Student Village Plans For Historic Wimbledon Pub Site

Five-storey hall of residence scheme for landmark spot

The closed White Hart pub
The closed White Hart pub

December 4, 2022

A student village could be created in a five-storey development being proposed for the site of the White Hart pub in Kingston Road.

The scheme to create a hall of residence, a performing arts studio and a cafe or shop on the site is the latest in a string of plans put forward for the landmark site, following the pub closure around eight years ago.

The development would provide a hall of residence for Wimbledon College of Arts in nearby Merton Hall Road. Its students currently travel 45 minutes from Streatham.

The site, which also covers Rutlish Auto Care Centre and Waterfall Garage Services, was earmarked for a development of 56 flats earlier this year. That scheme was being put forward by Hibernian Development Wimbledon Ltd.

The latest scheme also rises to five storeys, but the website promoting the plans doesn't state how many students would be housed in the development nor any details about the developer.

New plans for White Hart pub site

How the new scheme could look from the corner of Kingston and Rutlish Roads

The developers are holding two public consultation events to discuss the scheme at Wimbledon College of Arts on Tuesday (December 6) from 3pm-7pm and Wednesday (December 7) from 5pm-8pm.

Feedback can also be given via email until December 16, by contacting

In a flyer sent to local homes they state: "We want to bring life and activity to this under utilised site and have been working with the council and the local community to understand what our development should include.

"A £12m refurbishment programme has transformed Wimbledon College of Arts into a state-of-the-art performance college that trains students to become innovative performers and experimental designers.

"The proposed plans for 144 Kingston Road will provide high quality student accommodation ensuring the college continues to attract aspiring performers from across the world to live and study in Wimbledon.

"Our proposals will uplift the current, dilapidated site and improve the pavement surrounding the site. The current site as it stands provides no benefit to the local community and contains poor public realm."

They state that the development would widen the footpath on Kingston Road, with the student entrance being on the main road. There would also be tree-planting on Kingston Road and a widened access to the neighbouring Merton Park tram stop.

The scheme will be car free and with air source heat pumps, solar panels and "green roofs". The developers also state the performing arts studio will be available for community use.

The Wimbledon Society's objections to earlier proposals included the height of the proposed buildings. The available plans for the latest scheme show that it rises up to five storeys on the Kingston Road and Rutlish Road. It would drop to three storeys further along Rutlish Road.


Plans for the White Hart pub site

Previous plans for five storeys

White Hart history factfile:

  • A pub has understood to have been on the site since at least 1700 and possibly even the 17th century.
  • The pub gave its name to the Hart Field the other side of Kingston Road.
  • In the 1820s it was the venue for the sale of the nearby Lord Nelson's estate in various lots took place.
  • The current building dates back to 1958 after the original was bombed during World War II.

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