Monday, 1 July 2013

Victoria House to be Blown Up

We can finally start getting used to the idea that the blot on the North Cheam landscape will soon become a pile of unsightly rubble (almost as unsightly as the building itself) to become someone’s landfill (or perhaps burnt in a nearby incinerator) and the space shall then be filled with a shiny new, much nicer looking building (see above).

Out with the old
Stonegate Homes, the company which bought the site early last year, has since been putting together, consulting on and adjusting plans for the new development and submitted those plans to Sutton Council a few months ago.  Last Wednesday (26th June) Sutton Council’s Development Control Committee voted unanimously to allow the application and now all we have to wait for is the dynamite to be ordered and wired up to the plunger correctly.

The new art-deco inspired building, which will be nine storeys tall at its highest is a little smaller than the one planned a few months ago. It will contain five ground floor retail units, one of which is likely to remain the Ladbrokes betting shop and one which Cllr Eric Allen negotiated as a police office. There will also be 75 residential flats on the upper eight floors with underground residential parking.

Councillors dropped their insistence on over 25% being affordable homes and instead accepted a larger contribution from the developer towards upgrading local public amenities and services (known in the trade as Section 106 money) and just 7 affordable homes.  Councillor Kirsty Jerome expressed her frustration that there were not more affordable homes but accepted that it was not worth jeopardising the development for this goal.  Cllr Eric Allen pointed out that as it was expected that several flats would be purchased in order to rent out, that there would very likely be more affordable rental accommodation available in the development as a result.
View from Church Hill Rd: Where's the tower gone?

Steve Eldridge (from Steve's card shop), Chair of the North Cheam Traders’ Association told the blog that: “it is nice to see something done with the site, I’m glad that it is a more streamlined version of the building that was agreed on rather than the larger building first put forward.”

John Hall (from Hampton's shoes), the previous Chair who had strongly supported the new development told

Very a-peeling
the blog, “I would love to think that North Cheam will now grow. Anyone approaching the area will be impressed by a 21st century new Victoria House as opposed to the 11 year concrete rotting monstrosity that is there now. It’s good that seventy plus homes with underground parking will each be offering an income to the Council, plus business charges for the retail shops, and it’s all good for the local economy. Plus we will also be getting a new police office.”

It was noted however that on the plans submitted to the council, in the view from Church Hill Road, the tallest centre section seems to have disappeared into the clouds. Anyway, it’s still a vast improvement, especially now the ‘arty wallpaper’ has all started peeling off.

Update (1st August)

Having been given planning permission, and therefore now worth a great deal more, Victoria House is up for sale again:

14 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Sarah said...

Shame one of those units couldn't be used as the mosque they keep trying put through in Green Lane. Would have been a much better site for it

Stewart Consv Mackay said...

I know my colleagues on the Nonsuch Conservative team , Cllr Eric Allen and Alan Plant as have campaigned for many years regarding the Victoria House site. A real good news story for everyone of North Cheam and surrounds!

Guest said...

Presumably you were assuming either the residents of the new 75 flats won't have cars or won't challenge mosque visitors hijacking the residents' parking facilities?

michael said...

Do the plans provide at least one parking space for each dwelling? If
only one I expect this will be massively under provision to requirement.
Almost all dwellings designed for multiple tenants need two parking spaces
these days. What about parking width and headroom clearance? Will we be seeing a number of large work vans that cannot get into the car park conveniently
parked along the nearest residential road to the new development both
during and more importantly after the build! This of course is presuming that the
tenants will be of the (hopefully) 'modern working class' demographic.

A good example of what I mean here can be observed at the end of Colborne
Way where a block of flats with about 12 dwellings was recently built on a single property plot and now the end of the road is crammed with at least 4 or 5 large vans, a truck and cars where the provision overspill narrows the highway and is somewhat dangerous to residents trying to turn in and out of the road and causing further delays along the busy main road ...and this is just a 12 dwelling development! Extrapolate this to 70 dwellings and we can expect to see at least 30+ more vans and cars parked in the immediate surrounding roads.

