unclear, however native authority Kingston’s pointers ask for 50%). Different models can be built-to-rent, a safer type of renting.
- Delicate refurbishment of the Southern ticket corridor, which is presently closed.
- Enhancements to the station method, together with extra planting, higher pedestrian entry and higher cycle storage.
“It will,” say the builders, “be a delicate regeneration that retains and enhances the station’s artwork deco façade, making certain the structure stays a well-known native landmark for a lot of generations to come back.”
Now, there’s a lot to love in these plans. Turning parking areas into new houses, proper subsequent to a station is what London needs to be doing extra of. The land in entrance of the station wants a very good kick up the bum, and cash in direction of refurbishing the artwork deco reserving corridor can also be welcome.
However there are some apparent draw back. The distant tower block behind the station shall be a difficulty for some folks, because it breaks up the traces of the station. Nevertheless it’s the imposition of the automotive park ramp, shut up in opposition to the Grade II-listed station, which is inflicting most concern. Any sizeable new-build proper up in opposition to this modernist traditional can be contentious. Much more so when it is for housing automobiles, in a local weather emergency. Let’s look once more with the completely different ranges highlighted:
You’ll be able to see why this may be unpopular?
Now, Londonist is on doubtlessly shaky floor right here, as we have beforehand declared our timeless love for spiral automotive park ramps. We stand by that. However even we might admit that plonking one beside a gem like Surbiton station is a troublesome tablet to swallow. What do you assume?
A public session over the plans is now open. You’ll be able to view the proposals in additional element contained in the usually closed southern ticket workplace, or on-line right here, and have your say right here.