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  • Chairman's Blog, March 2022

    BELLWAY APPLICATION TO BUILD ON THE LESSA SPORTS FIELD 

    The Association has put in a robust and detailed objection to the plans by Bellway Homes to build 107 dwellings on the former LESSA sports ground in Meadowview Road off Grand Drive.  You can see our objection here .

    We delivered 700 leaflets to the households closest to the ground, urging residents to respond by the revised deadline date of 16 February, with a copy to us, and are pleased to note that very many objections have been submitted. 

    Please note: although the deadline has passed, our experience is that the Council will accept and take later comments fully into account, given that it is highly unlikely that the application can be considered before summer at the earliest and that the statutory agencies have yet to be consulted. 

    The application is numbered 21/P4063, and anyone responding must give their name and address for the objection to be considered, although these will not be seen by the public at large.  We would remind Members to state clearly if they are objecting, and then give the reasons. 

    There was a previous application in 2020, which has not been withdrawn, and it is uncertain whether Bellway intends to proceed with this in some way or not. The previous application was for 89 dwellings and so Bellway is trying to maximise its profits even more by cramming in higher buildings.

    We have set out very clearly that any building on the site would be a breach of the decision by the Planning Inspector in 2010 to retain the field for sports, principally for juniors, when he granted permission for the 44 dwellings now built as an “enabling development”. 

    Any fresh building on the site would be a complete departure from official planning guidance.  

    Ever since it bought the land, Bellway has refused, in our view, to take up any offers by schools or sports clubs to use the ground as the Inspector intended.  There is now a fully costed scheme between two cricket clubs and a junior school, all of impeccable standing, which Bellway has turned down.  

    The previous Bellway planning application was objected to by Sport England and we fully expect that they will object also to the present application.   The previous application was also objected to by the Environmental Agency because of the risk of flooding. 

    The risk of flooding remains and we are aware that flash floods are occurring with ever more frequency in our area, and that the water and sewage drainage system is unable to cope. 

    Grand Drive is already saturated with traffic and we report here on the meeting held on 31 January with the relevant council officers and input from other agencies. Any new dwellings will put still more pressure on our schools and on our local GPs and dental practices which are barely able to cope now. And this application is on top of the permission granted last summer, on appeal from the Council’s refusal, to build 456 flats in 7 tower blocks at Tesco’s site. 

    The pandemic has emphasised how important it is to preserve our open spaces for recreation and sport and drainage. 

    It is absolutely vital that this application be refused.

    John Elvidge, Chairman RPWBRA

     

  • Chairman's Blog - Feb 2022

    LOOKING FORWARD TO 2022

    As the days lengthen and green shoots appear in the ground, we can only hope that the worst days of the pandemic are over. We have been forced to close our social centre, the Pavilion, for most of the past two years, but gradually the Management Committee has been able to re-open it in a responsible and socially distanced way. 

    THE PAVILION CLUB AND MEMORIES OF ANDREA

    We are pleased that the very successful Pavilion Club founded by our honorary president Jill Truman and the late, much-missed Andrea Hannan for our older residents, has been able to re-start and will, when it is safe to do so, get back to full numbers for its weekly get-together.  Andrea sadly died, too young, a couple of years ago and a rose bush has been planted, in her daughter’s presence, in her memory. There is a plaque to commemorate her along the pathway to the Pavilion. We all miss her cheerful personality. 

    THANK-YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS

    It is a source of real pride that we have been able to keep in touch with our members by means of newsletters, Guides, the website and Nextdoor throughout the pandemic.

    The many volunteers who deliver The Guide deserve our thanks for carrying on doing so even through the worst days of semi-lockdown. 

    I particularly want to mention and thank those area co-ordinators and road stewards who have retired or moved away since the start of the pandemic: Zahra Hassan & Chris Quinby (Bushey), Marjorie Reynolds (Claremont), Yvonne Sharp (Elm Walk), Carol Hicks (Heath Drive), and Arthur Holden & Chris Hollingshead (Westway). We hope to see you at our next social function to thank you for your years of service. 

    Fortunately, we still have a large force of excellent volunteers – and we always like to hear from members who are able to take on some of the deliveries. 

    GRAND DRIVE TRAFFIC MEETING

    We are due to hold a meeting on 31 January (by Zoom) with Council officers, ward councillors, and residents in the area to try and work out an achievable scheme to control the various and many problems of traffic using Grand Drive.  There are too many lorries, sometimes overweight, and often using the road out of permitted hours. 

    They disturb sleep and cause vibrations and damage to local houses.  The road is clogged with too many vehicles in both rush hours.   Despite warning signs and the imposition of a 20mph limit, traffic often drives far too fast, without any consistent enforcement.

    We will report more on this matter on this website. 

    HOUSING

    The Mayor of London requires all the London boroughs to provide more housing, and Merton is due to complete its local plan, which will try to assimilate the extra numbers required. 

    It seems to me to be obvious that when many town centres are dying owing to the huge increase in internet shopping and shopping malls, that the emphasis should be on converting unused shops into residential accommodation. That, after all, was how town centres developed over many centuries, with shops next door to houses and flats. 

     It would make for more vibrant centres, cut down on traffic, and help to slow down the need to build ghastly high-rise developments such as that proposed on the Tesco site.

    Wishing all our members a happy and healthy 2022.                      John Elvidge

     

  • Grand Drive Traffic - Meeting Planned

    Following a meeting of the RPWBRA Committee on Tuesday 9th November, and in conjunction with a series of meetings held by the Grand Drive Action Group, the Association will be chairing a private meeting in January 2022 with representatives of the police, local government and other public servants involved with local traffic and roads.

    Using the meticulous research undertaken by Demetri Anastasiou as a basis for discussion, Michael Marks has already invited officials with responsibility for the worrying HGV developments, the speeding and the state of the road. James Bushell has also invited a representative of the Traffic Police. 

     

     

    We regret that it will not be able to run this as an open Meeting but would welcome your views (rpwbra@outlook.com) and will be leafleting Grand Drive and the adjoining roads for your views. 

    John Townsend

     

  • What's Happening to our Libraries?

    As a longstanding Library volunteer, I feel well-placed to question the sudden introduction of Card Access Technology at the four small branch libraries including Raynes Park and West Barnes. 

    Having weathered successfully the financial cutbacks imposed by the government upon local councils, Merton could until recently be seriously proud of its library provision. 

    However, the latest developments have taken many aback. On Monday 15th November I arrived at the Raynes Park library to run my regular story session.  A small notice (A4) had been pinned up explaining that the library can only be accessed between 9.30am and 1.00pm by use of a library card and pin number. On Saturdays and from 1.00pm the current rules apply. 

    Obviously, on this occasion the staff were present outside and were as helpful as ever, but I was surprised that neither I nor any other user had been forewarned of the imminent change. I checked the Merton site afterwards and there was no mention at that point of the new entry system.

    Nor had I received any email notice. 

    It makes sense to require members to have their cards with them, just as we need other cards for buses and tubes. It is free to join the library, so the new entrance system, once firmly in place, should not prove a barrier and will free up staff to deal with other matters within the library. 

    However, the change was brought in abruptly and is tied up with other more questionable cost-cutting issues.  The Head of Library Services, Anthony Hopkins,  explained to me that the intention is to save money by reducing the bill for Security Personnel – and that to compensate there will be more CCTV which can be accessed remotely to keep an eye on things. Help! 

    Let’s get this clear: the security officers at the Raynes Park and West Barnes Libraries are outstanding workers, who undertake willingly a range of tasks for which they are not paid. Also, without their presence there will be times when other staff will be on their own. Lone working? Is this the plan? 

    Following the pandemic (when, quite rightly, we were scarcely allowed in), libraries need to recover and move forward. This should be done safely and in cooperation with the community rather than through plans and schemes drawn up and implemented without our input or any consensus. 

    Clare Townsend 

     

  • Our Secretary's Round-Up, Dec 2021

    Usually at this time of the year we all look back and review the last year.

    I like to look forward and look at how events may or may not proceed. 

    The planning applications re: several sites in the area are still ongoing. The field in MeadowviewRoad is still in question, will it be housing or a sports field? There is no date set for the Planning Application Committee to decide so there must be background discussions taking place. 

    Despite objections, permission has been granted for nine units along the south side of Wyke Road but with conditions. We will have to see if the developer is able to meet the various constraints and regulations. 

    The garages at 38 Crossway were originally to be knocked down and eighteen flats built, but after the developer did a local consultation the plans for the site have been changed to a more suitable seven houses. There is no date set for the council decision and local residents will be aware that the Environment Agency is trying to verify the routes the local rivers take around the location.   

    The plans for a house to be built behind 274-320 Cannon Hill Lane has a recommendation to refuse permission but the planning Application Committee has not been given a date to confirm this. 

    In the Chairman’s Blog in December 2021, John Elvidge reminds us that Redrow have won their appeal for the development to go ahead on the Tesco Car Park but there is a glimmer of hope as there have been several articles in the news saying that Redrow are no longer wanting to build high intensity inner city developments as this is not where people want to live after the pandemic.

    If a reduction in the HGV traffic on Grand Drive is made possible, the next move will be to slow the traffic in Westway, especially the one-way section. 

    As we all try and protect the environment, the way we travel is going to change. We will have to find a way e-scooters can use our roads. Electric cars will need charging so more of our street furniture will have to be adapted. We will also have to allow for a recharging stop on long distance journeys. 

    Our working habits have changed and are still changing, which in turn is going to affect the local area. We are going to want more from our parks and open spaces, local commerce will have to adapt. I am sure that in the future new houses will be built with secure boxes to take deliveries while we are out. 2022 has plenty of opportunity for us all. 

    Happy holidays!

    Michael Marks (RPWBRA Secretary)

    rpwbra@outlook.com

  • Chairman's Blog - Dec 2021

    We all hope that this year, for the first time in two years, we will be able to travel and to enjoy Christmas and New Year with our family and friends.

    We are sorry that we are unable, for the second year running, to host our regular thankyou party for our many volunteers who help to keep the Residents’ Association running. The continued threat of Covid infections makes it unwise to invite large groups of people to celebrate in the Pavilion.

    So, instead, a huge thank you to all our Area Co-Ordinators and Road Stewards for your hard work throughout the year, and, of course, to all our Committee members and to the members of the Pavilion Management Group who do so much behind the scenes.

    We do hope that by the summer the threat of major transmission of the disease will have eased, so that we can have a great celebration.

    HIGHS AND LOWS IN A BUSY YEAR

    TESCO/REDROW DEVELOPMENT

    As you know, this time last year we were gearing up for the planning appeal against the Council’s decision to refuse the application by Redrow Homes to build 456 flats in 7 tower blocks up to 15 stories high in Burlington Road.  This was heard by a Planning Inspector remotely over Zoom, and the Association was a full party. She heard 8 days of evidence before Christmas and another 3 in the new year, and it concluded on 13 January. There was then silence until she finally produced her report at the end of June. We were all devastated that she decided to allow the appeal and let the development go forward.

     The reason she gave in her 34 page report was that the provision of new accommodation, some of which was “affordable” outweighed the major concerns of residents as to visual intrusion, inadequate parking, and the lack of public facilities, such as health and school provision.

    RAYNES PARK VALE FOOTBALL CLUB PUBLIC ALCOHOL LICENCE

    We were successful however in opposing, together with many concerned local residents, the application to have a full alcohol licence at Raynes Park Vale FC on Prince George’s Playing Fields.  This was refused by the Council’s licensing committee, again held over Zoom.  The application was to permit the sale of alcohol to the public from morning until very late at night, and would have meant enormous disturbance to the many houses around the site.

    PRINCE GEORGE’S PLAYING FIELDS

    We were also successful, after a number of reminders to the Council, in getting it to enforce the planning conditions on these playing fields, which restrict the number of commercial activities which can take place during the year.

     GRAND DRIVE TRAFFIC

    We are arranging a meeting early in the New Year to try and control the number of over large vehicles that use Grand Drive, disturb the sleep of the residents, and cause structural damage to surrounding properties.    

    Finally, from all of us at the Association, we wish each and every one of you a peaceful and joyful Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year.

    Best wishes to you all, John Elvidge

  • Floodlights at RPVFC take a dive

     

     

    For many of us living near the Raynes Park Vale FC ground, its floodlights are an ever-present visual fact of life. We are used to them, the lighting is not intrusive and they have appeared well-maintained. 

    However, an alarming event occurred in the night of 26th/27th September, when one of the lighting towers crashed over, coming to rest amazingly on top of a telephone pole. The subsequent “making safe” was a complicated operation involving a group of firefighters using ropes. It does not require much imagination to realise that this dangerous event could have caused a horrifying accident. We have contacted the Club for an update and will hopefully be able to reassure nearby residents and users of the field of the steps being taken to replace or secure the other floodlights.

  • Events at St Saviour's - November 2021

     

     

    Following the success of the Fun Afternoon, three more events are planned for parishioners and the local community this month. 

    Saturday 13th November

    Christmas Fair

    11.30am - 2.30pm 

    Fun, stalls & activities – plus an early visit from Father Christmas!

     

    Sunday 14th November

    Remembrance Sunday 

    Begins at 10.40am in the church followed by wreath laying at 10.55, then 2 minutes silence. Afterwards, named crosses will be planted in the garden around the memorial.

     

    Saturday 20th November

    100 Years On

    Re-dedication of the War Memorial 

    12 noon: doors open and there is an opportunity to look at various displays around the church. 

    2.00pm: the Service of Re-dedication

    will be followed by refreshments served until 4.00pm.

     

  • Chairman's Blog - November 2021

    ELECTORAL WARD CHANGES FOR MAY 2022 

    Changes are due to be made in the Raynes Park and West Barnes wards before the next Merton Council elections in May 2022 and these involve the Dundonald ward as well. 

    The current Dundonald Ward which stretches in a long line to Wimbledon  from Raynes Park  will be divided into two and the streets known as “The Apostles”, which are the 12 streets between Kingston Road and Bushey Road, and have some 1000 residents, are coming into Raynes Park Ward, which is a more natural home for them. 

    Our Association already represents part of Raynes Park, but these streets currently have a thriving Residents’ Association of their own, the Apostles Residents’ Association (ARA) chaired by Chris Larkman and this will continue. We intend to build a close relationship with the ARA. 

    We have many shared interests, including the preservation of Prince’s George’s Playing Fields. We were pleased to welcome Chris Larkman to our October committee meeting and will continue to forge links between the two associations.  

    The remaining part of the Dundonald ward will be amalgamated with the ward currently known as Trinity to form a new ward called Wimbledon Town and Dundonald. 

    The changes have by and large met with local approval. 

    PROPOSED CONSTITUENCY CHANGES 

    More contentious are the proposals for constituency changes before the next general election in the two Parliamentary seats of Wimbledon, and of Mitcham and Morden. The Parliamentary boundaries have not yet been decided. The Boundary Commission is still considering objections. The proposals are very unsatisfactory and both the current MPs, Stephen Hammond and Siobhan McDonough are opposing them.  They would mean that Merton residents would be divided between four different constituencies with differing health authorities.  It would undermine the whole point of dividing London into unitary authorities. Merton currently undertakes the whole range of services, including education, social welfare, planning, highways, and rubbish collection. 

    There is further information on our website here.

     BELLWAY AND THE FORMER LESSA SPORTS GROUND 

    Merton planners sent out a questionnaire to the various sports bodies which want to play junior sports on this ground off Meadowview Road in Grand Drive. 

    Their responses show that they have viable, well considered, and fully financed schemes which should be allowed to go ahead.  

    We await any response from Bellway to show why they should not take up these offers. In the meantime their present development application, first lodged in November last year, and which has seen various amendments since, is not going ahead for consideration by the Planning Committee. 

    John Elvidge

  • St Saviour War Memorial Rededication - 20 Nov

    WW1 MEMORIAL REDEDICATION  - 14.00 SATURDAY 20th NOVEMBER 2021 

    In November 2018 the 13th Wimbledon Scout Group was very involved with the development and launch of the Men of Raynes Park Exhibition. This launched an appeal to raise funds to re-carve the names of the 97 men from the Parish who died as a result of the Great War on the memorial in the church grounds. 

    The restoration was completed in November 2019, when the total cost of £23,500 was raised by community donations and pledges, including the Tesco and Waitrose Community Support Schemes. 

    We had planned to have a service of rededication in May 2020, but this was postponed because of Covid 19 lockdowns. Thankfully we are now able to look forward to this celebration in the continuing life of our Parish Church and the Community of Raynes Park. 

    Our War Memorial will be REDEDICATED ON THE CENTENARY OF THE FIRST DEDICATION 20th NOVEMBER 1921. 

    For the rededication event, an outdoor service will be taken around the memorial at 14.00, with the presence of the incoming Mayor of Merton, Stephen Hammond MP, and Ward Councillors. Representatives will be invited from our three large donors Young’s Brewery, Groundwork UK – Tesco Bags of Help team, and Waitrose. We hope to have Uniformed Groups, relatives of the named men, and the community planting the 97 named crosses in the memorial garden. 

    12.00 St Saviour’s Church will be open to view the original Men of Raynes Park Exhibition

    13.00 ‘The Story of the Raynes Park Memorial Restoration’

    13.30 ‘Wing Commander Frank Brock, Vice Admiral Sir Roger Keys and the Unveiling of the Raynes Park Memorial’

    14.00 Rededication Service outside by the War Memorial

  • Chairman's Blog - October '21

    METROPOLITAN OPEN LAND AND PRINCE GEORGE’S PLAYING FIELDS 

    Every few years Merton has to update its local plan.  It’s an important document which guides what can be built and where.  Jerry Cuthbert has made detailed responses on behalf of our residents, of which more may be read  here . 

    One of the most important things we have to protect is our open green spaces. We are lucky to have so many of them, and the highest protection we have against their being built over is the designation of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL). Prince George’s Playing Fields, which was such a godsend for people during the lockdowns, is protected in this way. 

    MOL is the London equivalent of the green belt and can only be developed in very exceptional circumstances.  However, part of the Fields was developed to build what is now the David Lloyd Centre under an exception relating to sporting use, and there were plans at one time to develop the rest of the Fields as a training centre for Wimbledon Football Club. 

    We always have to be vigilant to prevent further such suggestions, or else we will lose the open aspect and the right to public access, which the MOL designation aims to protect. That is why we have supported the Residents’ Associations around Wimbledon Park in their opposition to the plans by the All England Lawn Tennis Club to build a large show court and other buildings on the land they have bought from the Golf Club. This land is also MOL and has the added protection of a covenant against building which the Council imposed when it sold the freehold to the AELTC in 1993. 

    We fear that if the Council lifts this covenant and allows the plans of the AELTC to go ahead, it could do the same with Prince George’s.   It would set a really serious precedent. 

    Prince George’s is also protected by planning conditions imposed by the Council which provides that only 14 sales and 14 other events can be held there each year, and that cars are only permitted to use the Bushey Road and not the Grand Drive entrance.  This is to ensure that residents can use the Fields for general recreation for the large part of the time.

    We were concerned earlier this year that cars were being improperly allowed to use the Grand Drive entrance, causing major traffic chaos, and also that advertising hoarding indicated that the permitted number would be greatly exceeded. 

    We made repeated requests to the Council to enforce the conditions strictly.  Despite having no written response from the Council, it does appear though that Council officers have now spoken to the operators of the land to remind them of their responsibilities, and that they will limit the number of sales and other events they hold this year.  This is encouraging news. 

    We were also successful, with the great help of individual residents, in defeating the application for a public alcohol licence at Raynes Park Vale Football Club, which is also situated on Prince George’s. 

    John Elvidge, Chairman

  • Current Issues - Sept 2021

    38 CROSSWAY 

    The application 21/P2668 has been submitted to Merton Council and is on https://tinyurl.com/4cmtjbx2

    The last date for comments was 19th August but as there was no date for the application to be heard. I am sure that if you submitted a representation it will be read. 

    WESTWAY ONE-WAY SECTION 

    I have received complaints about speeding plus damage to cars and street furniture so have asked the councillors to investigate and find a solution.

     FLOODING

    The Raynes Park Forum (which includes councillors from several wards) has asked Thames Water to attend the next meeting on 16th September 2021 to discuss the local flooding. To attend the meeting, register for meeting alerts or find out more click on here

    PAVEMENT CONCERNS IN WEST BARNES LANE 

    A resident has drawn my attention to possible improvements to pavements in this area which may involve tarmac rather than replacement slabs. There are different expert views regarding the “concrete slabs versus tarmac” debate and I am awaiting a response from Merton Council about their intentions. 

    Please let me know of matters in which you feel the RPWBRA may be able to help and also remember to contact the local councillors. 

    Michael Marks,  RPWBRA Secretary

  • Sir Joseph Hood Mem. Playing Fields - Sept 2021

    Raynes Park Little League

    This popular award winning park suffered a temporary setback when an Australian Rules end of season extravaganza caused damage to the football pitches which had already been affected by the torrential downpours experienced by us all.

    There are three interested groups, the Raynes Park Little League (Saturdays), the Motspur Park Football Club (Sundays) and the out-of-season Australian Hawks. Unfortunately, the maintenance  firm Idverde,  had failed to liaise with the Hawks, and the pitches were unusable in the immediate aftermath.

    Fortunately for the eager youngsters preparing to participate in the forthcoming season, we believe that all will be well by the time the Little League season begins. This will be a huge relief to those fundraisers and volunteers who have worked so hard to establish and maintain the facilities.

    Meanwhile, excitingly, we hear that there are some spaces in the Little League teams, so if your sons and daughters would like to participate, do fill in the registration form here as soon as possible.

    There are opportunities for girls and boys aged 8 -13 in three age categories: 

    Bantams: School Years 3 & 4

    Juniors: School Years 5 & 6

    Seniors: School Years 7 & 8

    So do apply if your children are keen!

  • Chairman's Blog - Sept 2021

    LESSA (Meadowview) SPORTS GROUND 

    Bellway submitted a planning application some months ago to build 89 dwellings on the former LESSA sports ground. The developers had previously built houses and flats on the rest of the ground under a permission granted by a Planning Inspector on appeal in 2009. These now make up Meadowview Road, off Grand Drive.

    The Planning Inspector’s decision made clear that the rest of the ground was to be retained for sporting purposes, principally for junior sport. 

    Accordingly, the Council’s local plan states that residential development will only be permitted where sporting or community use has been demonstrated to be undeliverable.

    Bellway has refused for 10 years since this decision to discuss with the Residents’ Association potential sporting users of the site.

    Their application asserted that a sporting use of the site had been thoroughly explored and is undeliverable.  This was despite various sporting organisations having recently contacted them.

    When we learnt of Bellway’s intentions, we discovered that real expressions of interest and firm offers to use the whole ground for sports had been made by a cricket academy, a cricket club, a rugby club, and an established junior school. They were prepared to work together, to share the ground and build a pavilion, so that the ground could be used all the year, including during school holidays.

    We provided Sport England with this evidence, and they formally objected to the application. Since then there has been silence, and no-one knew what was happening to the application.

    We learnt this August that the Council’s Planning Officer is sending a questionnaire to the various sporting bodies which had contacted Bellway. The questionnaire is designed to “assist planning officers in better understanding the offers which may been made for use of the land”. It asks a number of detailed questions, and the answers have to be given within 21 days.

    We hope that the replies will make it clear that viable and long term use of the ground can be shown to be deliverable, so that the planning application can be rejected at the outset, as not being in accordance with the local plan.

    This is clearly the wish of all the local residents who replied to our leaflets a year ago, expressing outrage at the prospect of building on the rest of this ground, contrary to the decision of the Planning Inspector.  We take the view that Bellway have taken their major profit from their development, and should not be allowed to make a further profit at the expense of local sports interests and local people.

    John Elvidge, Chairman

  • Residents' Comments on 21/P2668

    Email from R & A Williams;    Subject: 38 Crossway Planning Application;     Date:18/08/2021

     

    Dear Merton Planning Team, 

    We welcome the opportunity to comment on the planning application in respect of the garages on Crossway to the rear of our house (9 Kingsway) - Planning Application 21/P2668. 

    Broadly we welcome suitable development on the site, and townhouses (albeit less than seven) would be an appropriate use of the site (subject to our comments below). We have a number of broad comments on the application which we believe should require the developer to give the proposal further thought and return with a corrected application. We then have a number of specific comments (particularly around height, overlooking, access and design) that we hope would be reflected in amendments to the design and/or planning conditions should Officers and the Council’s Planning Committee be minded to grant permission. 

    Given our comments we would welcome being kept updated on the progress of the application and, should the current application reach that stage, being able to speak at the Planning Committee. 

    Broad comments:

    • The Planning Application that has been submitted to the Council is incomplete and defective. This has potentially prevented a meaningful statutory consultation.
      • As noted to Planning Officers, the Energy Strategy Report includes materials which relate to a wholly different application (it is therefore unclear what other documents may contain errors). The Preliminary Contamination Risk Assessment (of particular importance given the age of the garages (asbestos?) and previous usage of the site) and Transport Statement listed in the Planning Statement, as far as we could see on Planning Explorer, have not been provided/made available.
      • The missing documentation would broadly reflect a rushed application which results in an inconsistent application – for example plans show, and the associated commentary argues (eg paragraphs 5.74 and 5.7.5 of the Planning Statement), that overlooking is mitigated by boundary trees when the Tree Survey states trees that provide a large proportion of that mitigation would be removed (eg the mature ash tree T022).
      • This is clearest in relation to the location of the Pyl Brook. The correct location appears to have been identified late in the process as part of the Flood Risk Assessment. Numerous parts of the application appear to have therefore been prepared on the basis of the incorrect location (eg paragraphs 2.3.4, 2.3.6 or 5.6.4 in the Planning Statement). Aside from the drainage and flooding management implications noted separately below, this highlights a number of parts of the application that are likely to need revisiting. These include:
        • The proposals for access to the site (both the road widening and pedestrian access) would involve demolishing what has now been identified as a Culvert Headwall for the Pyl Brook.
        • The plans including planting new trees over the culvert at the western end of the site without consideration for the structure of the culvert.
        • Surveys such as the Tree Survey have been carried out without full information – the culvert is merely noted as ‘undulating land’ despite the inherent root related issues.
      • We note that the planning application includes factually inaccurate and potentially misleading information about the location of neighbouring properties. The extension to our property (15/P2637) is not shown on either the site plans or sections. It would also appear that a number of other extensions for other properties have also not been reflected. This means the distances to neighbouring properties are materially understated and the angles used for assessing overlooking incorrect – the views expressed on potential mitigations are therefore based on flawed analysis.
      • We would note that despite the comment in 5.3.1 of the Planning Statement it would appear that a number of the garages are currently used for employment/commercial purposes (possibly a scaffolding firm?).
    • We are very concerned that the late identification of the true course of the Pyl Brook has both prevented meaningful consideration as part of preparing the planning application and means that no meaningful assessment by either Future Merton or the Environment Agency of the flood risk (and possible mitigations) for the site is possible at this stage. As discussed further below, it also highlights the need for the applicant to likely properly engage with the Environment Agency prior to making a revised application.
      • Current local flood risk assessments and the treatment of the land bordering Meadow Close and Kingsway is based on the previously inaccurate understanding of local drainage flows and water infrastructure. This needs proper consideration.
      • There would appear to be a right of access to the site for the Environment Agency. This is (surprisingly) not referenced on page 12 of the Design & Access Statement but is registered on the Title to the site (the April 1961 Deed in respect of drainage pre-dates statutory Local Government reorganisations which means those responsibilities now sit with the Environment Agency). Consideration of those access rights is clearly material to this application.
      • We would note that following a recommendation by Council Officers a previous application for the site was withdrawn for discussions with the Environment Agency (06/P2791). These discussions do not appear to have taken place and therefore we would suggest that Officers take a similar stance, particularly given the new information about the Pyl Brook. We’d note that the Environment Agency despite both their access rights and responsibility for the neighbouring Pyl Brook have not been consulted.
    • There is some uncertainty about the boundaries of the site and the planning application would appear to take advantage of that uncertainty in a manner which is potentially improper (the Design and Access Statement indicates the boundaries have (surprisingly) not been verified). This is likely to be an issue best resolved before the application is formally considered.
      • The site plans may have ‘pushed out’ the site boundary along a number of the edges – eg it appears the plans may go up to 1 metre further out along our nearest boundary than the Land Registry plan (SGL214496) for the site. This has practical implications in that the garden sizes described in paragraph 5.6.9 of the Planning Statement (already below the acceptable level for Units 6 & 7) are likely to in practice be even smaller than suggested.
      • While the vast majority of the site has a single title (SGL214496) the proposals would include (as part of the access) part of the land owned by London Power Networks (SY26227) – some of that land was previously transferred but the substation and (more importantly for this application) part of the roadway were retained. We are unclear how planning conditions for the development might apply across multiple pieces of land with unrelated owners (particularly where one owner is not a party to the application and would appear not to have been consulted).
      • The Tree Survey states that tree T022 would be removed – this tree is not part of the site and is sited on land owned by others (likely the Environment Agency).

