Garage fighting eviction after 50 years of service in Surbiton
A doctor’s surgery could be part of a development built on a Surbiton garage that has served residents for almost 50 years.
Loyal customers are campaigning to save Surbiton Hill Garage in the Avenue, following an application to build a block of flats and a GP surgery on the site.
George Matkin, the garage’s owner, has started a petition to try to save it, with more than 300 signatures so far.
He said: “If people value their local garage they need to sign the petition and if they cannot come to me I can come to them. I have no problem with spending all my time trying to get these signatures.”
The landowner, Mr M Daly, a Dublin-based businessman, applied to build a block of flats on the site in 2007. His application was rejected because it was an “unacceptable loss of an existing employment use”.
He has returned now six years later with a proposal for a doctor’s surgery within the development.
He could not be reached for comment as the Comet went to press.
A spokesman for Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group, which holds the purse strings of NHS spending in the borough, said it had not heard from anybody looking to open a new surgery in Surbiton.
A resident has claimed a Surbiton GP surgery has already agreed to move into the building, if the application goes through.
Mike Conn, 53, of the Ridings, said: “The new Surbiton Health Centre is going to have the old Oak Hill Centre in it, and that is less than a mile away, so who they would want at the doctor’s surgery, I do not know.”
Four existing GP surgeries in Surbiton will be relocating to the new health centre at the beginning of March, as part of a programme aiming to centralise services.
The garage was formed in 1964 and Mr Matkin has been running it for more than 25 years.
Mr Conn said: “Last year my wife had an accident with her foot and hobbled around a bit. When she struggled to get out of the car they helped fill up the car for her. You do not get that kind of service everywhere.”