Residents say the proposed scheme for neighbouring plots is "out of place"
Plans have been made for a five-storey flats development as part of a scheme to build 28 new homes on neighbouring sites on Kingston Road in South Wimbledon.
The proposed scheme, which is next door to the controversial Elim Church development, involves re-developing the former Merton Manor Club and Institute building and demolishing the neighbouring former Wimbledon Car Carriage showroom plot.
Applicant KK Investment Ltd has submitted plans to Merton Borough Council for the extension and conversion of the fomer club site to create 13 new flats, including two three-bedroom basement flats, and the creation of a part five-storey building containing 15 flats on the former car showroom plot.
The Merton Manor Club building (below left) dates back to 1905 and was used by the club from 1947 until 2012. It has since been empty and is in a poor condition, with attempts to sell it for around £3m proving fruitless.
The application states: "The loss of a private members club is outweighed by the need to provide new homes. The property has also remained vacant since 2012 and requires urgent refurbishment to prevent the deterioration and loss of the Victorian building.
"A structural report is submitted which demonstrates “the property is generally is need of urgent attention to prevent it falling into further disrepair” and that works are required to underpin the building. It is not usable in its current condition, with damp, pigeon infestation, windows broken, lack of services and walls stripped. Any reuse requires refurbishment. The proposed residential use would upgrade the property and secure the long term future of the building.
"It is proposed to use the existing designated open space area at the rear of No. 76 (formerly a bowling green) as a communal space for the development."
But several local residents have submitted objections to the plans, citing the five-storey block would be out of character for the area, reduce daylight into neighbouring homes and cause additional traffic problems.
Jonathan Har-Ewen of neighbouring Brisbane Avenue said: "The proposal for a five-storey block of fiats is completely out of place in the local area. Not a single building around the proposed flats is more than three storeys high and all buildings, including the Manor House next to it are of early 20th century or earlier style.
"I believe the building height should be restricted to no higher than the Manor House and the building should be redesigned so they are more in line with the architectural style of the Manor House and other houses around it."
Omar Rizwani said: "The size of the proposed property, which is six storeys would dwarf all, other properties on Kingston Road and the adjacent Brisbane Avenue. The proposed residential block would prevent substantial amounts of sunlight reaching properties on Kingston Road and Brisbane Avenue. Current properties in the immediate vicinity consist of two or three storey houses as well as small businesses and other notable structures which do not exceed the height of four storeys."
Fabienne Poulet added: "While the restoration and extension of the existing manor house are in keeping with the area and will create little additional pressure on parking and traffic, the construction of a new six storey residential block will likely generate an unbearable pressure on the local area, in particular in terms of on street parking."
"The proposal is far too high and big for the area. I would be surprised if the infrastructure could cope with such a high increase in residential use. Due to planning decisions by the Council, Kingston Road is being ruined. It would help if the council had an overview of consistency of design. It is becoming a hotchpot of bad conversions from shops to flats," said Lesley Fradley.
The application states that it is not possible to be provide affordable housing on the site, "primarily due the additional cost of restoring No. 76 Kingston Road – a building the Council wishes to be retained."
The entire site is pictured below, with artists' impressions of the planned scheme pictured at the top of the page and futher below.
July 5, 2019