|Recession Re-think For Roehampton Plans|
Councillor "frustrated by the delay"
The proposals for new homes, shops and community facilities had been drawn up for the council by property market experts with the aim of attracting big name investors.
A planning application covering four key sites had been prepared following extensive consultation with local residents. This will not now go ahead as the fall in property values has made the scheme unviable.
The council's regeneration spokesman James Cousins said he was frustrated by the delay:
“Until the country comes out of this longer than expected recession, major projects on the scale planned for Roehampton will not succeed in attracting funding from the market. There is still a lot of interest from potential investors including housebuilders and supermarket chains.
“We will continue talking with all these developers so that we can put together a post-recession package that will mean we can move quickly once confidence returns to the market. This is likely to means changes to the detailed make-up of the current proposals that will involve further consultation with local people. We want a scheme that will be viable financially and have the support of the whole community.”
The council will press ahead with other key elements of its regeneration strategy for Roehampton. These include a programme of environmental improvements in the central area and further premises grants for local businesses.
The Town Centre Improvement Scheme (TCIS), which pays 75 per cent of the costs of premises upgrades, will now run for a further year until 2011 and be extended to include businesses in Roehampton High Street and Medfield Street .
The Roehampton employment strategy will continue to target local people.
A report recommending that the planning application be put on hold while further options are explored will be considered by the council's regeneration and community safety overview and scrutiny committee on November 2.
You can view the report at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/osc/regeneration
October 30, 2009