Local Areas of Special Character
Local Area of Special Character (LASC) is an important designation to
identify areas, which might be eligible for Conservation Area status at a
The Borough Council has identified 18 current areas within Kingston
upon Thames, and five of those are within our Neighbourhood Area:
1. Tudor Estate:
2. Wyndham Road/Bockhampton Road:
3. Woodside Road/Chestnut Road/Eastbury Road
4. Borough Road
5. Wolverton Avenue (also partly within Malden and Coombe)
Local Areas of Special Character should be seen as a tool for
development control purposes where an area has a particular
character, which, in the opinion of the Borough Council and
Neighbourhood Forum, is worthy of special protection and possibly
considered for Conservation Area status in the lifetime of the
Development Plan or Neighbourhood Plan.
While local listing provides no additional planning controls, the fact
that a site or area is on a local list means that its conservation as a
heritage asset is an objective of the National Planning Policy
Framework (NPPF) and therefore a material consideration when
determining the outcome of a planning application.
Local Areas of Special Character were originally designated with a
broad brush approach at Development Plan stage in order to give
some protection to prospective Conservation Areas without the need
to carry out lengthy research and consultation inherent in their
designation, as originally outlined in the adopted Borough Plan (1989)
followed by the Unitary Development Plan (1992) and the 2012 Core
The inclusion of an area on the list does not imply that the area will
inevitably become a conservation area, nor that the boundary of any
conservation area that is to be designated should necessarily have the
same boundary as the Local Area of Special Character.
Historic England has a very comprehensive guide to Local Heritage
Listing: Identifying and Conserving Local Heritage (Advice note 7
Second Edition, January 2021).
This provides information to assist community groups and professional
practitioners in implementing historic environment legislation as
outlined in the following sections.
Section16: Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment outlines
the importance Heritage assets are as …… ‘an irreplaceable resource,
and should be conserved in a manner appropriate to their
significance, so that they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the
quality of life of existing and future generations’…...
§185 states: Plans should set out a positive strategy for the conservation
and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets
most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats. This strategy
should take into account:
a) The desirability of sustaining and enhancing the significance of
heritage assets, and putting them to viable uses consistent with
b) The wider social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits
that conservation of the historic environment can bring;
c) The desirability of new development making a positive
contribution to local character and distinctiveness; and
d) opportunities to draw on the contribution made by the historic
environment to the character of a place.
§ 039-041 gives further information on non-designated heritage assets
where inclusion on a local heritage list is helpful in their conservation
when managing change.
Chapter 7. Heritage and Culture: outlines the importance of London’s
historic environment as represented in its built form, landscape heritage
Policy HC1 states that ‘ Boroughs should, in consultation with
………local communities……, develop evidence that demonstrates a
clear understanding of London’s historic environment’.
The policy further outlines that Development Plans should demonstrate
a clear understanding of the historic environment and heritage values
of areas and their relationship with their surroundings to inform
regenerative change by:
• Setting out a clear vision that recognises and embeds the role of
heritage in place-making
• Utilising the heritage significance of a site or area in the planning
and design process
• Integrating the conservation and enhancement of heritage
assets and their settings with innovative and creative contextual
architectural responses that contribute to their significance and
sense of place
• Delivering positive benefits that conserve and enhance historic
environment, as well as contributing to the economic viability,
accessibility and environmental quality of a place, and to social
The Core Strategy Development Plan adopted in 2012, is a plan for the
future of Kingston and guides development for the next 15 years. It
contains a number of policy themes including A Sustainable Kingston,
which covers policies on Design, Character and Heritage. § 6.76
explains that the Borough Council’s focus and encouragement is upon
heritage-led regeneration, while § 6.77 lists Kingston’s heritage asset
categories, which includes Local Areas of Special Character at point 7.
