Major redevelopment plans for Surrey County Hall, the Bittoms car park and the social club on Penrhyn Road

Surrey County Council has taken the decision to vacate County Hall and are commencing local consultation on the redevelopment of the site ahead of making a planning application to Kingston Council in early 2021. Their plans are still in an early stage and they will use your initial feedback to help shape the proposals over the coming months before they report back towards the end of the year.

Early stage proposals are to convert the existing County Hall building into residential units and to book-end the building with new high rise projects to replace the social club and the Bittoms Car Park.

RRA is in the process of gathering local opinions and will publish here our thoughts and action plan to respond to this very significant proposal.

A virtual exhibition of these early proposals is here: https://countyhallredevelopment.com

This is the heritage statement from the exhibition:

HERITAGE

These proposals seek to preserve and enhance the historic heart of the Grade II Listed County Hall for the future. The original 1893 building as well as the 1930’s Vincent Harris wing and courtyard will sit at the heart of this new mixed use revitalised development. Many of the original large representative spaces will be retained for public accessible use.

A detailed Heritage Impact Assessment reviewing alternative ways of repurposing this very special heritage asset was carried out and reviewed together with Historic England. They were very supportive of the approach outlined below.

Retention of all important heritage elements
The vast majority of the exterior of all the buildings built before 1963 will be retained. This includes the most important historic element including the clock tower and all the original 1893 County Hall building.

New mansard roof & conversion of the 1938 block on Milner Road
We are proposing two additional floors into a new mansard roof on the section fronting Milner Road. So the roof levels align on the western side. The block will also be converted to a residential usage.

Refurbishment of the 1963 wing on Milner Road
This element is believed to have ‘low heritage significance’ meaning that limited modifications can reasonably be pursued.

Demolition of 1982 Computer wing
The heritage assessment designated this building as having ‘limited to no heritage value’. We are proposing to demolish this section and build a more sensitive development.

TIMELINE & NEXT STEPS

Timeline
They will hold a second Virtual Exhibition in November to present more detailed plans for final comment. These will be more developed and will be the basis for our planning application to be made in 2021.

Proposed Project Timeline:
Deadline for initial comments: Friday 25th September 2020 Second Exhibition: November 2020
Planning Application Submission: January 2021
Planning Committee Determination: Spring/Summer 2021