Author: Julia Matcham
The Council has published the documents for redevelopment of the site called “HiQ Tyreservices” (76 – 80 Chatham Road SW11, off Northcote Road) involving demolition of existing commercial building and construction of 9 residential units, 4 with internal garages and three additional off street parking spaces and cycle parking and 1 retail unit (use class A1).
The loss of HiQ TYRESERVICES in Chatham Road will be another nail in the coffin of a coherent local community with local facilities.
This development is puny in comparison with the giant blocks we have been fighting against at Clapham Junction but still important. ‘HiQ Tyreservices’, is described by the applicants on the Council’s website as a ‘tyre warehouse’. In fact it is a large garage that does repairs and MOTs. It occupies a big ground area and it is not surprising that the owner of the site (the garage is leasehold) has put in a planning application for redeveloping the site, something the manager of the garage only found out about when he saw the yellow notice posted on the opposite lamppost !
I guess it is impossible to stop developers seeing every large space they set their sights on as a potential row of houses and a pot of gold, regardless of the usefulness of the business currently standing on it. It is money asking to be made. Buy the site, buy the lease. develop, sell … bank the money! Why don’t we all do it!
The loss of a garage will be a serious blow to many local residents as there are fewer and fewer such facilities in the area.
While it is impossible to stop such behaviour, the Council is in a position to make the incentive less remunerative than the developers would like. It could be that the sale of the garage lease to the site owner is not a done-deal and depends on how much money the developer stands to make IF given planning permission.
The application is for 9 residential units AND a shop. 5×3 bed plus 4×2 bed units.
The way the houses (units) are crammed in is a credit to the architect’s ingenuity.
The proposal seems to me, and I hope will seem so to the Council, a preposterous overdevelopment. The façade of Tyreservices is three houses wide, but the ground area at the back is big (absolutely ideal for a local garage!).
The planned units in a long row at the back seem to be based on the minimum legal requirement for the size of rooms, although the plans are not clear re- this. There are no gardens.
Hopefully the Council will reject this application.