Plans to re-develop Wimbledon Chase station criticised over lack of step-free access

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Plans to re-develop Wimbledon Chase station criticised over lack of step-free access

Postby Community Editor » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:50 am

Plans to build a nine storey block of flats at Wimbledon Chase Station and remodel the entrance have been criticised.

Just before Christmas The Newbridge Group - the company behind the proposal - held an exhibition which detailed its plans for the site.

These include 62 new homes divided between two buildings, shops on the ground floor and a "rejuvenated station entrance."

But something it doesn't include is step-free access.

This annoyed Dundonald Ward councillor Anthony Fairclough who met with representatives from the developers and their agents on January 16.

Following the meeting, Cllr Fairclough said: "I can't see how this development can go ahead without doing everything possible to also make the station accessible for everyone.

"I'm shocked that the developers aren't planning to make the station entrance 'step free' – it affects so many people's lives."

"Step-free is simply a 'must have' in 2020."

Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond agrees. He met with developers this week and said the key issues are accessibility and the height of the proposed building.

"The developer has asserted that the cost of a Network Rail compliant scheme could make the development unviable and Network Rail has stated there is not the demand," he said.

"I believe this would be a huge missed opportunity not to make Wimbledon Chase step free and I will be pursuing this.

"A number of residents have also told me that they approve development on this site in principle, but that they are opposed to the design, height and look of this scheme."


CGI of proposed scheme

There will be a further consultation in mid-February, with a planning application expected to be submitted at the end of that month.

If that gets approved, then construction would begin during the summer of 2020 with an expected completion three years later.

Cllr Fairclough added that he will be meeting with Network Rail and Merton Council to come up with a workable plan."

"The developers say they want to create a 'landmark' building for the area," he said. "Residents tell me that the imposition of a bock of flats, nine storeys high – four higher than anything nearby – will certainly create a 'landmark'; but for all the wrong reasons.

"We need new housing that is sympathetic to the area – so hopefully the developers will respond positively to the feedback they're getting.

"Otherwise there will strong objections from the public when this matter comes to the Planning Applications Committee."

No parking spaces will be built as part of the development, apart from a few disabled bays.
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