New lease of life for historic Tooting building will provide jobs, homes and shops for local people
Published: Wednesday 27th June 18
One of Tooting’s most prominent and historic landmark buildings has been preserved for future generations and will play a key role in the regeneration of the town centre after redevelopment plans were approved last night (Tuesday).
Councillors on the planning committee approved plans to bring the currently vacant RACS building back into use, providing new shops, restaurants and a 96 bedroom hotel. The development will also provide 41 residential units including affordable homes for local people on lower incomes.
As well as delivering new homes and jobs for local community and providing a boost to the Tooting economy the developers will be required to pay a £1m levy which will be used to fund local neighbourhood improvements in this part of the borough.
The planning permission, which was approved with cross party support, means that the historic and attractive façade facing Tooting High Street must be preserved. The RACS building was originally constructed in the 1920s as a three storey department store.
The planning application was delayed for some time because the owner was required to go to court to evict some occupants who did not have the owner’s consent to occupy that space and nor did they have planning permission to operate their business there.
Planning chairman Cllr Will Sweet said: “The redevelopment of this key town centre site is very welcome indeed. It will bring a vacant high street building back into use and provide jobs and homes for local people, including those on lower incomes.
“The provision of a town centre hotel will also have a beneficial knock on effect for other businesses in the area, while the developer will also be required to pay one million pounds towards neighbourhood infrastructure improvements in this part of Tooting and other good local causes.
“And I’m delighted that the decision we reached last night has ensured the protection and retention of the building’s attractive and historic façade that is such a prominent Tooting landmark.”
The site includes the various buildings and structures that stand between 180 and 214 Tooting High Street. It includes almost the entire high street frontage between Hebdon Road and Hereward Road.
As well as shops, businesses and homes the developers will also provide 124 bicycle parking spaces, including 39 for non-residents, plus 29 publicly available car parking spaces for shoppers and other visitors to the high street.