    Specific comments:

    • Height and scale. The houses are materially and inappropriately higher than neighbouring properties and out of character with the local area. As per page 16 of the Design & Access Statement they are in fact closer in height to the previously proposed four storey blocks of flats. While recognising the developer’s preference to maximise head height throughout the second floors of the houses, a reduction in the roofline to match that of surrounding properties would be more appropriate. The poor size of the habitable rooms and usable gardens, together with the overall bulk and massing might be more appropriate if there were only two houses sited on the current three house Type B footprint.
    • Overlooking. The previous consultation by the developers was at pains to note that none of the proposed flats would have windows overlooking neighbouring homes and gardens. It is therefore deeply disappointing that the current proposals withdraw that concession and ignore local feedback. As noted above, the defective site plans and proposals in respect of trees make this problem more pronounced than the application would imply. We would be overlooked into both our house and garden, with direct line of sight at first and second floor levels (we would of course also overlook them). If you are not minded to refuse permission and the applicant is not minded to reconsider their proposals, we’d ask for requirements for smaller windows and much wider use of obscured glazing (at both first and second floor levels) for the Type B houses where they overlook Kingsway, including specific Planning Conditions that the glazing cannot subsequently be replaced with non-obscured glazing without Council consent.
    • Design. Strong red brick work, zinc roofs and floor to ceiling windows throughout does not reflect the character and vernacular of the local area (despite the strange suggestion that the design proposed reflects the previous garage use of the site). We would suggest the applicant be required to rethink how they might better reflect the character of the local area (primarily a mix of duller brick, rendering, smaller windows and tiled roofs).
    • Security. The current gated nature of the site provides a significant element of security to rear gardens which border it. Despite the loss of security we recognise that it would inappropriate for the new houses to be a gated development. We’d ask therefore at a minimum, that in addition to new border fencing, the access off the site to the garages at 11 & 15 Kingsway be required to be gated.
    • Trees. As noted above the tree survey work includes removal of at least one tree that is on land owned by someone else that provides significant screening to the site. We ask for further consideration of how the developer will retain the existing screens of trees around the site and replace any trees removed. We also ask that they be required to undertake additional planting on the boundaries of the site and that this be protected through Planning Conditions and TPOs as required (eg the Type B houses be required to have semi-mature trees transplanted to their rear gardens which then are protected from removal).
    • Site access. As noted above the current access proposals are unworkable in the context of the culvert headwall. It is also noted that the Design & Access statement doesn’t consider access to the site from Crossway (it only considered movement within the site). Vehicles larger than a normal car at present have to stop in the middle of Crossway and be reversed onto the site using a banksman. Those leaving have to nose out across the footway. It is unclear how even with possible widening of the access (noting the culvert point) the site would be accessible to waste, emergency and delivery vehicles. The narrow entrance is currently dangerous and the applicant at present has not offered an appropriate, suitable or safe solution.
    • Drainage management. The SuDS Report notes that the site currently slopes toward Crossway which drains surface water away from neighbouring properties. We’d ask that this slope be retained as a planning condition. The SuDs Report (pages 36 to 39) also notes at length that a significant and material regular maintenance programme would be required to ensure appropriate surface water drainage from the site. It is unclear how this would be ensured if the site passed into fragmented ownership. We would request that undertaking suitable maintenance be a planning condition, together with securing suitable insurances or an indemnity being provided should the maintenance work not be carried out as required. Similarly given the importance of the road surfaces on the site for surface water run off and flood risk we would also ask that permeable paving be a planning condition (which therefore relates to the London Power Networks ownership issue noted above).
    • Lighting. The site has previously had bright lighting which was a nuisance to neighbouring properties. The application does not propose to replace this which is welcome.
    • Design of photo-voltaic cells. The applicant proposes to install PV cells in the roofs of the type B houses facing Kingsway. This is a welcome proposal. However given the significant proportion of the roof area that they will cover their design and look should be subject to neighbour consultation and Officer approval as a planning condition.
    • Contamination. In the absence of the Contamination Risk Assessment it is difficult to offer a view but given the age of the garages (and therefore likely use of materials like asbestos) and previous use of the site there are likely to be issues. We’d ask for significant restrictions around this to protect residents.
    • Construction vehicle access. The Air Quality Assessment (page 31) indicates the possible removal of the width restriction to allow construction vehicle access. This would clearly be unacceptable. Given the difficulties in accessing the site noted above, particularly in the morning and evening peak when traffic is often stationary on Crossway and the footways heavily used by children travelling to school (eg St John Fisher), we’d ask for particularly narrow restrictions on the timings for access to the site.

    We apologise for the lengthy response but we trust it is helpful. As noted above this is a suitable site for development should the broad concerns be surmounted and an appropriate proposal be developed. Please do contact us should you have any questions,

     

  • Raynes Park Station - Steps to Remain

    In the wake of confirmation that Motspur Park Station is scheduled to have lifts installed (although no timescale has been confirmed as yet) campaigners for a similar facility for platforms 3 & 4 at Raynes Park Station had been hoping for a successful outcome. 

    Unfortunately, we have been informed by NETWORK RAIL that because of the atypical design and layout of Raynes Park Station, any attempt to install lifts would far exceed the budget of £3m-£4m which is set aside for such projects. 

    Therefore, because the station is described by NR as “a complex site”, those fighting for its inclusion in the step-free programme of improvements have to begin campaigning again for consideration in the 5 year plan starting in 2024. 

    A disappointing setback which residents will work to overcome.

  • Chairman's Blog - August 2021

    Residents will have been devastated to learn that the Redrow plans to build 7 tower blocks up to 15 stories high on the Tesco Extra car park site have been approved by the Planning Inspector. She was hearing an appeal by Redrow against the Council’s decision to refuse the application. 

    Our view is that it was open to her to dismiss the appeal, on the wealth of evidence provided by the Council’s excellent witnesses, individual residents, and by our Residents’ Association.  However, she decided, following 11 days of intensive evidence, a site visit, and some 6 months of deliberation, to allow Redrow’s appeal. 

    The reasons she gave in her 34 page judgment were to give priority on balance to the need for further accommodation, since the Council could not show that they had a 5 year supply of

     The Inspector took the view, despite our strenuous objections to the contrary, that the views of the buildings both close up and from a distance had only a “minor adverse impact” and would not be “harmful or out of place”. She also decided that the parking provision on site “would be acceptable”.  We did secure a condition that, if a Controlled Parking Zone had to be imposed on local streets because of the lack of parking for new residents, those residents (at least those who were not disabled) would not be able to apply for a permit in those streets. 

    She held that there was a clear distinction between this part of the Tesco site, which she said was ripe for regeneration, and had been an industrial area, and the 2-storey suburban housing on the other side of Burlington Road.  

    Of course, this will not be the end of the building in this area. We fully expect now that the developers will be back with yet further plans to build on the rest of the Tesco site, which will probably include knocking down the present Tesco store and building more towers blocks over and around it. 

    We regret very much that there is no way to challenge this decision. 

     John Elvidge

  • £3 Annual Subscription 2021

    As many of you will already know, the RPWBRA is a voluntary organisation without affiliations to any party political group. It was founded in 1927 to support the local community and has a thriving membership.

    The Association keeps an eye on local issues and planning applications, supporting residents whenever and wherever possible and appropriate.

    More than 60 volunteers distribute the RPWBRA magazine “The Guide” 11

    times a year and information can also be found on our website and RPWBRA next-door site. We are financed by members’ subscriptions and advertising. 

    The subscription for 2021/22 remains at the astonishingly

    low price of £3 per household per annum – an absolute bargain made possible by the work of all the volunteers, i.e. the Committee, the Pavilion Management Group and the Road Stewards. 

    WAYS TO PAY                                                                                 

    1.Directly to your road steward when s/he calls at your door.

      

    2. £3 by cash or cheque payable to RPWBRA in a clearly marked envelope through your steward’s door.

     

    3. BACS: direct bank payment RPWBRA, sort code 30-99-66, account number: 32070068 using your surname & road as reference.

     

    Please Note: we are phasing out Paypal. If you have already paid this way it is fine, but otherwise please pay using the one of the three methods listed. Thank you for your payments.

    John Townsend, Treasurer

  • Opinions about E-Scooters

    Some of our members are very concerned about the dangers to pedestrians with reduced mobility - also those with buggies or in charge of toddlers - caused by adults and teenagers using the pavements on e-scooters and bikes. This is a serious and frightening issue for some residents and one which we must discuss with the Local Safer Neighbourhood Team. 

    Other residents, both motorists and cyclists, have expressed concerns about e-scooters emerging at speed from side roads or driveways, causing drivers and riders to brake suddenly or swerve. 

    However, other members also make the case for the greening effect of such forms of transportation, highlighting the potential benefits of e-scooters. 

    At present e-scooters are illegal to use, except on private land with permission, unless they are hired from approved rental companies in several trial areas of the country, including London, but NOT including Merton or its neighbouring boroughs. 

    On one hand we want people to stop using cars so much, for the sake of the planet, but on the other hand e-scooters are not deemed safe to use on the pavements and only on the roads as part of a controlled experiment. 

    Perhaps we need to let the advantages of this technology come into our lives? The more people who use them, the fewer will use cars or public transport. 

    Now, without speed limiters they would be a danger to pedestrians, but with speed limiters they could cause problems on the roads.  Should they  share the road with bicycles? Do we need rules, like NO passengers, NO pavement use and helmets should be worn? 

    Hopefully, some sensible rules will enable these scooters to be used legally and safely, leading towards a less-polluted future.

    What are your views?

     

  • Our Green Spaces

    As an association we fight constantly to ensure that residents have access within easy walk to pleasant green spaces. 

    At present we are working to ensure that the Lessa/Meadowview site is retained for sport, that the Prince George’s/Raynes Park Vale FC site is not compromised by “pub” conditions and that the land behind the houses 274 – 318 Cannon Hill Lane remains both a peaceful habitat for wildlife and a visual delight for those nearby. 

    We are all responsible for our surroundings and there are simple ways to contribute to the environment. 

    Litter

    Always take litter home and encourage youngsters to do so. 

    Fly tipping

    NEVER dispose of unwanted items carelessly and NEVER allow unlicensed operatives to remove your rubbish because you do not know where they will leave it. 

    Please email us your photos of our amazing parks and fields, to rpwbra@rpwbresidents.org.uk

    Clare Townsend

  • Chairman's Blog - July 2021

    Merton’s Licensing Committee held a 2 hour hearing on 17th June to determine the application to have a pub alcohol licence at the Raynes Park Vale Football Club. It heard evidence from the applicant, Justin Whitehead, and from a number of residents who strongly opposed the application. These included Mary-Jane Jeanes on behalf of the Friends of Cannon Hill Common and me, on behalf of our RPWBRA members. 

    This Association was pleased to assist in the amazing campaign to oppose the granting of the application for a public alcohol licence which would have disrupted the lives of so many residents living near the Raynes Park Vale Football Club. The club of course already has a perfectly adequate licence for its own events and we wish it well in its sporting endeavours. 

    As Chair of the Residents’ Association (which has no political party affiliations and seeks to support all residents) I was pleased to speak in your support at the council licensing sub-committee meeting on 17th June.

    There were a very large number of residents who wrote to oppose the licence, far more than those who supported it.

    I was impressed by the imaginative campaign conducted by residents and by their appointment of such an accomplished barrister. 

