Planners give go-ahead to Queen Alexandra's Court development
Architect plans showing how the homes will look in context of the street setting
June 19, 2023
Two six-bedroom family homes are to be built within the setting of the Grade II-listed Queen Alexandra’s Court, known as Royal Homes Wimbledon, after council planners gave the scheme the go-ahead.
Royal Homes Wimbledon in St Mary’s Road is run by armed forces charity SSAFA, and provides independent living for 76 residents - all either former service personnel from Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force or dependents of former service personnel.
The planned three-storey homes would replace Broghill House, which although once used for a resident warden and more recently as offices as well as staff/guest accommodation, is said to be not well used and surplus to requirements.
Although Queen Alexandra’s Court itself was built at the turn of the 20th century and first occupied in 1904, Broghill House only dates back to the 1970s. It replaced a dining room, gardener’s cottages and a caretaker’s cottage which were part of the original development, which consists of four principal blocks around a courtyard.
SSAFA has just been given permission by Merton Council to demolish Broghill House and replace it with buildings it says will reflect the surrounding context of the Queen Alexandra’s Court development. The scheme, which sits within the Wimbledon Hill Road conservation area, also includes four parking spaces.
Existing Brogill House - set to be demolished
A planning statement submitted to the council on SSAFA’s behalf states: “The principal materials selected including the red brick walls and pitched slate roofs, with hipped returns. This will directly reflect those elements of the Queen Alexandra’s development and convey harmony between the listed buildings and structure in the wider curtilage and the new residential uses proposed by the residential development now proposed.”
Local conservation group, The Wimbledon Society, had no objections to the scheme but said it was concerned about the loss of some trees and requested a condition that “requires the planting of new trees equivalent to twice the age of the lost trees. There is also concern about damage during the development to the trees which are to be retained and it is requested that adequate protection is put in place.”
But a report by the council’s tree officer said a number of trees located on the application site, were protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and these trees would not be impacted by the proposal.
The officer added: “However, to facilitate the development, two category ‘C’ (a cherry and apple tree) and one category ‘U’ (a butterfly bush) trees will be felled. It is considered that this is acceptable given these trees are lower quality and are set back from the site’s street frontage, which means their amenity value is limited. The submitted plans show a number of replacement trees to be planted and this will be secured by condition.”
In recommending the scheme is given the go-ahead, a report to the council planners stated that the proposed new dwellings were “a high quality design” that would have an acceptable impact on the St Mary’s Road, Lake Road and Woodside street scene whilst preserving the character and appearance of the Merton (Wimbledon Hill Road) Conservation Area.
“It is considered that the development would cause ‘less than substantial harm’ to the setting of the Grade II-listed Queen Alexandra’s Court, however, this would be outweighed by the public benefit of two new dwellings in a sustainable location….whilst also sustaining the work of SSAFA and the Royal Homes in Wimbledon,” the report concluded.
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