New proposals see residential tower block proposal reduced in height
After more than 10 years in the pipeline, the latest plans for the deteriorating YMCA building in Wimbledon have been revealed.
In July, proposals for a 15-storey block of flats alongside a brand new YMCA were shown to the public.
But many residents thought this was too tall for the town centre. Now the YMCA has presented plans to demolish the existing hostel and replace it with a new eight-storey building, alongside a nine-storey block of flats.
The plans have been developed by Thornsett, which builds ‘residential-led enabling developments’. The proposed YMCA building and residential block alongside are pictured above
The proposals would see the YMCA – which provides short-term supported housing for over 16s – go from 111 to 120 rooms, including en-suites. Currently men and women have to share run-down washing facilities.
And in the nine-storey block there would be 136 one and two-bedroom flats.
Mitchell Brand, head of business at Thornsett, said: “The building is in dire need of redevelopment.
“It is not ideal for men and women to be sharing washing facilities. It needs a face-lift.
“The YMCA have been trying to get something developed here for the past 10 years, Thornsett got involved a short while ago.
“It is a real eyesore and it sort of brings down the buildings around it. This will enliven this part of The Broadway, so everyone benefits.”
Mr Brand said nearly 300 people turned up at July’s consultation, and many had concerns about the height of the residential block (see picture below) – prompting Thornsett to reduce the height by six storeys.
He said: “It has been a complete sea-change, people have been appreciative that we have listened. This isn’t a minor tweak, we’ve gone back to the drawing board.”
Kate Hoole, who lives around the corner in Trinity Road, said she was pleased to see the updated plans are not as tall.
She said: “I am much happier with it, this height and the use of materials is so much more in keeping with other buildings and flats on the street.”
Kate said she’d also like to see more ‘greening’ of the site and as many eco-friendly touches as possible. The tallest part of the current 1970s building is nine storeys.
With the flats there would be just four disabled parking places provided and an agreement that no owners of the homes would be eligible for an on-street parking permit.
The development would also include two shop spaces on the ground floor, a central courtyard for residents and a small public space at the front.
Above: The current YMCA building
By Tara O'Connor, Local Democracy Reporter
January 17, 2020