    The Committee was due to give its decision within 5 days.  Our case was that our Association has members in all the roads that will be affected badly by this application The site is totally unsuitable for what would be in effect a public house.  It is in the middle of Prince George’s Playing Fields, which have the protected status of Metropolitan Open Land and where building is only permitted for sporting purposes.

    The Fields are also subject to controls imposed by Merton Council in 2009 restricting the use of commercial activities to 28 occasions in a calendar year, which number is always taken up on the major part of the Fields, with car boot sales, antiques fairs, and a circus, and other events.

    The site is some 300 metres from Grand Drive, which has the only vehicular access, and there is no lighting at all along the track to the Football Clubhouse.  While the Fields are used for recreation in the daytime, they are deserted during the house of darkness. Nor have the pedestrian routes to the site from Whatley Avenue and Meadow Close got any kind of lighting.

    The site has no police patrols. There is limited parking. While the site is isolated geographically, it is on high ground, and noise and light pollution would be audible and visible over a very large area, including in particular in Berrylands, Cannon Close, Grand Drive, Meadow Close and Parkway.

    The Clubhouse has a current alcohol licence which has major and detailed controls to protect local residents from noise pollution and unruly and antisocial behaviour.  Noise must be contained within the clubhouse building, and stewards appointed.   Alcohol can only be served to members and their guests, and not to the public at large.

    The present proposals do not include the building of any new premises.  Instead decking is being built, and tables and chairs provided outside, which would carry noise over a very wide area.  It had been proposed that music of various kinds and films would be shown on the decking during the day and the evening. This was amended at the hearing to limit it to inside the Clubhouse, but even this would be audible for many hundreds of yards. 

    An Artisans Market has grown up on both days at weekends, with a number of market stalls. The number of events being held here is already in excess of the numbers permitted by the Council’s by-law limiting events to 28 days a year. 

    The proposals are the provision of alcohol to the public for very extensive periods of time, from mid-morning to very late at night, and on a 365 days basis.  

    This inevitably will result in huge public disturbances of all kinds, and the noisy coming and going of cars at all hours. Cars used to be prevented from coming onto the site at night and when football was not being played, to prevent antisocial behaviour including the torching of cars. Children play on the Fields, and in the Lycee grounds opposite, and might have been exposed to intoxicated behaviour.

    We urged the Committee to reject the scheme in its entirety.

    The RPWBRA was therefore delighted to receive the recent news that the Licencing Committee refused the application.

    John Elvidge - Chairman

     

  • Vote for a Mural!

     

    At the Raynes Park Community Forum, held on Zoom on 10 June 2021, Chris Larkman of the Raynes Park Association explained that Network Rail has agreed to fund a mural for the south side of the Skew Arch in Raynes Park (the pedestrian/cycle arch under the railway to the east of the road bridge).   

    The project is being managed by local people and they are seeking opinions on the preferred option from the two short-listed designs. 

    As this is Network Rail property, it will have the final say but everyone local is invited to vote for their preferred design by following this link:  https://forms.gle/bGj6uxxb2sJCmbjd6

     

  • Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields

    The Friends of Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields works hand in hand with Merton Council and other organisations to help maintain and enhance our park. Funding has previously been obtained to improve the facilities e.g. tennis courts, exercise equipment, paddling pool, to provide a summer cafe and also to enhance the look and natural feel of the surroundings, such as tree / bulb planting and the meadow sections.

    There is also lesser known activity that takes place within the park boundary. Every month a small group of volunteers from The Friends gather by the Beverley Brook and participate in a significant Citizen Science research project. Riverfly Monitoring is an initiative spearheaded by the Riverfly Partnership which ensures that groups can take action to conserve the river environment by monitoring water quality.

    The South East Rivers Trust is a brilliant conservation organisation and their coordinator Jess has helped to set up Riverfly Monitoring in the Beverley Brook.

    The team working in our park is one of four along the Brook, which flows from Worcester Park into the Thames near Barnes. The process is effectively pond dipping, but in a slightly more scientific way. The waders are donned, we climb into the water and then the riverbed is  gently ‘kicked’ or ‘swept’ to allow the riverflies to rise into the water flow and are captured in a special net.

    Thereafter it is a matter of placing the contents into viewing trays followed by intense spotting and counting of species. Each of the targeted invertebrate types scores points, with the total score providing a good estimate of the river quality at that time. Our monitoring point generally produces dozens of Caseless Caddis and Gammarus (freshwater shrimp).

    We hope one day to find more Cased Caddis, Olives and Mayfly larvae, which would be great indicators of improving water quality in a London river. So, if you happen to see a strange group of people carrying buckets and nets across the park on a Saturday morning then you know that science is about to take place.

    For more information click Friends of Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Field

    Jane Pritchard

     

  • Raynes Park Station - Poor accessibility to Platforms 3 & 4

    We have had an email from one of our members who uses a wheelchair if they have any distance to travel. They are asking for a lift to be installed at Raynes Park to give access to platforms 3 & 4. It is all very well having the ramp to access trains going to London but what about the return journey? To get back to Raynes Park awheelchair user must leave the train at Wimbledon Station, go up to ground floor in the lift and then cross the busy road to get on a bus. Network Rail has been asked about this many times, but no progress has been made. If the stairs at the station are causing you problems, let us know ( rpwbra@rpwbresidents.org.uk ) and we shall see if we can use a petition or some other method to achieve an elevator.

  • £15,000 Available for West Barnes and Raynes Park

    Would you like to have new benches or play equipment in the park? 

    What about planting bulbs on our verges? 

    Merton Council is making £15,000 available for small-scale public space projects in every ward. 

    Projects must meet Government criteria, for example bulb planting; benches, playground equipment or bins for parks; grants to community groups for clean ups or fence painting; footway and street structures (decluttering, renewal, vegetation. 

    All three ward councillors must approve any application to spend the money for each ward, so please send them your ideas as soon as possible. 

    In West Barnes our councillors are:

    Eloise Bailey, eloise.bailey@merton.gov.uk

    Hina Bokhari, hina.bokhari@merton.gov.uk

    Carl Quilliamcarl.quilliam@merton.gov.uk

     

    In Raynes Park, our councillors are:

    Adam Bushadam.bush@merton.gov.uk

    Omar Bushomar.bush@merton.gov.uk 

    Stephen Crowe, stephen.crowe@merton.gov.uk 

    Please let the RPWBRA know your ideas too.   rpwbra@rpwbresidents.org.uk

    The council has to assess all projects and it takes time to get things ordered and delivered. Please don’t delay – send in your ideas now. The money has to be spent by 31st March 2022. 

     

  • Plans to Re-Open the Pavilion

    Following the move to “Step 4” in the government’s road map, some of our regular groups are returning to the Pavilion. We are looking forward, therefore, to welcoming back Najat Stefka, who has been running her Merton Health and Fitness groups at the Pavilion since 2015. 

    At the beginning of this summer term, as the lockdown rules have been eased, Najat re-started both her outside FitClub  and indoor Pilates classes at the Pavilion. 

    We all still need follow the “hands, face, space” guidance, such as special signage, one-way systems, hand sanitizer and correct hygiene procedures.

    Back in March 2020, all our regular hirers and the RPWBRA Premises Management Group jointly decided to close down the Pavilion just ahead of the government announcing the first lockdown. Since then, Najat has successfully been running her Pilates and exercise groups online. Nevertheless, re-opening the Pavilion is an important step, both for Najat and our Association. 

    You can contact Najat Stefka at: https://www.mertonhealthfitness.co.uk/ 

    Jerry Cuthbert (Chair, Premises Management Group)

  • Chairman's Blog - June 2021

    Tesco/Redrow 

    As of 1st June 2021, the Association is still waiting to hear the Inspector’s decision in respect of the above matter. As you know, we are in favour of housing development on the site but TOTALLY OPPOSED to the prospect of high-rise (14/15 storey) blocks.  I gave evidence, assisted by David Freeman and Jerry Cuthbert, in a very intensive appeal hearing spread out over 11 days in December and January and we are all anxious to know the outcome. 

    Update 29 June 2021 - The Planning Inspectorate has upheld Redrow's Appeal and therefore Planning Permission is granted. (Click here for more information.)

     

    Bellway/Lessa 

    All has gone very quiet in respect of plans to build on this sports field in Meadowview Road. The would-be developers have consistently blocked or disregarded plans put forward by sports clubs and schools to use the land for its intended sporting purpose. We continue to press for information from the Planning Department.

    Raynes Park Vale Football Club

    The Association is pleased that a government grant of £10,000 has enabled the club to lay a new pitch, thus furthering their football ambitions. 

    However, we do not support the current application for a change of alcohol licence.

    Follow these links for more information:

    Raynes Park Vales FC re-applies for Late Night Licence

    Objection to RPVFC License Application 

    The club already has a members’ licence which enables it to serve drinks and hold functions, under strict conditions to protect local residents. 

    The new proposed licence, which would include the sale of alcohol to the general public from morning until very late at night, would disturb and cause stress to residents in the roads surrounding the club and would be inappropriate in an area (Prince George’s Playing Fields) where children play freely.

     Our AGM 

    Finally, it has been over a year now since we were able to have a general meeting. We had to cancel our AGM, our socials, our outings, clubs and Open Meetings, so as we move into the Summer, let’s hope we can begin to make plans again! 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    John Elvidge (Chairman)

  • Objection to RPVFC License Application

    Letter to the Licensing Team at Merton Council from RPWBRA 

    18 May 2021 

    Licensing Application: WK/202103135 

    Dear Sir/Madam, 

    We write to object in the strongest terms to the above application.   

    We are the Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents’ Association, which was founded in 1928, and has some 1800 household members.  Our area includes the whole of Prince George’s Playing Fields, on part of which sits the Raynes Park Vale Football Club (RPVFC), as well as Cannon Hill Common.  

    Many of our members live in the streets nearest to the application site, which are Berrylands, Cannon Close, Heath Drive, Parkway, Cannon Hill Lane, and Grand Drive, as well as all the roads off Grand Drive.  If the application were to be granted, the whole area will be very seriously affected from morning until very late at night on every day of the week throughout the year. 

    Prince George’s Playing Fields is designated as Metropolitan Open Land and as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, Grade 2. 

