Opponents say controversial scheme could threaten popular businesses
Velosport on Upper Richmond Road.. Picture: Google Streetview
June 16, 2023
A popular cycle shop in Putney is among the local businesses threatened by plans to convert its premises into a two-bedroom flat, according to a number of objections to the controversial scheme.
Plans have been submitted to Wandsworth Council to convert a ground floor retail shop and basement in Upper Richmond Road into a two-bedroom flat with terrace and external steps.
But Velosport has been based in the existing retail premises for more than a decade and have objected to the scheme, pointing out to the council that they have a lease with dating until April 2029.
Peckham-based Crawford Architects, acting as agents for applicant R Sidhu have detailed to Wandsworth Council how they will create the flat at the bottom of the four-story mid-terrace property, which sits in between a dental practice and a physiotheraphy/pilates clinic.
They state in their application: “The proposal is to reduce the size of the commercial unit and create a two bedroom residential unit occupying the rear of the ground and basement levels.
“The garden is north facing and as such large glazed doors and windows are proposed to bring as much natural daylight into the property as possible whilst avoiding any overlooking. The kitchen and living areas will be at ground floor level to benefit from the most natural light and, by means of a small balcony and stair to the rear, shall enjoy direct access to the garden.”
But included in the nine initial objections to the scheme are representatives from Velosport, next door ‘Bodies Under Construction’ and ‘Ethicare Dental’, as well as owners of residential flats above the premises.
Steve James from Velosport, which claims on its website to serve thousands of cyclists, told the council: “We are the current tenants of the ground floor and basement of the above address. We have a lease until April 2029. We have received no contact to the effect from our landlord and are not looking to move to other premises.”
From Bodies Under Construction, which provides physio, pilates and wellness clinics, Leslie Abrahams stated: “We share a basement wall as well as back yard with 252. We are situated in a lovely block of commercial premises on the ground floors of these buildings focussed on health and wellness. The disruption and noise that this development will cause will be detrimental to all.”
Dr. Glafcos Tombolis from Ethicare Dental was also concerned about potential noise issues. “I am very concerned that any proposed works will detriment my ability to provide services in those rooms because of any noise and disruption. I certainly share the concerns that others have made regarding drainage and waste collection,” he said.
Flat owner and resident Thomas Hall expressed concerns that it could also affect the nearby Artisan Coffee and Putney Bakehouse business. He added: “The building noise and resulting residential noise caused by the new dwelling would severely impact both Velosport and Bodies Under Construction.
“Neither commercial tenant would be able to run a business should the building work go ahead. This would result in further vacant commercial units around Upper Richmond Road and Putney High Street.
“The proposed dwelling wants to convert the outside space at the back of the property into a garden, this would be a change of use and cause the bedrooms of four out of the five current flats at 252 to be observed. This will also impact neighbouring properties.”
Fellow flat owner Charlotte Grobien was another objector to the scheme, which she said “will impact negatively on both Velosport and Bodies under Construction on the ground floor and could cause closure of these businesses. This latter business offers remedial physio management to its clients therefore requiring a quiet atmosphere.”
Wandsworth council is inviting more comments on the scheme, which you can find by searching on its Planning Explorer for application 2022/5241.
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