The housing department recently vacated its former 1960’s office block at the top end of Garrratt Lane, near the junction with Wandsworth High Streetand moved in to improved facilities elsewhere in the town centre.
The freeing up of space in Garratt Lane means that a redevelopment scheme can now move forward that will provide 200 new homes, a better library, new shops and improved teaching facilities for South Thames College.
The scheme will see the replacement of three outdated high rise buildings on directly adjacent sites fronting Garratt Lane and Wandsworth High Street with four new buildings that range in height from four to 26-storeys.
The new building facing the high street, which will replace the council-owned Welbeck House, will be four-storeys at the street frontage, rising to seven-storeys further back. At the ground floor it will provide a new retail outlet.
The new building on Garratt Lane replacing the old housing office block will also have a new shop at ground level. This building will be between four and seven-storeys high.
Two larger buildings will be located within the site but set back from the street frontage and will include a new town centre library.
The library will open out onto a new public square with seating and a play space for under fives. New pedestrian routes will provide new pedestrian links between the Old Burial Ground, Garratt Lane and the high street.
The scheme will also bring new investment to the Old Burial Ground open space, including new public art, landscaping and seating.
The scheme was awarded planning consent in July and now that the housing office move has been completed, work is expected to start early in the new year.
Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “Moving our housing office to Putney Bridge Road has freed up this key site and paved the way for a wide scale improvement scheme that will bring great benefits to this part of the town centre.
“Our joint project with South Thames College will involve the replacement of a number of ageing office blocks with attractive and modern new buildings providing new homes, including many affordable units, plus retail space, improved educational facilities, a new public square and a brand new library.
“The creation of a purpose-built and better designed library will add to its popularity and hopefully ensure greater visitor numbers. The plans also call for the opening up of the Old Burial Ground to provide a much more accessible and welcoming green space in the heart of the town centre.
“These schemes represent one of the biggest regeneration projects in London with well over £1bn of new investment flowing through the area. Hundreds of new jobs and homes are being created here alongside major improvements to the local environment.”