Locally Listed In Tooting: Our June Meeting

Poster For June 2019 meeting "Locally Listed In Tooting"
Poster For June 2019 THG Meeting

What are the buildings, objects, features that make Tooting important to you? What does being “locally listed” mean? What do you want to protect and improve in Tooting? Come to our June meeting and find out about local listing and Tooting History Group’s role in drawing it up.

The meeting is at our usual venue – The United Reformed Church in Rookstone Road – details here

Pioneering Tooting – The Totterdown Estate Walk: Wednesday 29th May 2019

Totterdown Estate Opening (Copyright London Metropolitan Archives)

Have you ever wondered where the first public housing in Tooting was built? Do you know why The Totterdown Estate has been designated a Conservation Area? As part of the Wandsworth Heritage Festival, Tooting History Group has organised a walk around the Totterdown Estate. The walk will be led by local historian and Tooting History Group member Janet Smith.


The building of the LCC’s first ‘village estate’ in the early years of the 20th century marked the start of a new era in social housing.
• Meet at Edward VII statue, Tooting Broadway tube station
• £5 for non-Tooting History Group members
• No booking required

Sir Harry Lauder Will Be Smiling!

Picture of Harry Lauder taken in 1909

Harry Lauder in 1909

We recently reported on a planning application at 46, Longley Road, Tooting for 5 terraced  houses, each of three storeys, to be built in the rear garden. This is the house with a blue plaque on the front celebrating the fact that Sir Harry Lauder lived here between 1903 and 1911.  THG lodged an objection, along with 30 other individuals. Wandsworth Council planners have now decided to refuse the application. The decision notice gives four reasons for the refusal. You can read our original report and objection here. You can see the planning application and decision notice here.

Harry Lauder’s House Threatened By Development

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.

Photo of House At 46 Longley Road with developers hoarding erected

Harry Lauder’s House 46 Longley Road With The Hoardings Up


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.

Yours sincerely,

Janet Smith

Chair, Tooting History Group


Lodge In Tooting Bec Road Still At Risk-Council Report

Wandsworth Councillors this week (14th November 2018) considered an updated list of historic buildings in the Borough designated as “at risk”. The list included The Lodge at 100, Tooting Bec Road. The designation is made by Historic England. The Lodge is also the subject currently of a planning application to which there have been 32 objections. You can find the full report here

Picture of the Lodge, 100 Tooting Bec Road taken by Libby Lawson

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


The Committee Report Appendix gives the following update on the lodge:

“(h) Lodge, 100 Tooting Bec Road, SW17 (Bedford): This building was added to the
Register in 2010 following the closure of the garden centre that occupied the site up
to then. Planning and listed building applications to use the building for retail (A1) use
and ancillary office, together with a separate new building for use as a café and
storage facilities for cars in conjunction with car sales were approved in September
2012. As insufficient action had been taken by the owner to safeguard the future of
the building officers obtained approval in 2015 for the service of a Repairs Notice on
all those with a legal interest in the property. Following the service of the Repairs
Notice in early 2015 the owner initially started to carry out works, then after a
cessation of works the Council obtained authority to commence Compulsory
Purchase Proceedings. Repair works recommenced in 2016. Listed building
applications were submitted in 2016 for works of alterations to windows and doors
and refurbishment. One application to replace windows was refused and was subject
of an Appeal, which was dismissed by the Inspector. The other application was
subject to an Appeal against the conditions. The condition relating to the retention
and restoration of the front door was upheld by the Inspector; the other two
conditions relating to the reinstatement of lath and plaster ceilings and the
requirement for a like-for-like match for a number of windows were removed from the
permission by the Inspector. Following the Appeal decisions the Council wrote to the
applicant on 11 July 2017 requesting a timetable for the carrying out of the
outstanding works set out in the letter be submitted within 10 days. The letter also
stated that should this not be received then the Council will reconsider the
expediency of compulsory acquisition. By November 2017 the owner had sufficiently
completed the outstanding works to repair the listed building though the building
remained unoccupied and with hoardings around the site. The owner was given time
to submit applications to deal with the proper treatment to the boundaries and to set
out their intentions with regard to the building. As the hoardings were still in place by
December 2017 authority to serve an Enforcement Notice (Paper 18-23) was
obtained in January 2018. The owner was required to remove the hoardings by 23
June 2018. The hoardings were removed on 22 June by the owner who then
proceeded to erect a timber fence with open wire and green netting fixed to this. This
work requires planning permission. Further unauthorised works to the listed building
have been carried out in the form of a UPVC window. The owner has recently
submitted planning and listed building consent applications to regularise the works
carried out including the replacement front door. Officers of the Council have spent
considerable amounts of time on this case because of the initial non-compliance with
enforcement action at each stage by the owner. A fresh application to include the
building in the list of Assets of Community Value has been received.”