Kingston Council is treating Cumberland House residents like second class citizens

Ian, Rowena & Ed outside Cumberland House

The Coombe Hill ward Conservative councillors have voiced their concerns at the poor consultation and unfair treatment being given to the residents of Cumberland House, as the Council force through plans for a 9-storey block of flats on the car park.

Kingston Council is currently carrying out a consultation to build a 9-storey block of 41 flats on the rear car park of Cumberland House in Kingston Hill. 

As the councillors representing Cumberland House, we have already voiced our concerns at the dismissive way residents are being treated. We are of the opinion that proper consultation should have taken place at a far earlier stage, when the Council were still considering the size and location of the block of flats.

The Lib-Dem controlled council have in effect already agreed this plan for Cumberland House, prior to submitting the planning application and consulting residents. 

The proposals for flats on the rear car park will be used to house residents from the Cambridge Road Estate, whilst the estate is being redeveloped. However, when the plans for the Cambridge Road Estate were being considered, residents there were consulted very early and had a direct input into the plans. But Kingston Council isn’t treating the Cumberland House residents in the same way – this consultation is too late and rushed.

How Kingston Council are treating Cumberland House residents like second class citizens:

  • Plans for 9 storey block of flats on car park already agreed
  • Number of flats increased from 24 to 41
  • No proper consultation prior to the decision
  • Decisions made in secret meetings
  • No guaranteed funding for improved amenity and play areas
  • New consultation being rushed through 
  • No public exhibition for residents
  • Ward councillors kept in the dark
  • No protection of parking for existing residents
  • Cambridge Road Estate residents get better treatment

The consultation leaflet doesn’t show good quality images that would enable residents to realise what impact the proposed new block will have. There is little detail on who will be allowed to park in the parking spaces, and whether some of the current Cumberland House residents will be forced out.

Kingston Council increased the proposed number of flats from 24 to 41 without consultation. Their own document shows they realise it will cause parking problems, but they haven’t come forward with a solution.

Despite being assured that the Cumberland House residents would be fully consulted throughout the process, the Council have dramatically changed the plans without any input from residents or the ward councillors. We recognise the need for more affordable rented housing, but that can be achieved without ignoring and disrespecting current residents.

Further details of the Cumberland House proposals can be seen here. Comments are required by 6th July. 

Cumberland House residents who would like to let us know their thoughts and concerns can contact us using the email addresses on the home page of this website, or using the contact details on the Contact page. 

Keep checking www.coombehill.org for future updates on this subject.