Shops And Homes Plan For Former Pub

Public exhibition of plans for Emma Hamilton site

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A landmark Wimbledon Chase pub which closed down last year could be replaced by 56 flats and up to four shops.

Developers displayed their plans for the Emma Hamilton pub site (left) on Kingston Road during a public exhibition.

Work could begin on the scheme in early 2012, with a possible completion date in mid-2013.

Stadium Capital Holdings have yet to submit their plans to Merton Borough Council, and listened to hear residents' views during the exhibition at nearby Merton Park Baptist Church on Thursday (March 17). There are local concerns about parking issues the development could create.

The ground floor retail development could consist of four shops, or one bigger unit. The developers, who state it will not include a fast food outlet, believe it will create 50 jobs.

Jon Murch, from planning agents, Savills, said of the overall design (left and below): "We wanted something that would break up and soften the street appearance with a sympathetic design. We hope to get some feedback today."

The plan includes 56 one, two and three-bedroom flats, with some affordable housing. It is possible that plans could be submitted to the council within four to six weeks.

Anthony Fairclough, secretary of Merton Liberal Democrats, said: "After seeing the plans for the site, our main concern is about the effect the new shops and flats would have on parking. Understandably people are worried that shoppers will be forced to park on other nearby roads like Oxford and Chase Side Avenues because there's just not enough space on the development.

"We also wonder if it's really the case that there's currently the demand for these type of retail units in Wimbledon Chase - St George's Court, right by the station, is largely empty. Developers told us they thought that good architecture was the biggest factor in this - but we're not necessarily convinced. Issues like customer parking and unloading bays need to be resolved".

Local residents Grahame and Catherine Darnell, from nearby Oxford Avenue, said: "We were really hoping for a thoughtful and nice looking redevelopment of the Emma Hamilton site that is in keeping with a lovely family-centric community and the gateway to Wimbledon.

"As a result we are really disappointed with the proposal put forward - it is totally out of keeping with the area and shows no sensitivity towards the community. There is very little to say that is positive (even the design itself is ugly)."

Why not comment on the forum thread on the Emma Hamilton site?

March 22, 2011