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

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.

Yours sincerely,

Janet Smith

Chair, Tooting History Group

 

Local List Agreed By Wandsworth

What have Harringtons Pie and Mash shop in Selkirk Road, Furzedown Recreation Ground, the Victorian Post Box in Church Lane at the entrance to Hawthorn Crescent and Fircroft School got in common?

They have all been approved for addition to the local list of historic buildings and items drawn up by Wandsworth Council and approved at Committee this week. Tooting History Group Committee members spent many hours surveying, compiling and submitting buildings and other historic items of interest for consideration by Wandsworth. Although local listing doesn’t have the same statutory force as listing by Historic England, it will have to be taken into account when planning applications are considered.

You can view the full local list for the whole borough here.

You can view the full Council Committee report here.

Defoe Chapel, 19,Tooting High Street

The Gables, 107-109, Longley Road, Tooting.

 

These  Tooting landmark buildings; Defoe Chapel in Tooting High Street and The Gables, Longley Road, have also been added to the local list.

 

“Immortalised” In Tooting?

Historic England Logo

Historic England has launched a project , “Immortalised”, to record local monuments and rituals around England. They particularly want to record little-known or unofficial monuments and events which don’t figure in the national consciousness.

As they put it in their Press Release: “From flowers left at the Alan Turing statue in Manchester on his birthday, to the annual service on the pavement beneath Oliver Cromwell in Westminster, a number of statues and memorials have regular rituals attached to them that keep their stories alive.

Researchers for the exhibition are particularly interested in finding out information about the way ordinary people and communities create unofficial memorials that become part of our collective memory and part of a place’s identity.

So what monument or ritual would you nominate in Tooting?

You can read about the project here.

You can contact us on the form below.

Locally Listed In Tooting

Tooting History Group has been involved in submitting buildings and other items of interest to Wandsworth Council for “local listing.”. This is a non-statutory list held by the Council.  Particular thanks are due to Libby Lawson and other THG volunteers for photographing,researching and advocating the buildings and items shown below.

For  more details of Wandsworth’s Local List, see here.

If you want to suggest other buildings or places for Tooting History Group to put forward for local listing, please contact us on the form below.

The Gables,Longley Road, Tooting

The Gables, 107-109, Longley Road, Tooting.

An unusual and fine pair of semi-detached houses consisting of three adjoining gable fronts, built on plots 342 to 344 purchased by Mr W.J. Ellis from the British Land Co. Ltd. for £192 in 1886. Mr Ellis lived in ‘Mona’ until 1893 and a private collection of documents detail later owners and occupiers including individuals significant to Tooting’s history. A parish boundary marker remains in the grounds of Mona – the land originally being on the boundary between Surrey parishes of Tooting Graveney and Mitcham. ‘The Gables’ is double fronted; a square bay and splay bay either side of the recessed porch with original painted coloured glass. This substantial house is barely altered with it’s lay out retained and enjoying attractive front gardens. In a panel on the central gable and to the infilled gullies either side are unusual and attractive floral and foliage inspired pargeting.

Defoe Chapel, Tooting High Street

Defoe Chapel, 19,Tooting High Street

Built in 1776 for a congregation established in 1688, two storey pedimented classical front’ (Pevsner) on the grounds of a previous wooden church where Dissenters met in secret to escape persecution. Local folklore suggests Daniel Defoe was amongst them and the chapel named after him continued as a place of worship for Non-Conformists until 1902 when it was sold to the Primitive Methodists. In 1911 it was sold for commercial use. Before that time, c1910 Alderman William Melluhish, undertaker and stonemason oversaw the removal of burials within the chapel building and re-interment of remains to a Streatham cemetery. In 2014 Tooting History Group members united with the congregation of the United Reform Church,Tooting to resist alteration to the front elevation and development at the rear of the building. Plans to remodel the façade were withdrawn and in 2015, during works to extend the retail premises, human remains were unearthed in the cemetery grounds and re-interred on the site at two ceremonies conducted by Reverend Helen Matthews of the URC.