The local roads near to the parade are already over whelmed with over spill cars
from visitors to Goals as well as the parade. The car park provided at
the Goals development was massively under estimated and there is a lack
of parking along the parade for convenient passing trade (possibly in
part why the parade trade has dwindled in recent years to a point of low

Is further short term parking also provided for visitors to these new shops (how much)? Should we assume customers will just park in residential back streets until residents complain to the point that permits will need to be introduced causing further inconvenience to locals as is being suggested for the roads off the Worcester Park High street?

I hope that you, Stewart Consv Mackay with your seemingly delighted comment and your, quote: "colleagues on the Nonsuch Conservative team , Cllr Eric Allen and Alan Plant ...[who] have campaigned for many years regarding the Victoria House site." have taken these issues into account and satisfactorily addressed them. With the amount of time you claim that you have spent on this development it should all be just perfect but I am doubtful. If you are not prepared to state your reputation that all these issues have been addressed satisfactorily then your comment would be seen just as another party political bandwagon attempt. The answer will be seen in time.

Stewart Consv Mackay said...


From memory I think it is 62 car parking spaces 70 odd spaces for cycles (you couldn't make it up, could you) Sutton is a Lib Dem Council. Our Job in opposition is to hold the Liberal majority to account. This issue has been brought up. I understand and agree with your comment one hundred percent. My family make up is a two car family, I drive to and from work everyday, my partner works shifts so this along with children and the obligatory school runs means we find a second car is essential. Expecting people to drop a car and take up public transport is not feasible either. Maybe if this had been a Conservative council things may have been different. However, the building has been a eyesore for years and was becoming a health and safety issue with kids breaking in. It was in need of redevelopment and the Conservatives have campaigned long and hard to get the council to recognise that. We have new commercial premises, a Police office and 75 homes. 21 of these are affordable homes. This number could have been higher but any more and developers would have pulled out. I believe, all things considered, that this is overall a good deal for the area.

Paul said...

I'm intrigued to know what will happen to the 68 unaffordable homes...

Jane said...

Very clever of the developers to have underground parking. This will make good use of the old civil defence bunker which I understand still exists underneath the building.

Quagmire said...

68 possible Buy to Let ...... Housing Benefit subsidies.

God help the UK said...

was waiting for someone to bring up the mosque issue!!! lol shame they didnt buy the plot and make it a massive islamic centre! and please dont say there is a massive mosque in Morden as its not accepted by many proper muslims

God Help the UK said...

Lib Dem, labour, UKIP it doesnt really matter what party runs the country not one of them have a clue how the hard up people live a day. like that knob in the gov who was asked to spend a week on £90 cant remember his name, he refused to do it, even after 100K people wanted it

Godhelpsthosewhohelpthemselves said...

Really?... tell us more

Outer London Refund said...

Yep, rather ironic isn't it? During the Cold War, we used to try and hide the fact that there was a bunker under the ground at North Cheam.
And now, courtesy of the Outer London "waste money any and every way" Fund, large sums of money have been thrown at making the whole of North Cheam look like a Cold War bunker!
And judging by the way the drab military grey colour started falling off the building immediately, after repeated attempts, I'd say 'thrown' is probably the right word.

Click Here said...


Stonegate Homes, the company which bought the site early last year, has
since been putting together, consulting on and adjusting plans for the new development and submitted those plans to Sutton Council a few months ago.

Click Here

Jacob Wella said...

I think its a shame there are people in charge of design decisions who have no background knowledge of design, for example planners, who uphold planning legisaltion, and developers, who view the world in pound signs. The Victoria House is a fine example of Brutalist Architecture and should have remained as such. Re-fitting the exisitng structure would have been more conservative, cheaper, easier and can result in great outcomes, see a stirling nominated brutalist refit - - you might learn to appreciate what is right on your doorstep.

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