Welcome to our consultation on the proposals for Britannia Point in Colliers Wood.
We would like as many of your thoughts and comments on the plans before we submit them to Merton Council. The deadline for comments is 5.30pm on Tuesday 3rd November 2020 and you can feed back in a number of different ways here.
The team will also be holding two Live Chat sessions so residents can talk directly to the project team. To participate, simply visit the website at the times below and click on the messenger icon and this will provide space for you to type in questions/comments:
Wed. 21st October from 6pm-8pm
Mon. 26th October from 12pm-3pm
In the meantime, if you have any questions then please get in touch either by email at CriterionCapital@becg.com or leave us a voice message using our freephone information line on 0800 298 7040.
Before you go on to look at the plans and give us your feedback, we would like to know a little bit about you to understand your relationship to the site and if you would like to stay updated with the project.
Please complete the fields below. If you do not wish to provide your name and email address, please still place an anonymous pin on the map.
Hover over the icons to explore the different topics about the project, alternatively use the menu on the to see all available content.
Each section may have a question at the end of it, however all questions can also be found by clicking the ‘Have your say’ button.
You can navigate through the sections by clicking the arrows on the sides.
Finally, while you can complete the form as you read through the content, remember to review and submit all your answers on the last board or by clicking ‘Have your say’ at any point.
The Project team.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to re-examine the areas where we live and work. Up until the pandemic, our local high streets had entered a period of gradual decline.
With more of us now working from home on a regular basis, there is an opportunity to invest in our declining local high streets by making improvements to the environment, increasing the variety of retail available and driving more customers to spend money locally. Part of driving more customers to spend locally is to build more homes in town centres, which benefit from excellent transport links, and which can comfortably accommodate growth.
Criterion Capital is proposing to deliver new public space, cafés and a collective ‘work from home space’ at Britannia Point in Colliers Wood, alongside the delivery of around 266 new homes of which a considerable number will be delivered at affordable levels.
To view the plans and give your views, click on the directional arrows and complete the feedback at the bottom of the page.
The site is located immediately to the south of the existing building Britannia Point, also owned by Criterion Capital, which sits at 19 storeys and was converted into new homes in 2016.
Criterion Capital owns the parcel of land immediately to the south, which is shown by the red line below. The blue line is the existing Britannia Point building.
Key Development Principles
There are a number of key development principles that have been considered when bringing this site forward.
- Bringing in Green Space – this will look to continue some of the green space that is in the local area into the central of the site in the form of a new green square, to increase biodiversity and provide a green and pleasant environment for people to sit, eat and work in the Town Centre.
- Improving Connectivity – we want the development to fit within its context, by making it easier for people to move within and outside of the development to the existing area, making it feel as one.
- Continuing the High Street South – by providing a new focal point around Britannia Point it encourages the expansion of the town centre into a new quarter, increasing opportunities for investment and regeneration.
- Creating generous setbacks – We want to deliver the maximum amount of useable green space at ground floor level. By keeping the building footprint and a minimum we’ve been able to create generous setbacks between existing buildings and the road.
With the key development principles in mind, our architects have looked at a number of different ways to balance the need to deliver more homes, add more green space and create a new commercial space to contribute to Colliers Wood as a vibrant local destination. With this in mind the team have come up with the following proposals:
- Delivery of 2 new buildings ranging from 26- to 16-storeys. One building is taller to maximise ground floor space and create a cluster of cascading building heights.
- These buildings will deliver 266 new homes along with flexible new commercial space adding vibrancy to the area. A considerable number of these homes will be delivered at affordable levels
- A broader space at ground floor level allows for a wide range of landscaping to be incorporated. This will greatly enhance the public realm, attract people to the new commercial space on the ground floor.
- Better pedestrian links throughout the site to connect it with the High Street
- The scheme will provide minimal parking to protect the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Over 600 cycle spaces will be provided across the site to encourage healthy travel options. These will be located at basement level, with some visitor spaces on the ground floor.
Design Development - Building Heights
The site is well placed, it is in the town centre and is close to excellent transport links. Government policy requires it to be looked upon to deliver the new homes that Merton needs over other sites in the Borough which are poorly served by local transport and amenities.
Taller buildings have been considered here as it strikes the balance between the delivery of new homes and the delivery of public space. There is also a wider architectural point to be made that further tall buildings will complement the existing tower at Britannia Point.
To determine what building heights make the most sense for this site a number of options were 3D modelled to analyse the surrounding townscape and key views.
The ideal location for the taller building is on the south-west corner so that it marks a new piece of the town centre for those travelling along the A24 both from the north and south. The design team feel that a new high-quality building should be the pinnacle of Colliers Wood and not the former Brown and Root Tower (now Britannia Point).
Our proposed building along Christchurch Road is shorter than Britannia Point in order to respect the neighbouring primary school and terraced housing. By creating a variation of heights the buildings appear to cascade around one another as you move through the surrounding area, enabling the three buildings to always appear distinct from each other while still being part of the same family.
