The Gough House site is set to be demolished and turned into an eight-storey block of shops and flats, after Kingston Council granted planning permission.

Plans relate to the existing two-storey building and a council-owned car park at the back.

There are currently three shops on the ground floor with some offices above them, which would be replaced by the much larger development.

Plans justified the size by pointing out the adjacent Neville House having planning permission for a building of 11 storeys, and the nearby Eden House having permission for seven.

Chairman of the Kingston upon Thames Society Anthony Evans said this was one of the few town centre developments from the past few years the society did not object to.

He said: "We felt it was well designed and broadly acceptable, although we did point out that we thought the corner entrance was unresolved in design terms.

"As ever they ignored our concerns, even though we have a number of well qualified & experienced architects in the Society."

He went on to say he hopes the new Liberal Democrat administration will "think long and hard" about future development in the borough, considering the area's historic character.