Retail-to-resi PDR fails

southfieldsparade2A property developer’s wish to turn a popular parade of shops in Southfields into residential space has suffered a setback after council planners blocked permitted development rights plan.The developer, understood to be a pivate individual, had submitted a prior approval notice to change the Wimbledon Park Road shops from retail to residential under permitted development rights.

However, the council has ruled that a full planning application is required on the grounds that the loss of retail space would be “undesireable” and would “harm the sustainability” of the shopping parade and “reduce the provision of a range of services within the local centre and key shopping area.”

Planning chairman Cllr Sarah McDermott said: “This local parade of small, mainly independent shops serves a wide audience of local residents and performs a very useful function in the area.

“Any proposals for significant change here would need to be subject to full and proper public scrutiny and consultation. It was certainly not something that we felt would be appropriate under the very general and modest changes allowed under permitted development rights.”

In 2004 Wandsworth Council designated this particular row of shops as a protected shopping frontage, offering a greater degree of protection from redevelopment and from planning applications that would seek to switch their usage from retail to residential.

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