Below you can see the responses to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Thank you to everyone who has spoken to us so far around plans for our Transform Kingston projects. Your feedback has been invaluable and helped shape our proposals.
We have set out below answers to the questions which have come up most frequently during our public engagement to date. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
New Community Leisure Centre
1. When will the new leisure centre be built?
It is estimated that the project will take 42 months to complete, including 18 months on design and procurement, with construction envisaged to take 24 months. We are aiming to share the revised building design for people’s views in Spring 2024, and are targeting building work starting on site in 2025.
2. What facilities will be included in the new leisure centre?
The redesigned leisure and community centre includes plans for an 8 lane swimming pool and a teaching pool with spectator seating, as well as a four court sports hall, studio spaces, gym, squash courts, and a cafe. Reflecting a new business model it also includes features such as a wellbeing suite and spa facility alongside a larger soft play area than in the previous project.
This delivers the range of activities that residents and stakeholders said they wanted to see, and is further supported by a recent review of indoor sports needs across the borough.
3. Is the project starting from scratch?
Some of the work done to date by our colleagues and consultant team will be used to support the next stage of design work, including site surveys, and feedback from the previous engagement for example.
Through the UK Leisure Framework we have now appointed Alliance Leisure and architects Roberts Limbrick to take the work we have already done forward into a revised scheme over the coming months.
4. What is happening to the site now?
The site will remain secure and closely monitored as it has been since demolition was complete. We will continue to keep our neighbours updated.
6. Will the new leisure centre be affordable?
- The centre will remain council-owned and we are firmly committed to keeping prices as low as possible, whilst still ensuring the facility offers value for money to taxpayers.
7. Why was the Kingfisher Leisure Centre closed?
- The Kingfisher has been closed since 2019, when it was identified that urgent repairs were needed to the roof. We did not take this decision lightly, but the building was deemed unsafe, and we had no choice but to close it immediately.
- As we investigated in more detail, it became clear that the works required to make the centre safe to use were far more extensive than initially thought, and these would not significantly improve the accessibility, sustainability, or quality of the building.
The Cattle Market Site
1. Do you have any specific proposals for the Cattle Market site?
- The Cattle Market Car Park has been identified as a location that can facilitate the delivery of much needed housing and community facilities. The next steps will be developing detailed business cases to support robust final decisions on the best methods for bringing the site forward for development.
2. What will happen to the Monday Market if you redevelop the Cattle Market?
- We are still in the early stages of considering options for transforming the Monday Market, which currently takes place at the Cattle Market, into an open-air street market in a nearby location.
- We will continue to engage with market traders and the wider community about the future of the Monday Market as the plans develop.
3. Are you planning to invest in Fairfield Bus Station as part of the proposals?
- Preliminary discussions have been held with Transport for London about including Fairfield Bus Station in the wider redevelopment of Cattle Market car park.
- These discussions are at a very early stage and any development on the bus station site is ultimately a decision for TfL.
The Council Office Complex
1. What are your plans for the Guildhall?
- Our ambition is to create a modern, fit for purpose space in a more sustainable and accessible building that celebrates the Guildhall’s historical context and continues its purpose as the civic heart of Kingston.
- Our preferred option is to refurbish the historic Guildhall to create a space that can house the civic, public and administrative functions that we perform.
2. What are the plans for the Guildhall 1 and 2 buildings?
- While potential plans for the future of the main Guildhall are being developed, the council will continue to use the 1970s office building, known as Guildhall 2, as its main office space in the meantime. The other 1970s office building on the site, known as Guildhall 1, will be brought forward for sale.