Obstructions to construction

Photo:Initial proposals for John Lewis Kinston. Even from this drawing, it is easy to see just what an impact the new department store was supposed to have

Initial proposals for John Lewis Kinston. Even from this drawing, it is easy to see just what an impact the new department store was supposed to have

A map showing the location of John Lewis Kingston

By Jonathan Blatchford

Back to plan A

When the plans to build in Sutton experienced a number of complications, attention once again switched to Kingston. In the convening seven years, an alternative site to the one previously stated had become available as a development opportunity. The proposed construction of a number of relief roads and additional car parking spaces, with the intention of alleviating congestion, had made the site a highly appealing one for the Partnership. . An agreement in principal was reached between the Partnership and the Borough Council. However, construction was a long way off from starting.

Construction stalled

In a complicated whirl of rumour and inquiry, construction was repeatedly stalled, firstly by a public enquiry, secondly by ongoing issues with planning permission. Construction was now delayed until at least the late 1980’s.To make matters worse, the Greater London Council (GLC) then decided that it would not fund the roadworks needed for the relief roads. Thankfully, the (GLC) passed the power to the Royal Borough of Kingston, who took their own decision to go ahead with the relief roads. The pedestrian-isation of the town centre was also planned, and the relief road would be made a dual carriageway.

Given the go-ahead

With this excellent news construction could finally begin on the foundations of John Lewis Kingston. The store was scheduled to open in 1990, a cool 20 years after the formulation of the original plans!

This page was added by Jonathan Blatchford on 26/08/2014.

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