One of the few houses in Tooting with a Blue Plaque is threatened by highly inappropriate development. The house at 46-48 Longley Road was home to Harry Lauder, the famous music-hall star between 1903 and 1911. The house includes an auditorium built at the rear for private performances. The only other house with a Blue Plaque in Tooting is Thomas Hardy’s residence on Trinity Road.
The application is for five three storey houses to be built in the rear garden. Tooting History Group has objected along with at least 20 other local residents. You can see the application and make objections here . The application is open for comments until 30th November 2018. Below is a photo after the developers hoardings went up recently, along with the THG objection.
PLANNING APPLICATION 2018/4762
I am writing on behalf of Tooting History Group to object to the above application to build a terrace of five 3-storey houses in the rear garden of 46-48 Longley Road, SW17 9LL.
No. 46 is the former home of the world-renowned musical hall singer and comedian, Sir Harry Lauder. A blue plaque on the building records that he lived there between 1903-11. At the back, adjoining the property, is an auditorium built for his private performances.
These premises, in their entirety, were nominated by THG for local listing in the most recent borough-wide review. The nomination was approved (though the Planning Portal has yet to be updated). Apart from its connection with Lauder, the property is a fine example of the architecture of this part of Tooting Graveney.
Indeed, No.46 is one of five locally listed residences on Longley Road; the Gospel Hall, at the other end, is also locally listed. We therfore do not agree that ‘no statutorily or locally listed buildings exist within the site for which this application is made or in its immediate vicinity.’
The Design and Access Statement states that ‘shallow front gardens and deep rear gardens are common features of almost all buildings along Longley Road’. Regrettably, many of the front gardens have been converted to hard-standing for cars. This makes it all the more important that the long rear gardens should be retained to provide much-needed open space for residents and a haven for wildlife – particularly in an area which is chronically short of green space.
Until recently, the gardens at No.46 were kept in good order with well-tended mature trees offering some seclusion and an agreeable outlook for neighbouring properties. Since the property changed hands, the garden and many of its features have been neglected.
The Design and Access Statement refers to ‘precedents for back-land developments in the area such as the houses at the rear gardens of Nos. 50 and 52 as well as the Marlborough House Lodge at No. 42’.
We acknowledge that there are detached developments In the rear gardens of Nos. 50 and 52 but these are small, single dwellings. Similarly, at No. 42, Marlborough House Lodge is a simple Victorian coach-house. These are in no way comparable to the proposed terrace of five 3-storey houses.
Our understanding is that Wandsworth Council has a borough-wide policy opposing garden development. We see no reason why an exception should be made for 46-48 Longley Road, Furthermore, should this application be approved, it will set a precedent for further garden development, not only in Longley Road but across the borough.
Chair, Tooting History Group