Councillors Reject Controversial Plan For Sunny's

Refusing planning application for the Southfields newsagent

Councillors have unanimously refused a planning application that would have jeopardised the future of Sunny's Newsagent in Wimbledon Park Road.

Last week the planning applications committee rejected a proposal that would have seen Sunny’s turned into residential accommodation.

They decided that changing the use from retail to residential would have been “undesirable” because of the impact the loss of this important neighbourhood shop would have had on residents in this part of the borough.


In their judgement, the loss of this important community hub and the withdrawal of the services and amenities it offers local residents would have had a detrimental effect on the neighbourhood.

Planning chairman Cllr Sarah McDermott said: “The committee took the firm view that the loss of this important local shop would have a negative impact on this part of Southfields.

“The committee heard evidence of the many different community services it offers local people, and on that basis we could not support an application that would lead to its replacement by a residential unit.”

Earlier this month the council agreed to designate Sunny’s as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), reflecting its contribution to the social fabric in the area.

This designation means that if the current owners wish to sell the building they must give the local community the chance to buy it. The listing gives local residents a six month window in which to raise sufficient funds to purchase it.

Although the owner does not have to sell to a community group, the ACV designation improves the chances of local grassroots organisations being able to raise the necessary funds by effectively triggering a six month moratorium on the sale.

The ACV legislation is part of the Localism Act 2011 and offers an enhanced level of protection to local buildings and amenities that are important to the local community and which benefit social well-being.

June 22, 2015