This letter has been prepared by the Executive Committee of the Colliers Wood Residents’ Association and our planning advisors on behalf of its local members and other residents of Colliers Wood. In line with the Association’s objectives, our response focuses on the section of the Plan dealing specifically with Colliers Wood.
SITE CW2: CAR PARK SOUTH OF BRITANNIA POINT, 125 HIGH STREET COLLIERS WOOD, SW19 2JG
Paragraph 3.1.20 of the Stage 2 draft of the Plan stated that
3.1.20. Colliers Wood town centre may be an appropriate location to accommodate higher density development including tall buildings. Britannia Point should remain the pinnacle building in the centre in terms of height.
The current draft alters this paragraph to read as follows:
Colliers Wood town centre may be an appropriate location to accommodate higher density development including tall buildings. Britannia Point should form part of a family of buildings of varying height, forming a coherent cluster.
The Residents’ Association feels strongly that the earlier draft should be restored i.e. that Britannia Point should remain the pinnacle building in terms of height. The text for Site CW2 should then be amended accordingly. Any development of the vacant site that exceeded the height of Britannia Point would, in the Association’s view, represent an unacceptable level of intensification and have a negative effect on the amenity and environment of the Town Centre.
SITE CW3: COLLIERS WOOD COMMUNITY CENTRE, 66-72 HIGH STREET COLLIERS WOOD, COLLIERS WOOD, SW19 2BY
The Association believes that the Community Centre is a vital community asset. We welcome the fact that the design and accessibility guidance for this site requires the provision of community uses on the lower floors. We believe that the Plan should stipulate that any redevelopment must as a minimum provide the same square footage for community use as the existing community centre.
SITE CW4 COLLIERS WOOD, 2-24 CHRISTCHURCH ROAD, COLLIERS WOOD, SW19 2HR
The Association notes that the brief for this site envisages a mixed-use redevelopment that could include taller buildings subject to consideration of impacts on neighbouring properties, existing character, heritage, townscape and environmental issues. The Association believes that it is important that the redevelopment of this site does not have any negative impact on the amenity of existing dwellings, especially those in nearby Valley Gardens, North Gardens and South Gardens. We would welcome the inclusion of words to this effect in the Plan.
LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT NEW DEVELOPMENTS
The Association notes that Wimbledon, Colliers Wood and South Wimbledon have (together) been identified as an opportunity area in the new (2020) London Plan, with an expectation that this area provides 5,000 additional homes and 6,000 additional jobs over the next 20-25 years. Colliers Wood has already seen a large number of additional homes provided through refurbishment, redevelopment or new build. These developments have, inevitably, created additional demand on local amenities, facilities and services. We are concerned that further developments in the area could exceed the capacity of some or all of these local services, such as parks, transport, education, health care and public utilities.
We note that Strategic Policy IN16.1 states that
“We support the provision and improvement of infrastructure across the borough and will work with relevant providers to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is secured to support growth in the borough over the plan period.”
And in particular that:
a. Expect new development to identify, plan for and provide any necessary infrastructure and require that, where necessary, infrastructure should be completed prior to occupation.
b. Work with service providers and partners to enable them to deliver the provision of services and facilities for the projected population growth, especially in areas of significant new homes and areas of deficiency.”
Given the number and scale of recent local developments the Association believes it is important that the Council adheres closely to these policies when considering development proposals for Colliers Wood sites.
The Association welcomes this opportunity to convey residents’ views and looks forward to working with the Council’s planners and with local developers to ensure that future developments in the area are attractive appropriate and sustainable and enhance the quality of life of new and existing residents.
COLLIERS WOOD RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION