Demolition of the Historic Iron Building

There is a new proposal to demolish the historic flat iron building at 275 Sandycombe Road and replace with a development of six flats. For details see.

The Kew Society previously pointed out that, in their view, the developers did not provide a high enough standard or re-provision of community facilities which would be located in the basement of the proposed new building. This is still the case.

The developer says that the original building (1896) is far removed from its present state – by making amongst other things the point that the manufacturers at that time were aware that corrugated iron buildings might be seen as utilitarian and unattractive. Their report further points out that this property was a redundant corrugated iron building moved to its current location, and reopened as The Victoria Working Men’s Club in 1892.

Flat-iron Building

In their submitted heritage report the developers have found a photograph from the early-20th century, that shows a west window facing Sandycombe Road and claim that as it is no longer there the building is now so ‘non-descript with no articulation or architectural detailing that would elevate it above the utilitarian’ that said building thus needs to be replaced by six flats.

Perhaps this is a very good reason to restore the building to its former utilitarian glory as a heritage site rather than tear it down to squeeze flats in its place and shove the community facilities into the basement? A heritage plaque is not the same as the physical historic structure.

The developer has been at this since an appeal decision that dates from 2011, perhaps in the hope now that residents are bored of the historic flat iron building will get planning passed this time around.

We are at the last chance saloon for this humble Working Men’s Club and suggest you acquaint yourself with the proposals here and make your comments known on the council website.

JF Burford

P.S. On top of the community center being underground, the developers have made no provision for parking; because at 03:45 in the morning, when their parking survey was conducted, there was enough room for an additional 8 cars!

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