Council Leader Slams YMCA's 24-Storey Vision

Ambitious 24-Storey plan is a "no-goer"

Plans to build a 24-storey block as part of a new YMCA building in Wimbledon will not go ahead, according to council leader Stephen Alambritis.

The £15m scheme, which will fund 100 fit-for-purpose rooms for those in housing need, includes a 24-storey scheme as one of its proposals.

But Councillor Alambritis (left) said: "There is no way we will engage with anything as high as 24 storeys. It's a no-goer. I urge the YMCA to look sideways, rather than up.

"We knew the YMCA were ambitious, but the 24-storey plan came as a complete shock. I think where they are at with 8 to 10 storeys is fine."

A petition set up to oppose the 24-storey scheme has amassed more than 200 signatures.

The plans, which are not yet at the planning application stage, include:

  • Cafe and conferencing facilities
  • A dedicated children's centre
  • Expanded health, fitness and wellbeing facilities, included an improved gym
  • A flexible 'village hall' space to accommodate a range of community sporting and social events.

The private residential building envisaged as part of the scheme could be a 24-storey block, but there are also plans for several shorter blocks. It will include 140 one, two and three-bed apartments, with 70 off-street parking spaces, new restaurants and shops, as well as an open public piazza.

Developers have said feedback from residents will be incorporated as the plans develop, and there will be more chance to comment before the scheme reaches the outline planing stage.

The building will be designed by Lord Richard Rogers' architecture company - Rogers, Stirk Harbour and Partners (RSHP).

The consortium behind the project, Wimbledon Gateway LLP, has acquired neighbouring Olympic House and another area of land next door to enable it to carry out the development.

The actual YMCA accommodation, which will feature shared living facilities for small groups, will be built first on the Olympic House site so housing is not lost during development work.

The current 1970s-built YMCA (left), has 110 single rooms, with shared bathrooms and no self-catering facilities. Maintenance and running costs are high, and it's generally not fit for purpose.

To find out more see To make your comment, telephone 0207 630 3811, or email:

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November 13, 2013

Related links
Related Links

The YMCA entrance in Wimbledon

YMCA unveils ambitious plans