'Great improvement', 'Where's everything going to go?' - Earlsfield residents split on 200 new homes and GP

  Posted: 09.09.21 at 20:58 by James Mayer

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Plans to bulldoze a “scruffy” 1950s estate and replace it with 193 homes, a new GP surgery and pharmacy in Earlsfield are underway – but locals have mixed feelings.

Wandsworth Council are redeveloping the site on Garratt Lane by knocking down the old shops, flats, GP surgery and pharmacy, with many residents excited for the upgrade.

But some locals fear there will be a lack of parking and more congestion in the area. While pharmacists are concerned they will lose money during the works.

The old health centre will remain open and in use until the new one is completed.

Some 86 of the 193 new flats will be affordable – 44.5 per cent.

Karwan Nagada, pharmacist on the site said the plans will “upgrade the area” as well as the pharmacy.

Artist's impression of what the new flats and GP will look like (1) - Credit: Wandsworth Council

He said: “Hopefully we will get the same size pharmacy as we have now, but obviously we don’t know how much it will be a reduction financially.

“We hope we’re not losing much but the council have to demolish this which we want.”

Charmane Appiah, a local resident, said: “I think it’s good for the community because I’m sure there are a lot of people waiting on the housing list and good if people want to buy affordable housing.”

The 34-year-old added: “It would be nice to make it more modern, to polish it up and make it a little bit more nicer for people.”

Ann Smith, 62, said: “I think it will be quite good because there’ll be a new surgery, it’s very outdated so it needs it.

Artist's impression of what the new flats and GP will look like (2) - Credit: Wandsworth Council

“It looks scruffy, the toilets aren’t that great in there, everything just needs totally updating.”

Resident John Wallace said: “This is probably one of the best run health centres for any GP surgery I’ve come across anywhere.

“I think that as soon as that’s done, the better. They could use a much bigger facility and I think it’ll be a great improvement.”

The 74-year-old explained: “Wandsworth Council’s decision on house building has always been very good. It has managed to blend the ability to make some profit out of it which benefits everybody and for those who have less money to spend, it’s provided for that as well.”

His main reservation is for the council to ignore car parking issues as he said a lot of people drive to the health centre.

Run down closed shops on the estate in Earlsfield - Credit: James Mayer

But resident Veronique Gerber is not happy with the development.

She said: “I know that the residents here are worried about traffic and congestion because already we can’t find enough parking spaces.

“With all these flats, where’s everything going to go?”

The 61-year-old is also concerned about the height of the flats being overbearing and how affordable the ‘affordable housing’ will be.

Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “This represents another key element in our plans to revitalise and improve this part of Garratt Lane.

The flats are currently vacant - Credit: James Mayer

“The land in question is currently occupied by a number of unattractive 1950s and 60s council-owned buildings and their replacement with smart, high quality homes will not only help revitalise the area, but also improve the visual amenity of these streets by restoring parts of the historic street pattern.

“I am particularly pleased that the existing medical centre will continue to operate until the new one is completed –guaranteeing uninterrupted service to residents during the construction period.”

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