    It is extensively used for public recreation and has been invaluable as such during the lockdowns.  It is used at weekends for football matches.  The whole site is subject to planning controls imposed by the Council in 2009 which restrict the use of the Fields to 14 sales events and 14 other events in the year. Vehicular access to the site for these purposes is off Bushey Road. 

    The Football Club is situated on the south side of the footpath that leads from Grand Drive to Whatley Avenue.  Vehicular access to this is from Grand Drive along the footpath.  This also provides access to the extensive playing fields of the French Lycee, whose grounds and changing rooms are not open to the public.  The Lycee has both female and male pupils of all ages. Their grounds are opposite the clubhouse of RPVFC and are heavily used. 

    The clubhouse of RPVFC is very close to the houses in Berrylands and Grand Drive.  This is currently being extended to allow for groups of 150 people at wedding parties and other gatherings.  The Club is also building an extensive decking area which it intends to use for outdoor entertainment, including music and films.   

    RPVFC has already a club licence to provide alcohol for its Members and their guests from 11 am to 11 pm with music allowed during the same times.  This licence is subject to stringent conditions to prevent the disturbance of local residents.  

    These include that when regulated entertainment is being provided, all doors and windows should be kept shut. At the same time, patrols should take place on an hourly basis at the perimeter of the property to ensure that there is no sound escape. If there is such an escape, action should be taken immediately to reduce the noise to a level that is not audible at the nearest residential property. After 11pm patrols should also address noisy patrons outside their premises. A logbook is to be kept to record such patrols and should be made available for inspection by Council officers. 

    The Club also has to put up clear signs at the exit points stating: “This is a residential area, please leave quietly”. 

    Quite clearly, the provision of decking outside the clubhouse, where people can take food and drinks, and listen to music, and watch films, would be totally inconsistent with the present conditions that are designed to protect residents. The “regulated entertainment” is also intended under the present application to continue to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 1.30 am on New Year’s Eve.      

    The present application goes very much further than the provision of alcohol for Members and their guests.  The intention is to sell food and alcohol on a commercial basis to the public generally.

    IT WOULD BECOME A PUB.

    The application is being made by a catering company which has run local pubs as licensees for the past 25 years. We understand that a portion of the profits it hopes to make will be shared with the Club.  In their post on the social media site Nextdoor on 17.4.21 the proprietors say that: 

             “The club already has a licence for its members and we just want to open up a bit to the    locals… The vision is to have a nice area for locals to stop off and socialise. The outside area however will only be open till 10pm. May I point out that there will be no amplified music on the decking just nice acoustic individuals and duets. There will be some nice craft beers available as well as a nice wine list and a few simple cocktails (as in Pimms on the deck). There will also be a fresh food offering … Our opening hours will be 12.00 midday till 11 pm Mon to Sun. We have applied for longer licenses to allow some flexibility with our weddings etc”. 

    However, despite these public assurances from the proprietors, this is NOT what has been applied for. The application, were it to be granted, would allow for more latitude, including the holding of noisy outdoor events late into the night. 

    We object under the following four grounds:

     

    A. The prevention of crime and disorder 

    The site is isolated being up a footpath and is in the middle of open land.  At night it is completely dark except for any lighting from the Club. There are no street lights and there is no lighting on the footpath. In the winter it is dark by 4pm. 

    It would be inappropriate to install outdoor lighting leading to and from the Clubhouse because it would disturb local residents.   And have a negative impact on wildlife (foraging bats and owls). Further, all development on Metropolitan Open Land has to be “essential” in support of the permitted use of outdoor sport unless “very special circumstances” can be demonstrated otherwise. Lighting and decking would almost certainly be in conflict with the MOL designation of the whole site. 

     The proposal is to have unregulated drinking by members of the public. It is hard to see how members of RPVFC could easily control excess drinking or disturbances.  There will be times when there are over 150 people on the site. Women would be at particular risk in such a situation.  Licensed public houses are accessible from the public highway. This is not. There are no police patrols in the area. The risk is self- evident, and high.

    B. Public safety. 

    The same points as above apply. 

    C. The prevention of public nuisance 

    The Fields are designated for the quiet enjoyment of open space.  Residents and their families use the Fields for informal games, exercise, dog-walking, and to de-stress (access to green spaces being good for mental and physical health). Having a pub there is totally outside the purpose of the designation of the Fields as Metropolitan Open Land. 

    There is very limited car parking at the site, and most people will come by car.  If the cars are parked on the rest of Prince’s George’s field it will damage the surface and disturb the wildlife.  Cars would be coming in and out of the Grand Drive entrance very late into the night.  There is limited parking also on Grand Drive and the surrounding streets. Residents would be disturbed nightly by car doors slamming, and people talking, often over loudly. There would be the potential for car theft and damage.  There would some likelihood of an increase in drink driving in the area. 

    If people came by taxi or minicab there would be further disturbance. 

    Noise from the decking, and other outdoor drinking will be heard over a very wide area, in a totally residential area. Light pollution would also be seen until very late.

    Many of our residents work long hours and do not wish to be disturbed in their evening hours or their sleep. They wish to enjoy the quiet of their gardens at the weekends or on summer evenings. 

    Many of our residents have families and will not want their children exposed to the noise from a “Pub”, nor have their sleep disturbed. 

    In the past the gates to the access to the Fields off Grand Drive were locked at night to prevent the stealing/dumping and torching of cars. They could no longer be locked during the hours of darkness if this application was approved. 

    In recent months a coffee stall has been placed next to the clubhouse and an Artisans’ Market has grown up at weekends.  The result has been a great increase in littering in the surrounding area and on Cannon Hill Common, which the bins do not fully cater for. This can only increase if food and drink can be served outdoors to the public.   

    D. The protection of children from harm. 

    The decking is opposite the playing fields of the French Lycee.  The children would be in close proximity to people drinking alcohol on the outside decking. 

    Girls and Boys sports teams also practise and play on the main field area of Prince George’s so it is not just a problem for the Lycee. Children also play freely there. 

    They should not be in close proximity to adults who may become intoxicated. The best-regulated football clubs and pubs in the country have problems with alcohol and poor behaviour but do not have young unaccompanied children to worry about. 

    Under age drinking already occurs on the Fields and Cannon Hill Common, with empty cans and bottles and nitrous oxide capsules being found. Having overage drinking there could increase this. 

    WE URGE THE LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE TO GIVE FULL WEIGHT TO THE VIEWS OF RESIDENTS, AND TO REJECT THE APPLICATION OUTRIGHT. 

    ANY NEW LICENCE SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE SAME CONDITIONS AND CONTROLS AS EXIST ON THE PRESENT CLUB LICENCE. ANY LICENCE SHOULD BE FOR INDOORS ONLY AS AT PRESENT. 

    IN PARTICULAR THERE SHOULD BE NO SALE OF ALCOHOL PERMITTED TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. 

    John Elvidge, Chair of the RPWBRA 

    18 May 2021

     

  • Chairman's Blog - May 2021

    RAYNES PARK VALE FOOTBALL CLUB 

    The Club has operated an airstream van on their premises since last autumn, selling drinks and snacks. This is to generate funds to improve their ground and facilities.  

    This spring it grew into an Artisans’ Market open at weekends, with stalls selling such things as pizza, bread, fish, and honey. This is operated by a local commercial enterprise.

    The Club is currently refurbishing its clubroom to make it “more appealing to small wedding parties and club diners” and building a decked area outside. They say that the outside area will “only be open until 10pm” and that there will be no amplified music, just “nice individuals and duets”.  They plan to make an additional application for a licence to sell alcohol, with very extensive opening hours being proposed, for every day of the week.  Although the club already has a members’ licence, it appears that they intend to sell alcohol to the public as well.

     There is no doubt, judging from the number of people now clutching coffee mugs as they walk over Cannon Hill Common, that the coffee bar has been a welcome innovation. 

    Also, the weekend Artisans’ Market has attracted some 50 people at a time. But many residents will be anxious at the new proposals on what has been a quiet playing field until now, and the possibility of noise, and cars parking late into the night. 

    The Club is on Prince George’s Playing Fields, which is Metropolitan Open Land. Planning Controls are in force restricting the number of boot sales and other commercial events, in order to maintain the open character of the land.  It would appear that the maximum number of permitted uses is being reached, and we will be asking the planning department to enforce the existing controls, which were issued in 2009. 

    While we would encourage the Club to extend its clubroom and provide food and drinks for its own members and their guests, we would want the opening hours to be carefully limited, and we will be opposing any licence to sell alcohol to the general public.

    Update 18 May 2021: The Football Club has now re-applied for a late night licence to sell alcohol on and off the premises, provide refreshment and have live music, seven days a week, until late at night, open to the general public. 

    More information is hereOur Association has submitted an objection to the application, Our objection can be read here 

    The deadline for objections is 26 May 2021. 

    CAR THEFTS

    One of the most prevalent crimes locally for a number of years has been the theft of catalytic converters. These contain valuable minerals worth many hundreds of pounds.  The police tell us that these can be removed within a few minutes but will be not be stolen if the converter has been marked, and a sticker to this effect is visible. The vehicles that have been identified as most at risk are: Toyota Prius (2004-15), Honda Jazz, Toyota Auris (2006-18), Lexus RX, and Honda CRV (except, my garage tells me, for the most recent model).

    REDROW/TESCO APPEAL

    No news yet regarding the Planning Inspector’s report! Please remember to keep checking this website and our Nextdoor Group for latest information.

    John Elvidge

  • Raynes Park Vale FC is refused Licence

    Update 25 June 2021 - Licence Application Refused

    We were pleased to hear that this licence application has been refused. Our Association was delighted to participate in the amazing campaign to oppose the granting of the application for a public alcohol licence which would have disrupted the lives of so many residents living near the Raynes Park Vale Football Club. The club of course already has a perfectly adequate licence for its own events and we wish it well in its sporting endeavours.

    As Chair of the Residents’ Association (which has no political party affiliations and seeks to support all residents) I was pleased to speak in your support at the council licensing sub-committee meeting on 17th June.

     I was impressed by the imaginative campaign and by the residents’ appointment of such an accomplished barrister. 

    John Elvidge, Chairman, RPWBRA

     

    To read our Association's objection to the application for a license click Objection to RPVFC License Application 

     

    Previously ...

