Kew Retail Park developers outline plans for 1200 new homes, M&S to stay open

Image above: Kew Retail Park

Local residents concerned about the scale and density of the new development

The owners of Kew Retail Park have published the results of their consultation with local residents on how they would like to see the site developed.

St George and M&S, who jointly own the site, plan to redevelop it in 2024, demolishing the existing shops and building up to 1,200 homes, but keeping M&S open throughout the construction.

In the Local Plan for LB Richmond, part of the site is designated as being in the ‘tall building’ zone.

The retail park, off Mortlake Rd, set back from the river, is surrounded by housing estates built relatively recently. The big retail outlets currently there – TK Maxx, Sports Direct, Boots and Next will go. Gap has already left the site.

The developers will construct a new building for M&S at the opposite end from where it is now and plan to move the food store into its new premises overnight so they can knock the existing store down without M&S having to stop trading.

Image above: Kew Retail Park

Architects jtp asked to create ‘a community’, not just more housing

Architects jtp held a consultation exercise over the weekend of 24 – 25 June, with the customary break-out groups and post-it notes favoured at events such as these. They presented the results on Tuesday (5 July).

Residents wanted above all not to lose M&S. They also said they would like to keep Boots, or at least a pharmacy. They said they wanted the place to have a community feel, a village feel, with play areas for children, community gardens, a cafe, a piazza with room for a market maybe and small units for shops. They wanted a mixed and integrated community.

While some expressed sadness at the loss of the retail park, others were ready to let traditional retail go. The people who took part in the consultation expressed concern about the scale of the new development, the height and density of the new buildings and the impact on local services such as public transport, in particular the pressure the added population would put on Kew Gardens Station.

Residents said they wanted easier access to the River Thames and the suggestion of a pedestrian bridge across to Strand on the Green was mooted.

Image above: Drawing of the site with the location of the new M&S store; jtp architects

The architects said a new ‘community heart’ could be provided in the first phase, delivering a number of benefits. They suggest a new square beside the new M&S building.

The proposals ‘open up’ to the north they say, ‘by placing the public space on Bessant Drive and reducing the impact of buildings on the Defore Avenue streetscene.’

They propose to create a whole new neighbourhood on the site with streets running east – west and a garden to the south.

Images above: Plans for the Kew Retail Park site; drawings jtp architects

St George and M&S will make their planning application next summer, 2023, with a view to starting redevelopment in 2024.

You can see jtp architects’ Vision for Kew Retail Park presentation here:

Click to access 220705_Kew-Retail-Park-Report-Back_Part-2-Vision.pdf

No new M&S planned for Chiswick High Rd

With the redevelopment of the Kew Retail site and proposals for a refurbishment of their Hammersmith branch next year, rumours have been circulating in Chiswick that M&S might be looking at the former Sofa Workshop site at 147 Chiswick High Rd as a possible new homeware and fashion superstore.

We asked M&S whether this was on the cards. Before Tuesday night’s feedback session a spokeswoman for the company told The Chiswick Calendar:

“We’re committed to serving our communities in Hammersmith and Kew with the very best of M&S therefore we are looking to bring forward plans for new, improved and renewed stores.

“In Kew, we have recently completed a community consultation weekend and we will be feeding back to the community ahead of further consultation in the autumn.

“In Hammersmith, our plans are at an early stage and we will be engaging the community later this year. We will be fully consulting and engaging with the community in both areas as we bring forward the plans to better serve our customers and the local area.”

“We have no involvement with the site you have referenced on Chiswick High Road.”

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