YMCA Redevelopment Wins Planning Application

CGI view of planned development, looking towards west of The Broadway


The YMCA on Wimbledon Broadway has received planning consent for redevelopment. YMCA St Paul’s Group alongside development partners Thornsett, architects DLA Architects and Newington Communications, are delighted to have received a resolution to grant permission from Merton Council to deliver a brand-new YMCA hostel in Wimbledon, alongside an adjoining development of 135 new homes.

In summary the final proposals will deliver:

  • A new YMCA hostel comprising 121 en-suite rooms with shared kitchens on every corridor. These new facilities are designed to promote independent living, to ensure residents feel safe and secure, and to provide a significantly higher quality of accommodation;
  • An improved YMCA café, gym and fitness studios for wider community use;
  • 135 new homes (1 x studio, 108 x 1-beds, 25 2-beds and 1 x 3-bed), which will ultimately finance the re-development of the YMCA and support its survival in Wimbledon;
  • Two flexible commercial units at ground floor, alongside the provision of public open space, which will serve to activate the street frontage along The Broadway;
  • A sustainably designed building, which aims to achieve a 100% carbon reduction, through the delivery of a fabric first approach, a heat pump solution in both elements of the development, and a range of other sustainability measures.
  • In order to encourage sustainable travel, residents of the development will be unable to apply for on-street parking permits. YMCA Wimbledon will also include environmentally friendly transport initiatives such as a free subscription to a car hire scheme for residential tenants, electric charging points for the four disabled car parking spaces, and plenty of on site, secure cycle parking.

The architects and the YMCA worked closely with local residents and businesses to enable a well designed building using high quality materials, and a local artist has also been commissioned to create tactile facades on the front of the building on brick work and screening.

Work is expected to start on site in 2021.

Richard James, CEO of YMCA St Paul’s Group said:

We are thrilled to have received this positive endorsement from Merton Council to redevelop YMCA Wimbledon and deliver a brand-new centre that we and our residents can be proud of. Our proposals will provide much-improved accommodation for young and vulnerable people in Wimbledon, helping them back into independent living and to lead more fulfilling lives, whilst also offering improved services and new, modern facilities for the wider community. YMCA has had a presence in Wimbledon for 150 years – about as long as the All England Club! – and planning permission for this fantastic new building will help us to continue to carry out our work here for many more years to come.

Gerard Cunningham, Executive Chairman of Thornsett, added:

Thornsett has been working closely with YMCA St Paul’s Group for the past two years to design a scheme of exemplary quality, which meets residents’ needs. We are delighted that Merton Council has given us the green light to deliver our plans, which will offer 135 high-quality homes for the borough, alongside the brand-new YMCA centre. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the YMCA, the Council and local residents to deliver the scheme and the many benefits it will offer.

For more information click here.

Business Evictions Ban Extended


The government has announced that business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021.

The majority of commercial landlords have shown flexibility, understanding and commitment to protect businesses during an exceptionally challenging time.

This final extension to protections from the threat of eviction, will give landlords and tenants three months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent. The government is clear that where businesses can pay any or all of their rent, they should do so.

The move will also support businesses worst affected by the pandemic, such as bars and restaurants, helping them to rebuild over the winter period.

A review of the outdated commercial landlord and tenant legislation, has also been announced, to address concerns that the current framework does not reflect the current economic conditions. This review will consider how to enable better collaboration between commercial landlords and tenants, and also how to improve the leasing process to ensure our high streets and town centres thrive as we recover from the pandemic and beyond.

Secretary of State for Housing Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

I am extending protections from the threat of eviction for businesses unable to pay their rent until March 2021, taking the length of these measures to one year. This will help them recover from the impact of the pandemic and plan for the future.

This support is for the businesses struggling the most during the pandemic, such as those in hospitality – however, those that are able to pay their rent should do so.

We are witnessing a profound adjustment in commercial property. It is critical that landlords and tenants across the country use the coming months to reach agreements on rent wherever possible and enable viable businesses to continue to operate.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:

We have stood by businesses across the country throughout this pandemic, and as we head into the New Year we will make sure they continue to have the support they need to keep their finances stable, protect jobs and build back better.

There is still some uncertainty ahead, but knowing that they won’t be evicted by their landlord will give thousands of business owners some breathing space and the additional confidence they need to plan for their futures.

Further guidance to support tenants and landlords to continue to work together 54to agree rent payment options, where businesses are struggling, will be published shortly.

The government will also extend insolvency measures on restricting statutory demands and winding up petitions until the end of March.

The restriction on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to recover unpaid rent will also automatically extend to the end of March, in line with the moratorium’s expiry date. This allows businesses sufficient breathing space to pay rent owed.

For more details visit the government webpage here.

The London Business Hub is offering a Property Advice Service and Masterclasses to help businesses understand and navigate rent negotiations. Click here for more information.

Local Plan Consultation Launches

Merton Council have launched the FINAL consultation for their Local Plan. This plan:

  • Is a development plan and is part of the governments planning system
  • Sets out the strategic planning framework for 15 years in Merton
  • Covers subjects such as healthy streets, transport, air quality, climate change, retail, office, new homes, and industrial development

Once adopted it supersedes all planning documents.

It is a very important document that can help shape a better Wimbledon Town Centre.

Love Wimbledon will:

  • Provide links to the document which affects Wimbledon
  • Hold a Zoom forum on 20th January at 4pm for businesses, landlords, developers, agents and other key stakeholders
  • Gather feedback from BID businesses to inform a response

*This plan is very important as the outputs from the document will be in place for 15 years.

Deadline is 1st February. 


Cross Rail 2 Response Received

Love Wimbledon has received a statement from Crossrail2 in response to our questioning about the future development of CR2.

The full statement is below, stating that all consultancy work has now ceased and indicating that CR2 will not be progressing any development plans for the foreseeable future. However the safeguarding proposals need to be updated as they and as such we are pressurising the CR2 team to refresh these plans.

In his letter of 31 October on TfL’s emergency funding settlement, Secretary of State Grant Shapps set out that one condition of the package was that in relation to Crossrail 2, TfL “prioritises safeguarding activity and brings an orderly end to consultancy work as soon as possible. DfT will support such safeguarding activity for this project as required.”

As such, work on progressing Crossrail 2 towards a Hybrid Bill is being paused. The project team have already spent several months ‘making good’ the scheme (finishing key pieces of work and digitising all records) ahead of it being paused, and this work is now almost complete. We will work to help the SoS refresh the safeguarding directions in order to safeguard the scheme’s route from future developments. We await DfT clarification on the timetable for this work. We will also continue to work with stakeholders with developments affected by our safeguarding so that we can protect the route until such time as we can gain powers and start construction.

 Given TfL’s current finances and the requirement for us to pay for half of the scheme, we are not in a position to confirm when our Hybrid Bill work can restart.  The Mayor has confirmed that Crossrail 2 will still be needed to support London’s growth. We have clearly demonstrated the case for the scheme but need to be in a position to afford to help pay for it.

For more information click here.