The following update on the redevelopment of Victoria House at North Cheam has kindly been provided by Councillor Richard Broadbent (Lib Dem, Nonsuch ward, London Borough of Sutton):
There was a presentation by Home Group, the owners of Victoria House, to the Cheam North & Worcester Park Local Committee recently to update local residents on the latest with their proposals for redevelopment of the site and removal of the long-standing eyesore. Their architects presented the latest design, together with a lot of background. They felt this was better than the previous design given planning permission previously.
Home Group said they had enhanced security following incursions to the site including by travellers (and requests by Cllr Richard Broadbent on behalf of local residents). They are reviewing security to improve it further.
They apologised for missing targets from the last presentation in October. They are working to get a viable scheme, noting that construction costs have risen in recent months.
The architects explained the thinking behind their design, including that it was intended to increase sunlight at the back by having a gap in the middle. The new building would be mainly residential, along with mostly commercial on the ground floor. There would be a mixture of rental and for sale, including social and affordable housing.
They are discussing with council planning officers issues including the height/massing and transport/parking plus the environment in the area at the front, in order to come up with a good scheme to improve the area.
The hoped-for timescale set out at the meeting was as follows:
- Design development – up to June
- Public consultation – early May
- Planning application – late June (decision end Sept)
- Demolition Oct-Dec
- Rebuild Jan-Mar
There is an ongoing problem with Ladbrokes, the only retail leaseholder left in Victoria House. They have refused to move out to allow complete demolition and rebuild, so alternative plans have been prepared to work round them if necessary. Negotiations are continuing.
Local ward councillors Richard Broadbent and Samantha Bourne have been keeping closely involved with Home Group (including raising concerns of residents about security etc) since May last year, when Home Group bought the site. Public consultation is planned next month including an exhibition nearby.
We look forward to the scheme progressing so that residents will no longer have to put up with this eyesore at the centre of North Cheam.