Constitutional appeal falls

constitutional_2Wandsworth Council’s refusal of plans to demolish and redevelop the Tooting Constitutional Club has been upheld at appeal.

In May the council’s planning committee voted against plans to redevelop The Tooting Constitutional Club at 111-113 Tooting High Street.

The developer intended to demolish all the buildings on the site and replace them with a single structure of up to seven storeys high containing 46 flats and commercial units. The site would have taken in a green space at the rear of the building.

The developer appealed the decision, but a planning inspector has now endorsed the council’s decision following a hearing.

Planning chairman Cllr Sarah McDermott said: “Our committee decided unanimously that we could not approve this scheme.

“We felt that the scale and size of what was being proposed here was just too big and too unneighbourly and would have damaged the visual appearance of this stretch of the high street.

“We were also opposed to the loss of the club’s green open space at the rear, the scheme’s lack of affordable housing and the disappearance of this prominent local landmark.

“I am delighted that the planning inspector has backed our decision and refused to grant permission. What the developer should do now is listen carefully to what we and the inspector have said and tailor his application accordingly so that it is a better scheme, is more sympathetic to the site and fits in better to this part of Tooting.”

Earlier this year the council named the constitutional club as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), reflecting its important contribution to the social history of the borough. This designation means that if the owner wishes to sell the building he must give the local community a six month window in which to raise sufficient funds to purchase it.

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