In a trend that is likely to continue, these two adjoining DIY stores by Wandsworth Town train station are set to close in order to become housing schemes. It’s no surprise with housing costs, especially in inner London so extortionate, the majority now rent their homes. With many private landlords weary of tenants even putting pictures up as it’ll mark the walls, any kind of DIY is completely out of the question. The fact more people now rent than own in London is surely a contributing factor to the recent fall in profit by DIY chain, B&Q. Parent company Kingfisher acted swiftly have since and very recently closed 15% of stores, a total of 60 across the country.
As the below shows though, these stores have big footprints and are in good locations so provide excellent opportunities for redevelopment.
The site in yellow was home to Homebase, with plans for 324 homes up to 17 storeys submitted late last year. The plans were knocked back however, with planners not happy about the taller element close to the station (see below).
You would think if the developer can overcome this hurdle and re-submit plans, this scheme will in time go ahead.
And just last week, the B&Q store (marked in red) also came forward with development plans. Not deterred by the refusal over the road, the EIA application proposes buildings up to 18 storeys, even though the adjoining site was knocked back at 17 storeys. 483 homes are planned in total from London Square.
Going back to the refusal, Wandsworth stated “the proposal, by reason of the height, scale and massing of the Station Building, would result in an inappropriate form of development for the site which would fail to respond to or integrate with the surrounding townscape. However, what if that surrounding townscape was generally taller?
This is the 17 storey element next to the railway station (16 minutes to Waterloo). Is it really that offensive? I’d suggest it’s exactly the type of place we should be building tall.