Metal clad building, with no parking, gets council approval
A controversial plan for a nine-storey Premier Inn in Wimbledon town centre has been approved by Merton councillors.
Whitbread will now build a 176-bed Premier Inn hotel at 153-161 The Broadway. They say it would create 50 new jobs and boost the local economy by bringing 80,000 new visitors a year to the town centre.
The plans for the green metal clad building in the town centre had raised claims it would not fit in with the Victorian character of the area.
A 'Save Wimbledon Town' campaign group had also raised fears of increased traffic and noise, as well as potential anti-social behaviour.
Following various local consultation meetings, the original design was amended to the scheme shown on the top right. It includes only four parking bays for disabled drivers and 13 cycle spaces.
Krystal Miller, Chair of the Friends of Wimbledon Town Centre, said to the planning committee before they made their decision: "Admittedly the town centre is a mix of architectural styles but I cannot think of a single building with coloured metal cladding. Many residents would like to see building fabric move back to Wimbledon's original facade.
"The bulk and size of this development continues the trend of increasing the height of buildings on The Broadway. The impact of this could undoubtedly be softened with good architecture but I do not believe the metal cladding is good architecture. I cannot believe the metal will stand the test of time or delight those who stop to look at the building.
"Wimbledon will be going through a lot of change over the next 10 years, both with and without Crossrail 2. The Friends of Wimbledon Town Centre want to see a cohesive design plan for Wimbledon town centre. It hopes that, rather than settling for mediocrity, Merton Council will set its standards higher, encourage high quality plans that enhance and improve Wimbledon town centre, take account of the character of neighbouring residential streets, and consider the interests of those who live and work in the area."
Councillors have already given approval to plans to knock down The Slug pub in nearby Hartfield Road and build a 140 room hotel with no car parking.
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August 15, 2016