Expansion of unpopular homeless hostel in Colliers Wood approved

The house in Wilton Road

The house in Wilton Road

First published in News Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Residents in Colliers Wood are celebrating after plans were altered for the expansion of a young person’s homeless hostel on a residential road.

Opposition to the doubling in size of the home in Wilton Road, Colliers Wood, had been gathering pace after news emerged the facility would extend to catering for vulnerable people and not just young homeless.

But the change of usewas scrapped at a Merton Council planning committee meeting on March 27.

The hostel will have a two storey side extension and a single storey rear extension as well as a smoking shelter and paved area.

A memorial chapel to 27-year-old Stanford Burke Downing will be demolished to make way for the buildings as planned. Burke Downing was the son of eminent architect Henry Burke Downing responsible for the former Pelham School, Southey Road, Wimbledon - now flats.

He died in 1947 when living at the property.

Speaking of the decision on Thursday, March 27, chairman of the Colliers Wood Residents’ Association Kevin Godding said: "This is what we were hoping for.

"We didn’t want a change of use.

"We wanted it to be for young homeless people between the ages of 16 and 21 years and that is what we have got.

"There were a lot of residents who didn’t know who was going to live there.

"They were worried."

The council-owned hostel is run by SPEAR Housing Association, a charity that works with vulnerable and homeless people.


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