Southey Bowling Club, 559 Kingston Road, Raynes Park, Wimbledon

This is a backland site, bounded by three residential streets.  The clubhouse was nearing the end of its life and a decision was taken to rebuild next to the (retained) bowling rink and also effect a new access to Kingston Road to serve a new cul-de-sac of 9 houses, the land being released to fund the new clubhouse.  This will also enable the removal of a very incongruous and ugly addition to another property in the client’s ownership - 557 Kingston Road – which has subsequently also obtained permission to be used as two flats.

Working closely again with the client’s architect Philip Walls, this scheme had a rather long gestation, notwithstanding a favourable allocation which was confirmed in the adopted version of the local plan, for safeguarded open space and new housing.

I was able to successfully negotiate amendments to secure a favourable Officer recommendation.  Extensive ‘parking stress’ surveys also had to be undertaken within a 400m radius of the site, with the help of a club Member and the client.  This was to convince the council that on-street parking in surrounding streets was not so difficult to warrant a higher level of on-site car parking for both elements of the scheme.

The scheme had to address 101 Policy considerations, including those of the London Plan, as well as much adopted supplementary planning document guidance.

Despite concerns expressed by a large number of adjoining neighbours in a packed council meeting, I was able to calmly show how the amended scheme carefully addressed their concerns and convinced the Planning Committee to support their Officer recommendation to approve.

Viability work undertaken by Dr Andrew Golland, suddenly became less relevant when the council confirmed it would be following the Secretary of State’s requirement to set aside tariff style developer contributions on schemes less than 10 new dwellings.

The scheme is now under the first phase of development to provide the new clubhouse (seen in the third photo on the left).

The old clubhouse will then be demolished to make way for phase two of 9 new houses.

These are new houses designed to be sub-servient to the sunlight reaching their neighbours’ gardens, whilst still providing for adequate garden sizes and room sizes meeting the occupiers’ needs.