Love Wimbledon’s formal response to Crossrail 2 consultation is shared below:
7th January 2016
Dear Crossrail 2
Love Wimbledon is the Business Improvement District for the town centre and we represent 430 businesses and over 15,000 employees and growing. With over 60% of Merton’s employment in Wimbledon Town Centre, it is a crucial commercial and economic centre not only for the borough but for the wider area.
Love Wimbledon BID support Crossrail 2 coming to Wimbledon but it must not be delivered at the expense of the economic wellbeing of the town. Wimbledon already has excellent transport links which provide the means of us attracting skilled employees from much of London. There is pent up demand for commercial space in Wimbledon with many existing businesses looking to expand and many others outside the area currently looking at locating here if a suitable site becomes available.
If residential growth is achieved in London, urban town centres will have an important role in providing the employment, opportunities and things to do including shopping and going out that reflects a growing city.
Wimbledon town centre must retain its vibrancy and congenial environment, and stay well and truly open and accessible during construction. Disruption must be minimised so that it continues to be a place of choice to own or run a business and it continues to remain an attractive option for employees, residents and visitors.
Please consider the following in your proposal for Wimbledon Town Centre:
Revisit Tunnelling Proposals
Currently there is only one option proposed. At the next consultation we would request the inclusion of an alternative tunnelling option to be included for non-stopping Waterloo fast trains below Wimbledon station.
In the planning process
- Clear communication and detailed consultation with all businesses and stakeholders of the town
- An understanding that Wimbledon is a busy and functioning town centre which is clearly reflected within the proposals
- Awareness of the potential for blight caused by uncertainty of plans
- Early resolution of the current overcrowding issues at Wimbledon Station
- Provide detailed phasing plans of all work allowing for relocation of businesses within the town
- Full impact assessments undertaken and shared (including economic, transport and environmental)
- Minimise the impact of the construction on Wimbledon shops, businesses and cultural spots so Wimbledon remains working and is well and truly open for business
- Be sensitive to the town centre’s functionality when planning for various stages of construction
- Provide minimal disruption to our current transport services taking into account the impact of road, pedestrian and cycle provision as well as public transport
- Work closely with Love Wimbledon and Wimbledon businesses to listen and respond to the business’ voice, recognising Wimbledon town centre as an invaluable Central Business Zone
Vision for the future
- Focus on commercial space redevelopment – not housing
- Make plans for an enhanced food / retail offer and high quality office space
- Require all construction materials and finishes are of the highest quality and design both for public realm and new buildings
- Make over station and line development part of your plans
- Give our town centre a public square and improved urban spaces with strong ‘green’ features
- Protect listed buildings and buildings of architectural significance / heritage
- Provide sympathetic and sustainable designs with a maximum build height
Wimbledon Town Centre is the heart of SW19 with an internationally recognised name and postcode. We would urge you to ensure we retain this before and during construction and in 2030 have an internationally recognised town centre with an experience to match.
We look forward to working with you in developing the best proposals for Wimbledon.
Helen Clark Bell