    The Raynes Park Vale Football Club has re-applied for a licence to sell alcohol, show films, have live and recorded music and serve Late Night Refreshment, seven days a week and up to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and to stay open until half-past-midnight on Friday nights/Saturday mornings and Saturday nights/Sunday mornings.

    The full application details may be seen at

    https://www.merton.gov.uk/Documents/current%20licensing%20applications%2029042021.pdf on pages 11 & 12.

    This application is effectively to operate a "pub" open to all. selling alcohol off and on the premises, with extended late-night hours at weekends into the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings, with live music and other forms of entertainment. 

    The closing date for representations is 26 May 2021.

    REPRESENTATIONS SHOULD BE MADE IN WRITING TO: 

    Licencing Section, London Borough of Merton, 14th Floor, Civic

    Centre, London Road, Morden, Surrey, SM4 5DX or by email to: 

    licensing@merton.gov.uk

    The Application Reference is WK/202103135

     

  • A letter from our Life President - April 2021

    No-one could have known - least of all me - what was ahead of us fourteen months ago and just how much our lives and perspectives would change. 

    Many people have suffered great sadness and loss and those of us that have been spared the worst of what the pandemic was to bring have learned to appreciate things that perhaps we took for granted. Meeting up with friends and family; enjoying a professional haircut; being able to travel and revisit the seaside, country houses and parks; having a meal out at our favourite restaurant; the reopening of our clubs and societies, retail therapy and simply having fun. 

    Hopefully, in time, we can all look forward to kicking Covid into the long grass and, like smallpox and the bubonic plague, into the annals of history. But this has been a much needed wake up call for us all. We must never forget the lessons we have learned: the importance of friends, the kindness of strangers, and last but not least, to look after our environment and our wonderful planet.

     Jill Truman

  • From Our Secretary - April 2021

    PLANS: CROSSWAY GARAGES

    This month’s Inbox has contained several emails about a letter received by many residents about proposals for garages accessed from Crossway.   

    Axis and Mohsin Cooper Architects are planning to demolish the existing garages and build three blocks of flats four storeys in height, providing 18 residential units. The proposals can be seen at https://tinyurl.com/n34p5pzu  

    if you want to comment on this proposal, email Axis at consultations@axisped.co.uk with the subject ;

    Garages Accessed from Crossway, Raynes Park”. 

    Please copy in our Residents’ Association (here) so that we are aware of your thoughts. 

    RP&WB Residents’ Association have arranged to extend the consultation date to 6pm 12th April.  

    GARTH ROAD HOUSEHOLD REUSE AND RECYCLING CENTRE

    Our inbox has been alive with concerns about the Garth Road facility so, in common with many local organisations and councillors, we have been in touch with Merton Council to find a way forward. The adoption of a booking system during the pandemic was initially unpopular, but as residents became familiar with the process, it appeared to be working quite well.

     Then, in March, the Centre reverted to its open system but, at times, there were alarmingly long queues.Councillor Hina Bokhari kindly forwarded an email to us from Charles Baker, Merton Strategy and Commissioning Officer, who has explained that when the booking system was ended, there was a surge of cars arriving at the facility. 

    We have since heard that the online booking system has now been re-instated.

    Charles Baker is also examining ways of allowing non-vehicular use which would require careful arrangements for safety reasons.

     Michael Marks, RPWBRA Secretary

  • Chairman's Blog - April 2021

    REDROW/TESCO ENQUIRY

    The Planning Inspector has, we believe, made her inspection of the site where Redrow plan to build flats in 7 towers blocks up to 15 storeys high. We asked her at the Inquiry to visit a large number of other roads which we named, so that she could see the full impact of the buildings, and she agreed to do so. She also agreed that her visit would take in the evening rush hour, so that she could see the effect of school traffic and the impact of the level crossing at West Barnes Lane.

    We expect the Report in April. We will, of course, summarise her conclusions at once on our website, and on Nextdoor, then cover it fully in The Guide.

    MERTON PARKING FEES

    The local free newspaper reports that Merton Council intends to drive up the costs of permits in controlled parking zones, to what may be the highest fees in the UK.  Charges could go up to as much as £690 a year, to park on the street near your home. It held a public consultation on the increased charges, which showed that only a quarter of respondents believed that the costs should be linked to reducing pollution. It hopes to disincentivise car ownership and encourage lower emission vehicles.

    It argued that 96 % of those who responded were car owners, but only 68% of residents own a vehicle so the increased fees could potentially be reinvested directly into measures to support complementary sustainable transport measures. The Council estimates that the higher charges will add as much as £1 million a year to its coffers.

    Many residents in our area rely upon having a car, since their homes are outside reasonable walking distance of reliable public transport.  Some will have diesel vehicles, which will be charged more than petrol or electric cars, and be unable to afford to change their cars. Many need to park on the streets.

    You have to wonder what is the point of public consultation if Councillors simply ignore the views of these who take the trouble to respond, and instead impose their own ideas.

    MEADOWVIEW PLANS

    Michael Marks is continuing to liaise with residents in Meadowview regarding their experiences of water-logged gardens and related issues and Mary-Jane is scrutinizing the details on the planning website.

    We are pressing the council planners for information about the planning application made by Bellway Homes last November to build on the former LESSA sports ground. Fortunately, Sport England has now formally objected to the proposals, having been informed by the RPWBRA of the high level of interest by sports groups and schools to use the ground for its intended purpose of sport.

     

     I hope you enjoy this picture of blossom in Joseph Hood Recreation Ground.

     

    John Elvidge

  • Proposals for 38 Crossway

     

    Update 18 May 2021.     We have been advised by the developer that the plans for this site have been changed. It now plans to submit a planning application shortly, for seven houses. This information may be read here.

    Previously ...

    Some of our members will already be aware that, Axis, a planning consultancy company, has announced a proposal to redevelop the premises at 38 Crossway to create 18 residential units in 3 blocks of 3 and 4 storeys in height. This site is currently comprised of various garages and workshops.

    This is a speculative planning enquiry, in advance of a full planning application to the Council. Details of the proposal are at https://www.axisped.co.uk/proposals-for-garages-accessed-from-crossway-raynes-park-sw20/

    Apart from access to the site, and potential visual intrusion to adjoining homes in Westway, Kingsway & Meadowsweet Close, Pyl Brook runs in a culvert at this location, so the risk of flooding will also be of concern. Axis has invited residents to submit comments. Following a request from our Residents' Association, the deadline has been extended to Monday 12 April, so we encourage you to examine the proposals and make your views known. Please copy in the Residents’ Association on rpwbra@outlook.com, so that we are aware of your thoughts.

    Our thanks to those members that have already copied in on their responses.

    Members are also reminded that these proposals are still at an early stage, as no planning application has yet been made.  There will still be the opportunity to submit comments to Merton Council, if and when a formal planning application is made.

     

     

     

     

  • Approach Road - 8 March 2021 for 3 weeks

    We have just learnt that Thames Water will be operating a lane closure and contra-flow system in Approach Road, Raynes Park (the south side of Raynes Park Station) from 8th March 2021 for approximately 3 weeks. This is essential work to enable them to make repairs to a sewer pipe.

    DELAYS WILL BE INEVITABLE                        

  • Chairman's Blog - March 2021

    REDROW PLANNING INQUIRY

    We are still awaiting the Inspector’s report on the planning appeal brought by Redrow against the Council’s refusal of its plans to build 456 flats in 7 tower blocks in Burlington Road.

    The delay is being caused by the pandemic, which has so far delayed the Inspector from undertaking her own visit to the site. This is a fundamental part of her decision. However, the Planning Inspectorate is exercising caution with its site visits at the moment..

    We will let you know on our website as soon as we hear anything further.

    (For previous reports, click here.

    BELLWAY PLANNING APPLICATION ON THE LESSA SITE

    Bellway has put a planning application to build a large number of houses and flats on the sports ground at Meadowview Road, off Grand Drive.    Over 200 strong letters of objection have been made, including those by the Residents’ Association.

    The 44 houses which now comprise Meadowview Road were allowed by a planning inspector in 2009 as an enabling development on the clear basis that the whole of the rest of the area should be retained for sporting purposes. We are urging the planning officers not to recommend approval, given the clear need expressed by local sports clubs and a junior school for continued use of the ground for football and cricket.

    You can read more here .

    COVID VACCINATION

    Many members of the Association will already have been given their first dose of vaccine, and all those over 65 should have been offered the jab by the end of March.  

    Locally this has largely taken place at the Nelson and the Wilson Hospitals, as well as at Kingston, St George’s & Epsom and various smaller venues.

    People say how efficiently and carefully the whole process has been organised, with volunteers assisting with guidance, and with no long waiting times.

    It’s an enormous task, and all the staff of the NHS deserve our warmest thanks and congratulations.

    WEATHER

    After the wettest January for many years, we had to endure one of our coldest and snowiest Februarys.  At least the children could escape lockdown for a bit and make snowmen and snowballs.

    Let’s hope that March brings a heatwave!

    Kind regards to all          John Elvidge

  • Email from Sport England to Merton 20/P3237

    Email from Sport England to Tim Lipscomb (Merton Planning Officer)

    Subject:  App Ref: 20/P3237 -  Land South of Meadowview Rd (LESSA) - Sport England Ref: PA/20/L/MR/57140

    Date: 23 February 2021

     

    Dear Tim, 

    Further to my previous response, Sport England has been provided with significant further information regarding sporting demand for this site. I immediately forwarded this to the relevant NGB colleagues and asked them to investigate it, which they have now done and revised their responses accordingly. As such, Sport England wishes to update its response to this planning application. Please consider that this response supersedes any previous responses. 

    Sport England –Statutory Role and Policy 

    It is understood that the proposal prejudices the use, or leads to the loss of use, of land being used as a playing field or has been used as a playing field in the last five years, as defined in The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 (Statutory Instrument 2015 No. 595). The consultation with Sport England is therefore a statutory requirement. 

    Sport England has considered the application in light of the National Planning Policy Framework (in particular Para. 97), and against its own playing fields policy, which states: 

    ‘Sport England will oppose the granting of planning permission for any development which would lead to the loss of, or would prejudice the use of: 

    • all or any part of a playing field, or
    • land which has been used as a playing field and remains undeveloped, or
    • land allocated for use as a playing field 

    unless, in the judgement of Sport England, the development as a whole meets with one or more of five specific exceptions.’ 

