An architect who worked on plans to redevelop the independent Kew Bookshop believes changes will improve the shop.

Plans for the shop in Station Approach, which would see the size of the retail space doubled, have been met with hostility from the manager who said she would not be able to afford the rent.

Isla Dawes, shop owner, said: “If it goes ahead I will not be able to afford the rent.

“The changes will really impact on the whole character of Kew Village because what is nice about it here is we have these bizarre little buildings with wooden frontages that have been here for about 100 years.”

Architect Malcolm Kemp, whose plans include replacing the wooden building with brick, but keeping the shop front, building a new level on and doubling the retail space.

He said: “How many people who have objected to these proposals have actually been into the bookshop and bought a book?

“We have kept the important part of it, the shop front, and will make improvements to the back, which is basically a plywood box, and the changes will improve the quality of the shop.”

Campaigners started a petition to stop the plans, which can be viewed on Richmond Council’s website.