Ambitious plans will revitalise Garratt Lane as public consultation launches
The council has launched a public consultation into ambitious plans to regenerate and revitalise a stretch of Garratt Lane in Earlsfield.
The centrepiece of the proposals is for a new primary school to be built on the site of the soon-to-be vacant Atheldene Centre, but there is scope for a wider regeneration scheme in this part of Earlsfield that could deliver new homes, shops, jobs and a modern community healthcare facility to replace the ageing Brocklebank health centre.
As well as the Atheldene Centre, the council owns a number of adjacent buildings which are all vacant and surplus to requirements.
These buildings, which are located in Wilna Road, Atheldene Road and Waverton Road, are in a generally poor condition and their replacement with smart new homes would help revitalise the area.
And if a new community healthcare facility is included as a replacement for the Brocklebank it creates the opportunity to provide a wider range of health services than is currently possible in the existing centre.
If the schemes are approved following the public consultation the work would be carried out in three separate phases.
Phase one would see the construction of a new primary school on the Atheldene site along with an adjacent nursery. The school would eventually cater for 420 pupils, alongside a nursery with spaces for 50 toddlers.
The aim would be to open this new primary school in September 2015. This would help meet the rising demand for local school places from parents in the area. In Earlsfield ward the number of babies born each year has grown from 225 in 2003 to 354 in 2011 - a 57 per cent increase. Between 2002 and 2011 the borough's birth rate overall rose from 4,080 per annum to 5,477
The Atheldene site is also big enough to include a small residential development on land fronting Oakshaw Road.
The Atheldene centre will become vacant in the early part of 2014 when the older people who currently attend it will be able to enjoy vastly improved facilities at a new, modernised and fully equipped day centre at Church Lane in Tooting.
Phase two of the scheme would see the construction of around 26 new houses and 43 flats on land currently occupied by the vacant and unattractive council-owned buildings in Wilna Road, Waverton Road and Atheldene Road.
This would improve the area's visual amenity by restoring the original street pattern and layout by extending the terraces in Atheldene Road and Winfrith Road and reinstating the link from Wilna Road to Garratt Lane.
Phase three of the scheme could provide a modern health centre, replacement shops and up to 75 flats on land at the corner of Swaffield Road and Garratt Lane, which is currently occupied by the existing 1960's-built health centre, shops and a car park.
Council leader Ravi Govindia said: "This is a golden opportunity to revitalise and improve this somewhat neglected part of Garratt Lane.
"There is now the prospect of some serious investment to replace the frankly shabby and unattractive council-owned buildings in this corner of Earlsfield with a new state-of-the-art health centre, a much needed primary school, better shops and smart new modern family homes and apartments.
"Of course, the central element is the new school which is absolutely vital if we are to continue to meet the demand for school places from local parents. The need for additional primary places in this part of the borough is particularly acute and we would be ducking our responsibilities if we did not take proper steps to provide extra classrooms.
"However, none of this is a done deal. What we need to hear now are the views of local people. That is why it is so important that they take part in this public consultation. It is the views of local people that will help shape any future plans for this part of the borough."
The council has delivered newsletters to 1,800 households in the area providing detailed information about the proposals.
Local residents will also be able to find out more special public information session that is being staged at the Atheldene Centre between 5pm and 8pm on Wednesday, November 13.
People can discuss the proposals by phoning Andy Algar on (020) 8871 6075 and can email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.