Third Attempt To Build Three-Storey Flats Scheme In Wimbledon

Proposed development would replace town centre fitness studio

Fitness studio and flats plan
Architect plans for the Holistic Fitness Studios site

May 22, 2023

A third attempt is being made to secure planning permission for flats to be built as part of a three-storey development on a site now housing fitness studios in Wimbledon town centre.

Plans have been submitted to Merton Council to demolish the Holistic Fitness Studios in Broadway Court, on The Broadway, and then replace it with a building housing two two-bedroom flats, office space and a gym/studio at ground and basement levels.

Comments on the proposals are being welcomed until June 3, and you can give your opinion on Merton’s planning explorer by searching for application number 23/1113.

The latest plan submitted by Stephen Dixon, Chief Instructor of the Holistic Fitness Studios, replaces another three-storey scheme which was refused in April 2022, involving three one-bedroom flats as well as offce and gym space.

Planners then said: “The proposed development by virtue of its height, massing and sitng would be visually intrusive, overbearing and result in an unacceptable loss of outlook, to the detriment of occupiers of No. 13 - 17 South Park Road.”

They also said the proposed flats were of “substandard size”. That scheme itself replaced a previous application for four flats to replace the existing two-storey building, housing fitness training and a martial arts school, that was refused in April 2021.

The agent proposing the latest scheme, DNA Architecture, said: “The proposal has since been revised, anddressing the reasons for refusal. The proposed design has rceived further amendments to alleviate any perceived impact and provides adequate residential accommodation in accordance with the national standards."

The proposed residential apartments are south-facing single aspect to prevent any overlooking concerns with the residential properties north of the application site.”

They add that the proposal backs onto the rear boundary of Nos, 13, 15 and 17 South Park Road and is approximately 11.5 - 13 metres from each property.

The proposed rear wall is approximately 5.4 metres in height, which is a “nominal difference” to the existing wall along the rear boundary. There would be no rear-facing windows facing out onto the gardens in South Park Road. Provision would be made for the storage of four cycles, and there would be no off-street parking.

Another report prepared to support the application, by Chartered Town Planner Heather Thwaites of Cogito Consulting, said the 2021 Housing Delivery Test published in January 2022 indicates that Merton had only delivered 80% of its required new housing.

The council's own core planning strategy 2011 stated that the Council will work with housing providers to facilitate the provision of a minimum of 4,800 additional homes for the period 2011-2026 including 500-600 for Wimbledon.

Ms Thwaites concluded: “Given the pressing need for the borough to ensure that its housing delivery meets its requirements we can see no justifable reason to withhold planning permission for this application.”

If the scheme gets the go-ahead, work is set to start later this year and would be due for completion by 2026.

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