Dear Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London & Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning,
Merton Conservatives are writing to you today as we wish you to use your powers as Mayor of London to call in the St George’s House East application, ref:21/P3163, which was granted permission by Merton Council's Planning Application Committee (PAC) on 10/2/22.
The application is for a 55m tall building in the heart of Wimbledon. A building of such scale will irrevocably alter the character of Wimbledon and local residents have joined with their Conservative councillors in opposing it.
In passing this application the PAC has given permission for a building that will be far taller than any other in Wimbledon and will come up to 55m and 12 storeys. It will tower over the neighbouring buildings at St George House West, and Ely’s Department Store, which amount to no more than standard seven-storey buildings.
The council's Future Wimbledon Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) states that a building in this location should, at maximum, be part eight and part 12 storeys, with a height limit of 32m and 48m respectively. Merton Conservatives and local residents feel that developments of such scale are too high for Wimbledon, however, should St George's House East be built it will be the tallest building for miles around and could set a precedent for buildings of greater height to be built in the future.
There are also design problems with this application. Due to its siting immediately to the south of Wimbledon Station’s entrance square, it will cast a long shadow for most of the year over this central part of Wimbledon. There are also problems with the design, its large glass panelling approach is akin to a design we would expect in central London. The design vernacular in Wimbledon is either art deco, red brick terracotta or Portland stone as at the old town hall.
This application uses glass and reinforced concrete and would look totally out of place in Wimbledon. The PAC should have refused permission for this development due to breaches of its own policies DMD1 excessive bulk, disproportionate impact on the rhythm, scale, height and massing of the surrounding townscape, or CS14, design out of keeping with the Wimbledon Town Centre SPD on materials used.
We urge you to listen to the voices of local residents and refuse permission for this application.