Thousands of Tooting residents, including Sadiq Khan MP, had signed petitions and written to Wandsworth Council objecting to the planned development, which would have seen the landmark building demolished and replaced with a hotel and student accommodation.
In a dramatic twist Wandsworth Borough Council planners revealed the planned development had been withdrawn by the owners Barrowfen Properties, ahead of next Thursday’s Planning Committee, where local campaigners hoped the plans would be rejected.
Sadiq Khan MP said, “This is a great victory for the local community; all those who attended the public meetings, signed petitions, wrote objection letters and helped deliver leaflets should be proud of what they’ve achieved.
“English Heritage will decide within days whether to recommend the R.A.C.S store for Listing which would secure its future for the longer term.
“But we’re not finished. Although the building is home to the Sivayagum Temple, too much of it has been unused and allowed to become derelict. The developers should meet with the local community to discuss how best to make use of this landmark Tooting building.
“A building is more than just bricks and mortars. The local community have many excellent ideas on how to bring all of this building into good use.”