YMCA Withdraws 24-Storey Plan

Charity reviews its plans for town centre site

Plans to build a 24-storey block as part of a new YMCA building in Wimbledon have been withdrawn by the charity.

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.

Merton Council leader Stephen Alambritis had already said that the council would not "engage with anything as high as 24 storeys".

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

Now the YMCA are reviewing its proposals after admitting they did not win public support.

Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond MP said: "I was very pleased to hear the news that the YMCA had decided to re-consider their ill-advised plans to build a 24-storey building in the heart of Wimbledon, something which I have opposed from the beginning.

"I am not against the development of the site but I have always believed that this proposal was completely inappropriate for the town centre. It is ridiculous to consider erecting a building that would be 16-storeys taller than the original building, which is already the tallest structure in Wimbledon.

"I congratulate the hard work of the ‘Stop the Tower’ campaign and other local activists, including Merton Conservatives, who got behind the campaign."

The plans included:

  • 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 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 www.ymca-hereforgood.co.uk. To make your comment, telephone 0207 630 3811, or email: consultation@ymca-hereforgood.co.uk.

Will it be good for Wimbledon? Let us know on our forum.

November 28, 2013

Related links
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The YMCA entrance in Wimbledon

YMCA unveils ambitious plans

Council leader slams 24-storey plan