As required by government, the Borough Council is currently
developing an up to date new Local Plan, which should be adopted
The Borough Council’s criteria for the designation of Local
Areas of Special Character
The Borough Council’s Criteria for Local Areas of Special Character
(LASC) was revised and adopted at the April 2018 Growth Committee
meeting in line with good practice. The amended criteria now requires
the area to have heritage significance as defined by national policy
together with any other relevant architectural, landscape or
townscape quality and interest.
The Royal Borough designates LASCs based on their environmental and
aesthetic qualities. There were originally 26 designated areas, but this
has been reduced to 18 as some are now designated as full
Conservation Areas instead.
The LASC criteria as revised and adopted are:
a. The area must be of heritage significance; and
b. Must meet one or more of the following three criteria:
i. The architecture in the area must be of a high quality,
distinctive and well preserved and may reflect the collective
value of groups of historic buildings with consistent architectural
form, style, features, detailing or materials; the area may include
groups of high quality, distinctive and well preserved
architectures built as an ensemble over a short period of time.
ii. The townscape of the area must be of a high quality,
distinctive and well preserved. The historic townscape and/or the
urban form of the area may have organically developed over
the centuries or may have been planned by design in one or
iii. The landscape of the area must be of a high quality,
distinctive and well preserved. The composition, the natural
and/or built features of the historic landscape may have
organically developed over the centuries or may have been
planned by design in one or more stages
North Kingston Forum recommendations for new Local Areas
of Special Character
Based on the Borough Council’s adopted criteria, these
recommendations recognise the contribution made by the historic
environment to our sense of place, and will help to preserve the
character of the neighbourhoods so that they can be enjoyed for their
contribution to the quality of life of existing and future generations.
In 2011, The Borough Council published a Borough Character Study to
support the Kingston Local Development Framework called Kingston –
Towards a Sense of Place. The study identified the essential
components that combine to give Kingston its particular Sense of
For the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan and Appendix B –
Local Areas of Special Character, we have extended the council’s
character study to include our own research specifically to define
these recommendations more thoroughly. The reports include:
• NKForum Canbury Ward Character Study
• NKForum Tudor Ward Character Study
• NKForum Tudor Ward West Character Study
Staunton Road/Park Farm Road (Policy NK7 vi):
Staunton Road, Park Farm Road and the near by streets form a
coherent enclave of late Victorian houses of similar age and quality as
can be seen in the nearby Richmond Road conservation area. The
area’s grid of two and three storey “attic room” houses has uniform red
brick front elevations, complemented with either one storey but mostly
two storey, imposing rectangular or splayed bay window features.
These frontages are capped by front facing gable end roofs that give
the area a regimented appearance that compliments the setting of
the near by listed 'The Keep', part of the historical Kingston barracks
that once existed near by. There have been some “householder”
extensions and loft conversions, which are generally well designed,
and in keeping with the character of the area. There are one or two
newer developments on in-fill sites but again generally respectful of the
scale and character of their neighbours.
Gibbon Road/Richmond Park Road/Burton Road (Policy NK7 vii):
The centre piece of Canbury ward is the Grade II listed St Luke’s
church, a fine red brick building designed by Kelly & Birchall and
constructed between 1886 and 1887 by a local building firm
W.H.Gaze. The church was consecrated in 1889 at a time when
Canbury was considered the most impoverished district in Kingston.
The church and the nearby streets of Burton Road, Richmond Park
Road and Gibbon Road comprise an area of buildings which
together represent a good and generally well preserved example
of late Victorian and Edwardian domestic architecture.
Furthermore, the general quality of building reflects the growing
affluence of the area as the town prospered. The range of building
designs; terraces, semi-detached and villas, and the materials used,
being built of red brick, yellow stock and gaults is testament to the
area’s heritage of piecemeal development that occurred during
this period with a number of different builders involved.
Willoughby Road/Canbury Ave (Policy NK7 viii):
The area is bounded by Canbury Avenue, Deacon Road,
Willoughby Road and extending to part of Canbury Park Road
typifies the character of Canbury Ward during its early development
following the opening of the Kingston Town railway station in 1863.
