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ePetition details

Prevent taller buildings being constructed next to the Colliers Wood Tower

We the undersigned petition the council to Reinstate the maximum building height restriction for Site CW2 in the Colliers Wood Local Plan, which was removed after the Stage 2 Consultation.

Britannia Point, the Colliers Wood Tower, is the tallest building in the borough, and dwarfs everything in the vicinity – its next tallest neighbour is 35% shorter and some 500m away. It was a 1960s planning aberration at 17 storeys, and for its refurbishment in 2016, Criterion Capital was given permission to square it off around the plant room on the roof, making its full cross-section two storeys higher.

Now, Criterion wants to build two new towers next to it, one of which would be 30% taller still, at 26 storeys. This will cause the already wide area overlooked and suffering from its shadow, including Singlegate Primary School and Wandle Park, to increase and intensify.

The groundwork for this proposal was a January 2019 letter, written by surveyors Savills on behalf of Criterion, responding to the Stage 2 Consultation on the Local Plan. Amongst other things, it specifically requests that the words “Britannia Point should remain the pinnacle building in the centre in terms of height” be removed. No objective justification is given for this; merely that the restriction limits options for development. The letter contains a wide range of nebulous quotes, many of which could be interpreted as discouraging even taller buildings, and a very optimistic prediction of Crossrail 2 having a station at Tooting Broadway; this now seems extremely unlikely, as is it being operational before well into the 2030s, if ever.

Nevertheless, the lobbying was successful because the latest draft of the Plan indeed no longer recommends that nothing higher than Britannia Point be built, but instead states that the site “could include taller buildings”.

Given the already domineering and incongruous presence of Britannia Point in a low-rise suburb, it is unfair to expect thousands of residents of Colliers Wood to suffer further erosion of their amenity by the construction of a building almost a third higher. We do not want a mini Manhattan.

This is the letter in question:

https://www.merton.gov.uk/assets/Documents/Criterion%20Capital%20Local%20Plan%202018%20stg2%20response.pdf

This ePetition runs from 30/11/2020 to 25/01/2021.

406 people have signed this ePetition.