Cold water for plans to develop car wash site

Plans to develop a five storey block of flats have been put forward for the car wash site on London Road at the junction with Broadway Gardens.

The development includes 19 flats and makes provision for retail or office use at street level, including a hot food take away.

The car wash is in a sensitive location right on the edge of the Conservation Area, opposite the Grade II listed Burn Bullock and in view of the historic cricket ground.

We support residential development on the site and have put it forward for inclusion in Merton Council’s new Local Plan. We are keen for the ground floor to be used to extend the existing retail parade and for any new building to respect the height of the existing buildings along London Road.

Unfortunately, the developers have come forward with a scheme almost as high as that permitted for the former Kwik Fit site on the other side of Broadway Gardens.

Their own drawings show just how out of keeping this will be, especially when combined with whatever eventually gets developed on the Kwik Fit site.

The design approach is every day and ubiquitous. It fails to respond to to the rich character of the surrounding neighbourhood and the upper two floors in particular are poorly executed, with intrusive balconies, poor use of materials and an incongruous white colour which cannot be found elsewhere in the area.

The development will also overlook existing houses in Broadway Gardens and makes no provision for any parking. It even tries to avoid putting any affordable housing on site and proposes giving Merton Council a meagre £120,000 to provide this elsewhere.

The planned hot food take away is also controversial. There are already three nearby and Mayor Khan’s new London Plan is clear that no hot food take aways should be permitted within 400m of a school. The car wash is just 210m from Saints Peter and Paul Primary School.

Once again we find ourselves having to object to a poorly designed and overly large development brought forward without any effort to talk to the local community. We look forward to an opportunity to work with the owners to help design a sensitive development for this site.

Read our full response – 370-374 London Road – Dec 19