Masterplan - Public Realm
At ground floor level, we are designing the public realm to enhance the town centre.
Event space could support local theatre shows, a pop-up outdoor cinema or art installations.
Gathering space could support local food markets and other pop-up events.
Smaller spaces will be equipped with places to sit to relax in much improved landscaping.
Three character areas have been developed to guide the landscape design principles for the site.
- 1. Community Plaza
The community plaza will be an open space with both hard and soft landscaping. The plaza will soak up spill out from the ground level cafés and businesses. The plaza will connect the two other character areas, ‘turnpike way’ to the north and the ‘green swathe’ to the south of the site.
- 2. Green Swathe
The green swathe running in between the new buildings and along much of the southern site boundary will create a rich and biodiverse setting by improving the landscaping across this area. Gardens will be planted across this space to create a pleasant green area that will even be able to filter rain water to prevent build up. Play space will also be incorporated into this area so it becomes a well-used space for all to enjoy.
- 3. Turnpike Way
Turnpike Way runs across the northern boundary and forms the main gateway into the site. This area will link the site to the surrounding area by creating the following features:
- Well defined carriageway and pedestrian zones;
- New tree planting to form a visual link between Wandle Park and wider neighbour tree canopy;
- Feature tree planting to act as a way finding device
The overall strategy for landscaping is to create a greener and more aesthetic site that will attract lots of people but also aid the wellbeing of residents who may need to be at home for longer periods. The diagram below is just some of the features we will be incorporating that will help us achieve this:
The proposal also provides for resident amenity terraces and roof gardens designed to give residents private relaxation space. These spaces will also be designed in a way which increases the levels of biodiversity on the site.
Ground floor Uses
The ground floor of the building will be a mixture of play space (shown in green) and flexible commercial space. The idea is to create vibrant space that extends the current high street that will aid the economic bounce back post COVID.
Our preference is that this flexi space is used for food and drink or flexible work from home spaces. Either way, flexibility is required given the uncertainty that exists because of the global pandemic.
We would like to hear your views on what could be delivered in these units. Please let us know in the space below:
The plans will deliver 266 new homes, a considerable number of these will be affordable.
The homes will be purpose built for rent, allowing those who earn above the threshold for affordable housing, but cannot afford to buy, to rent securely from one dedicated, professional landlord with a proven track record for repairs and maintenance.
All homes will comply with space standards and will be purpose built for modern living.
As there is a large supply of larger family homes in the area, the mixture of home sizes will be weighted more heavily towards one and two bedroom properties to increase the supply of this type of accommodation and help to preserve family homes from being converted into HMOs.
All properties will have internal amenity space which gives residents greater flexibility on how space is used, like in the examples below. This will provide better home working conditions and allow for more personal flexibility.
The buildings have been designed to respond to the important local heritage assets nearby. These include Colliers Wood Underground designed by Charles Holden, the High Street, the Grade II listed Singlegate Primary School & Merton Abbey Works.
Below highlight several key features that are a key part to these buildings and will be incorporated into our designs:
- Variety of brick and metal used
- Brick piers
- Distinctive Crowns at the top of buildings
- Industrial Proportions i.e. large windows
- Vertical brick patterns
Access, Traffic & Parking
Parking and Traffic
We want to make sure that this development is sustainable and does not contribute to worsening traffic congestion in the town centre. It is proposed that the development will provide parking spaces only for the disabled homes.
Residents of this development will be unable to apply for a residential parking permit to park in the surrounding streets which will protect parking for existing residents.
Air pollution is also an important consideration for this site, especially as given the number of pedestrians we hope to attract. By minimising the number of cars we are maintaining the existing environment so that public health conditions are not worsened by this scheme.
As demonstrated on the diagram the site is extremely well connected to central London and is only 1-minute walk to Colliers Wood underground station for the Northern Line. The proximity to Wimbledon, roughly a 20-minute walk, opens up more travel options for access to Paddington, Kingston and Epsom via National Rail services. The Tram is also within walking distance along with multiple bus routes. As such, this site is well suited to accommodate a low parking provision.
These proposals have been designed to funnel people into the centre of the site to avoid the busy roads. For cyclists, the strategy will utilise the existing cycle lane that runs to the west of the site along Merton High Street.
For vehicular access, there will be a one-way system to the northern part of the site. This will be primarily for delivery vehicles and mobility parking as this is where the disabled parking will be based to allow for the easiest access into both new buildings.
Feedback and Contact
Thank you for visiting our consultation website.
The deadline for feedback is Monday 2nd November, to give us your views you can:
- visit the proposals page and complete the questionnaire
- download a feedback form here and return it via post or email (details below)
- chat with a member of the project team during our live chat sessions available at the following times:Wed. 21st October from 6pm-8pm
Mon. 26th October from 12pm-3pm
If you know of anyone who would like to feedback but does not have access to the internet, please get in touch via the details below and we will post a copy of the information.
Project Phone: 0800 298 7040
Project Email: CriterionCapital@becg.com