Kingston is booming, with a number of large developments in the pipeline.

One in particular could completely transform the centre of New Malden.

This week the council agreed to identify a development partner for the huge Cocks Crescent site in New Malden – which will see a new leisure centre, community hub and up to 400 new homes.

This development could help fund the complete regeneration of the town centre.

However Green councillor Sharon Sumner, and Lib Dem ward councillor Mark Durrant expressed concerns about the future heights of the buildings, as well as the percentage of affordable and three-bedroom homes.

Officers said the council has not specified specific heights in the scheme and has only presented broad design principles for developers to work on.

It will be up to the planning teams to ensure the proposed schemes comply with council policy.

The process to identify a preferred development partner for the scheme is expected to take between six to nine months.

Council leader, Liz Green, emphasised that the borough is in “tilted balance” because it has not brought forward sufficient development of houses, and that redeveloping the site with a partner will allow it “to keep control of it in a better way than if it was sold.”

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It is hoped that the redevelopment will be cost neutral as the money spent on providing a new leisure centre, community hub and public square will be met through the money generated from private homes.

The council also approved plans that will enable it to bid to purchase the Hawks Road Clinic, adjacent to the Cambridge Road Estate.

If the council purchases the site it could be used to provide more homes for residents on the estate if they decide to vote for regeneration in the upcoming ballot.

Likewise the council voted for a business case to invest in the development of 79 homes through a subsidiary funded by Legal and General (L&G).

The site has planning permission, with 16 homes designed to be affordable.

Cllr Sumner expressed her fears Kingston will become “Croydon-on-Thames” in reference to the large developments being built by the pension fund in the South London borough.

She also argued that the site should be publicly funded, and was concerned that the council would be acquiring a site “that doesn’t meet our own policies for planning”.

Cllr Green said it is going to be built regardless, and the council’s involvement was necessary to “ensure that the police office and the resident’s work hub are used for the purposes intended in planning.”

She added: “I am not confident that another developer would do so.”