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.

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Recent comments

I think has had various incarnations, , including Sakonis, and the wedding hall on the first floor. Glad it is not being pulled down to make another faceless Premier Inn, but what a shame to have evicted the wonderful Muttthumari Amman Hindu Temple, which brought a lot of colour (and spirituality) to the area.
Carol Tibbs

29 June 2018

This is great news as this is a historic building and a treasure of Tooting high street. It would have been such a shame if it was knocked down. I hope the council will keep an eye on what the units will be used for the owner will try and ensure the vibrant nature of the businesses like Sounds Lounge can come back to use this space in a proper way. Tooting needs good shops and music venues - rather than more of the same...and no more chicken shops please!

28 June 2018