Upstairs Drinking Plan For Wimbledon Village Bar

Planning application to convert empty office space

Hemingways Bar in Wimbledon Village
Hemingways bar, with upstairs office entrance (right). Picture: Google Streetview

August 28, 2023

Plans to create an upstairs lounge bar above Hemingways in Wimbledon Village have been submitted to council planners.

A company called 'Beyond Lavish Ltd' has applied to Merton Council to convert empty office premises above the popular cocktail bar on the corner of the High Street and Lancaster Road into further bar space.

In a Design and Access Statement submitted alongside their application, they state the first floor of the Grade II-listed building has a separate entrance from Lancaster Road with a lobby to a staircase up to offices.

If the scheme gets the go-ahead, there would be no direct connection with the ground floor bar with the new upstairs lounge bar accessed via the existing separate entrance.

The application says that interior alterations would be "minimal" involving removing partition walls, creating a bar area, re-opening fireplaces, adding an acoustic lining to the party wall with 1 Lancaster Road and moving the staircase by 200mm away from the wall.

Historic England Business Officer Nina Dierks has said the conservation body needs to be consulted about the scheme. She said: "It would in fact be consultable to us for the demolition of the stairs, which I believe would be necessary for moving them as proposed.

"I note that the application documents are quite sparse – have you been out on site and have any further information on the significance of the stairs and what methods are proposed for their dismantling and re-assembly? 

"A member of the public has contacted us about the proposals, so we would like to double check the level of harm that would be caused here."

The applicant's Design and Access Statement also stated that concerns had been expressed in the past about possible problems with noise affecting the first floors of neighbouring 56 High Street and 1 Lancaster Road.

The statement says that 56 High Street is currently occupied by a bank and it is "unlikely" any noise generated by the change of use would have a detrimental affect on the bank.

But it adds that there are bedrooms on the first floor of 1 Lancaster Road and "it is possible that noise generated in the evenings by the change of use at 57A could have an impact on the owners/occupiers of the house. As a result a new acoustic survey has been undertaken and report produced. This can be made available if required." 

Merton Council is seeking opinions on the scheme, with comments being taken until September 13. and you can make your views known by searching for Application Number 23/P2087 on the council’s planning explorer.

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