Planning Application at The Lodge, 98-100 Tooting Bec Road; THG response

The Lodge, Tooting Bec Road, 2018 (Photo:Libby Lawson)

Tooting History group has commented on the recent planning application at The Lodge 98-100 Tooting Bec Road.  The applications are for a replacement front door and installation of CCTV. Responses to the Council consultation closed on 10th October. 32 objections have been submitted by local residents. You can see them on the Council’s website here.

Tooting History Group comments are as follows:

I write on behalf of Tooting History Group to express our concern and interest in the Lodge and object to aspects of the planning applications listed below;

2018/4521 and Listed Building Consent 2018/4179 for installation of replacement windows to front, rear and side elevations and replacement of front door to timber panel door.

2018/4178 and Listed Building Consent 2018/4523 for erection of temporary weld mesh fence and installation of 4 temporary CCTV cameras.

These proposals were submitted following a short lived ‘reveal’ of the Lodge when wooden hoardings, erected some five years ago were recently removed from around the site. This was met with much local relief and celebration.  Unfortunately a mesh fence was then swiftly erected and it subsequently covered with a green netting obscuring views of the Lodge.

The application to erect a wire mesh fence is retrospective – the fence is installed now and in such a way as to divide the Lodge itself from it’s surrounding curtilage.

The Lodge contributes significantly to the public realm and any temporary fencing must ensure that full views of the Lodge are possible.  We find the current wire mesh fencing, with green netting removed, acceptable as a temporary solution while works continue.                                                                                                                     

It is important that all attempts to introduce any indication of subdivision of the site be resisted; the wire mesh fence within the grounds must be removed forthwith.

We were disappointed to note the plastic pipes and hopper on the Romberg Rd elevation, the quality of the approved render and paintwork and the inconsistent detail in replaced fenestration – some windows have horns, others do not.  We concede however that, no matter our frustrations and perhaps those of others in whose hands the Lodge might receive a more scholarly repair, the nature of repairs carried out by the current owner have largely met the requirements of Wandsworth Council’s Conservation and Design team.

We are disappointed that Wandsworth Council is reconciled with a replacement front door too and we therefore conclude that no further alteration should be tolerated.  Already installed are two PVC windows to the extension which are wholly inappropriate and harm the overall appearance of the Lodge.  Retrospective applications for these ‘temporary’ windows should be refused and replaced with timber framed windows.

We appreciate the importance of safeguarding the Lodge and suggest this is best achieved when the building serves a viable use requiring the completion of works. We object the installation of cameras on the Lodge which are an unnecessary visual blight on the otherwise repaired façades.  An alternative solution could be sought in the employment of guardians to reside at the Lodge – this would encourage the completion of work.

The proposals mention that aspects of these applications are temporary while plans are finalised to be shared in the near future.  Given the frustrating delays in the repair of the Lodge thus far it can be presumed that the temporary nature of these works may be far from what might usually be assumed.  We look forward to a time when we consider plans that would allow the reoccupation of the building and grounds and feel the extent of our objections regarding these current plans should not delay the current owner from focusing to that end.

Tooting History Group seeks to cherish that which remains and ensure that the built past has an appropriate and deserved future for all Tooting and Wandsworth to enjoy.


Libby Lawson

Conservation Officer,                                                                                                                            Tooting History Group

A little history of 185 Mitcham Road, St. Boniface presbytery.

Tooting History Group has been contacted by the architect involved with the planning application for the St. Boniface social hall scheme who requested more information on the presbytery building at 185 Mitcham Road.  We had commented on the proposed development;
‘This major scheme includes the relocation of the presbytery from 185 Mitcham Road a ‘survivor’ (considerably older than noted in the heritage report) that THG has nominated for local listing. Given the everlasting impact of works to a large section of Mitcham Road it would be good for some care and attention to be afforded to this building.’
We shared the following notes with him;
The presbytery at 185 Mitcham Road is currently under consideration for local listing as part of the ongoing borough wide review.  It was nominated by members of Tooting History Group and met Wandsworth Council’s agreed criteria for local listing. Members of Streatham and Clapham Societies supported our application with map evidence, historic building analysis and photographic research.
We understand that 185 Mitcham Road, now known as St Boniface presbytery, predates all other development from Rectory Lane to Tooting Broadway.  It is of a similar age to Field House (part of what became Tooting Constitutional Club buildings, now set for demolition) and it’s neighbouring listed buildings at 91-101 Tooting High Street.
Map extracts in the heritage report accompanying application 2017/6478 show St. Boniface Church built within what was boundary of the garden of no.185 Mitcham Road (previously Church Street) This was then Hereford Lodge and it adjoined York House (187 Mitcham Road where a garage was established in the grounds early in the twentieth century later to be demolished becoming a petrol station and, more recently, to residential use; the White House).
The presbytery is an early 18th century house with exposed sash windows and their arrangement -smaller at attic level, dating it to c1740.  The shorter part of the building has been heavily altered; bow bays have been added in the Regency period at front and rear, c.1920 the gable, oriel window and possibly then the balcony too, sash windows are also later additions; Victorian or Edwardian.
An oriel window at the side photographed in 1970s has since been removed.
Though rather interfered with externally and obscured by unsympathetic (removable) render, this heritage building, built at a time when Tooting was a Surrey village has outlived all subsequent residential development that flourished on Mitcham Road in the early 19th century.
Some 6 on 6 sashes remain to rear elevations and possibly some of this joinery is original. A back extension has been added in the 20th century.
We know that Charles Edward Stowell is listed as resident at 185 from mid-1870s to early 1900s at least but more research is required on this.
(Thanks to Dave Webber for the black and white image.)