The 2-storey traditionally brick built, slate roofed, detached, semidetached houses, and named "villas" in groups of short
terraces remain generally well maintained. Whilst the overall form
and appearance is one of uniformity in height there is a subtle
variety in house widths and detailing.
Yellow London stock bricks or white Gault clay bricks are commonly
used for the main front elevations although the facades are now
aged by weathering so as to be almost indistinguishable. Interest is
often added to elevations by use of red brick ornamental string
courses, dental corbelled eaves and red brick quoining.
Single storey front elevation splayed bays are commonplace, with further individuality provided by differences of moulded stucco rendering, stone lintels and cills or brick arches above vertically sliding sash window heads. The front elevation windows are often paired at first
floor or to the larger bays, where there is a variety of means of
separation with stone columns, rendered or fair face brick piers, else
ornamental cast iron mullions used to support twin lintel units at first
floor. Although some houses have been pebble dashed, rendered
or the brickwork painted, domestic alterations and garden
extensions have mostly respected the character of these late 19th
and early 20th century houses.
The area’s most significant individual buildings are the two public
houses. The classic lines of area’s oldest pub, the Canbury Arms,
which opened in 1891, contrasts with the slightly later and more
flamboyant Willoughby Arms, opened in 1896, both fine examples of
late Victorian public buildings. The mature lime trees in Canbury
Avenue are an early example of public area tree planting to
enhance a new development unfortunately several being lost to
storm gales and replacements.
Osborne Road/Windsor Road/Bearfield Road (Policy NK7 ix)
This area is defined by cottage style late Victorian terraced houses
with typical architectural features well preserved. The design of the
houses is generally consistent, with a common theme of London
stock brickwork and slate roofs, except in Osbourne Road where
Gault brickwork is prevalent, with many of the houses having simple
bay windows, creating a distinctive local character.
This small area of workers’ cottages is well contained and extends north of King’s Road as far as the boundary to the Richmond Road petrol station.
The western frontage of the area along Richmond Road includes
two short parades of local shops, adjoining the fine red-brick
Queen’s Head public house, while to the east Thorpe Road neatly
frames this well-defined enclave. While a few of the houses,
particularly in Bearfield Road, have been subjected to rather
unfortunate loft extensions, they are very much in the minority and
the district’s architectural integrity is generally maintained.
Tudor Estate extension (Policy NK7 x)
In the 1930s following Surrey Country Council’s decision to move the
border of North Kingston to include a part of Ham, the builder GT
Crouch bought the land from the Dysart Estate and started to build the
new Richmond Park Estate, later becoming known as the Tudor Estate
– Kingston, and opened on the 17th November 1933.
The core of the estate, defined around Wolsey Drive, Cardinal Avenue
and the northern section of Tudor Drive, is already designated as a
Local Area of Special Character. Within this area the most significant
single building is the Cardinal Public House, built by Hodgson’s,
Kingston’s brewery and acquired by Courage & Co in 1943, which is
thought to have been designed by the brewery’s architect Joseph Hill.
The adjoining Tudor Drive parade of shops adopts a similar style so
creating an attractive focus for the estate.
However the remaining section of Tudor Drive, south of the Latchmere
Lane junction as far as Park Road displays similar architectural and
landscape characteristics and seems worthy of designation as well. It
exhibits the same distinctive “Tudor-bethan” architecture,
characterised by applied “half- timbered” framing on white rendered
brickwork beneath red-tiled roofs, with generous grass verges on both
sides of the street, which creates a defining unity with the rest of the
The building form is typical of the inter-war period, predominantly of semi-detached houses with wide and deep proportions, with some small terraces of 4-6 houses, with the occasional detached house.
The area is of significant heritage value, and is one of the few
remaining town planning examples from this inter-war period. The
entire length of Tudor Drive from the Ham Cross junction to Park Road
reads as one whole architectural and historic town planning
The landscape is distinctive and of high quality with its consistent green
verges that expand into green mini parks along the route. The
pedestrian walkways are enhanced by the mature trees and bulb
plantings, carried out by the small army of volunteers who treasure this