    Sport England’s Playing Fields Policy and Guidance document can be viewed via the below link:

    https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/facilities-and-planning/planning-for-sport#playing_fields_policy 

    The Proposal and Impact on Playing Field 

    The proposal is for 89 dwellings and associated infrastructure, plus 2 tennis courts with associated floodlighting, storage and car parking. This will involve the loss of the entire existing playing field. 

    Assessment against Sport England Policy 

    This application relates to the loss of existing playing fields. I understand that the applicant has suggested it mitigate this loss by contributing towards playing fields in the area in order to significantly increase their use, and that the Merton Playing Pitch Strategy would be supportive of this. It therefore needs to be considered against exception 4 of the above policy, which states: 

    ‘The area of playing field to be lost as a result of the proposed development will be replaced, prior to the commencement of development, by a new area of playing field: 

    • of equivalent or better quality, and
    • of equivalent or greater quantity, and
    • in a suitable location, and
    • subject to equivalent or better accessibility and management arrangements.’ 

    I therefore assessed the existing and proposed playing fields against the above policy to determine whether the proposals meet exception 4. 

    The element of the proposal which includes the tennis courts was assessed against exception 5, as these have the potential to be considered an alternative sports facility of sufficient benefit to the community so as to outweigh the loss of playing field. 

    Assessment of Existing Playing Fields 

    The existing playing field (also known as the LESSA playing field) comprises 2.27 hectares. A quantity of playing field to the north was lost some years ago when a portion of the field was redeveloped for housing. Historic aerial photography shows that in previous years it has been used for both cricket and football. I understand that in recent years the site has been closed and unavailable for sport. 

    Merton has a Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS) which states that this site should be bought back into use (if viable) to meet current sporting needs and future demands. These sites should be subject to thorough investigation by the steering group and the landowners, to understand whether a club or community group would be able to purchase and viably deliver part, or all of the site, for sporting use. This investigation is subject to a time limit of no more than six months from the date this PPS is adopted by the council. Should the site not be delivered for sporting use, a Section 106 financial contribution will need to be agreed as part of any development on the sites, to reinvest in other sport facilities in the Borough. 

    Following Sport England’s previous assessment of this application, it has since been in receipt of a letter dated 11th February from the West Barnes & Raynes Park Residents. This letter contained further information which highlights that there remain parties that are interested in using the site for cricket and have the resources to redevelop it. I understand that these parties attempted to contact the applicant’s agent and the local authority to make them aware of this. While these parties were referenced in the Sports Needs and Viability Report originally submitted as part of the application, this document ultimately concluded that neither of them had ‘viable bids’, however it would appear the situation has moved on since the submission of this report. 

    Following receipt of the above letter, I requested that NGB colleagues investigate this. The ECB and Surrey Cricket Foundation have confirmed to Sport England that they last week undertook meetings with the following two groups this week to explore their interest further and summarise these conversations as follows; 

    Consortium - Willington School, AJ Academy & Wimbledon United CC 

    • The school currently rents Drax Playing Field and would like to secure their own “home” playing field
    • They have previously explored other playing field sites in the borough such as Raynes Park but haven’t been able to secure them for the school’s use.
    • The school aspires to access the site during weekday, daytime hours.
    • The school wrote directly to Merton Council to express their interest in the site
    • The school has stated that it has the resources available to invest in and redevelop the site for cricket activity.
    • AJ Academy also wrote to Bellway and their Agent in August/September 2020 to express interest in their site, which was acknowledged. They also wrote to Merton Planning officers.
    • The Academy would be seeking to utilize the site on evenings/weekends for junior activity, which would complement the school’s requirements in terms of access.
    • Wimbledon United CC plays Sunday friendly fixtures, currently at Cottenham Park and LESSA would be an ideal home for their club.
    • They also wrote to Bellway to express their interest, which was acknowledged, although they’ve had no further response.
    • The consortium would be keen to work collectively to redevelop and access the site, with their intended hours of use lending themselves to a collaborative approach. 

    The Wimbledon Club (parent organization of Wimbledon CC) 

    • As a large cricket club, Wimbledon CC hire a number of pitches across the borough. They are at capacity and have been actively seeking a second site.
    • They have identified LESSA as an ideal opportunity to develop for lower XI cricket and junior academy use.
    • They’d be happy to make the playing field available to other sporting use outside of their access for senior and junior cricket activity, such as junior football.
    • They notified Stephen Hammond MP of their interest in the site. He has contacted Bellway directly on the club’s behalf to express their interest.
    • The club has stated that it has the resources available to invest in and redevelop the site for cricket activity. 

    On receipt of this new information, the ECB would therefore like to amend its position to object to the proposed loss of the playing field, since there is clearly local cricket interest in accessing and redeveloping the site for the benefit of the local community. 

    It also notes that both groups have contacted both Bellway and Merton Council to express their interest. Had the ECB been aware of the continuing interest of these groups, would certainly have objected to the redevelopment of the playing fields in the first instance. 

    The RFU have also confirmed, that, following receipt of the letter highlighting their engagement with Old Emanuel RFC (OERFC) and the rugby club’s potential use of the site, the RFU has conducted further consultation with the club. In addition to its previous comments, the RFU has commented that the site was identified as not historically having been used for Rugby Union and, as such if new cricket demand has been identified, the RFU would support an amended position to object to the disposal of the site. The communication from the West Barnes & Raynes Park Residents Association makes specific reference to the needs of OERFC. It also highlights that the LESSA site would not provide a total solution to the OERFC requirements with the forthcoming vacation of their current base at Blagdon’s. The current priority for OERFC is to identify a site that can ideally accommodate all or the majority of their requirements i.e. Raynes Park, Taunton Avenue. This is a discussion that is underway with the council. The RFU position is that LESSA may provide additional pitch capacity should it be needed, once negotiations are concluded with LB Merton as to the Raynes Park site (and the capacity thereon) and subject to the needs of cricket as a priority. The RFU would also take the opportunity to re-iterate its original request for an holistic approach to understand the opportunities to address the shortfalls identified within the LB Merton PPS. 

    Sport England’s previous position was predicated on full NGB agreement that there was no demand for this playing field. This further information, in particular with regard to cricket, makes it clear that there is in fact demand for this site for sport; furthermore at least one of the above parties state that it has the resources to bring forward the site for sport in a viable manner (as per the PPS requirements and the Viability Report submitted as part of the planning application). This being the case, it is therefore no longer considered that a financial contribution is an acceptable alternative in this instance, as protecting the existing playing field is a priority where there is clear demand. As there now appears to be viable and clear demand for this playing field, this application does not meet Exception 4. Sport England would expect to see the landowner work with these parties in order to ensure that the sites are brought back into use for sport. 

    The tennis court element of the application continues to meet Exception 5 as it provides a new sport facility and I understand the LTA are supportive of this element and the additional funds proposed towards investing in the adjoining tennis club. However, considering that demand for the existing playing field has now been confirmed, this element alone is not considered sufficient to mitigate the loss of the remainder of the playing field. 

    In light of the above, Sport England objects to the application because overall it is not considered to accord with any of the exceptions to Sport England's playing fields policy or with Paragraph 97 of the NPPF. 

    Should your Council be minded to grant planning permission for the development then in accordance with The Town and Country Planning (Consultation) (England) Direction 2009, the application should be referred to the Secretary of State, via the Planning Casework Unit. 

    In addition, the application is also considered to prejudice the use of a playing field of more than 2 hectares of land and is therefore development of 'potential strategic importance' (PSI) as defined by The Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008. As such, a copy of this application must be sent to the Mayor of London for consideration. 

    If this application is to be presented to a Planning Committee, we would like to be notified in advance of the publication of any committee agendas, report(s) and committee date(s). We would be grateful if you would advise us of the outcome of the application by sending us a copy of the decision notice.  

    If you would like any further information or advice please contact the undersigned at the address below. 

    Yours sincerely, Laura Hutson, Planning Manager

  • Local Issues - Updates Feb 20021

    Drainage Problems in Motspur Park 

    Reported concerns around the Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing fields area with drainage ditches blocked causing flooding to footpaths and gardens appear to be under control. We investigated the situation as did the local West Barnes Councillors. 

    Cottenham Park LTN proposal 

    There is concern around a proposed Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme affecting access to and from Cottenham Park Road. As always, there is concern that some roads will benefit from traffic reduction but others will suffer as a result. The aim – to reduce pollution – is admirable but all aspects need consideration. 

    Continuing Grand Drive traffic issues 

    Although there has been a meeting of the Scrutiny committee which our committee members followed on the Merton Council You tube, there was no clear way forwards for residents’ concerns. It has been suggested that residents worried about damage from vibrations should get in touch with their Insurance companies.

    Secondly, the speed limit should be enforced and thirdly, air pollution levels MUST be monitored.

  • New Committee Member: Mary-Jane Jeanes

    We are pleased to welcome Mary-Jane Jeanes onto our Committee. Mary-Jane has been a keen member of our Association for many years and has helped considerably on planning matters. Her help has been crucial with the plethora of controversial applications currently in the pipeline. 

    Mary-Jane is also the Chair of the Friends of Cannon Hill Common. She writes, 

    Now that we are again asked to limit ourselves to essential travel only, more local people are visiting, and appreciating Cannon Hill Common.  I am sure our members will want to join me in thanking the many volunteers who help with regular litter-picking. 

    “A number of people have also asked the Friends of Cannon Hill Common about tree identification. The Friends plan to have a “Tree Trail”, with notices identifying different tree species on the Common, during Love Parks Week (12th to 20th July, 2021). 

    “In the meantime, the Friends’ website (https://www.friendsofcannonhillcommon.co.uk/) has a link to Tree Talk https://tinyurl.com/y4dzp6x2 which has maps showing many of the most important trees in London.  The Tree Talk map also identifies street trees and you can create your own “tree walks”.

    The Woodland Trust has a free app, to help identify trees: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/. 

    “Once the pandemic is over, the Friends will resume regular events, such as Bat Walks, plus butterfly, bird and flower identification events.” 

    Mary-Jane Jeanes

    FriendsofCHCommon@gmail.com

  • Chairman's Blog - Feb 2021

    REDROW PLANNING INQUIRY 

    Residents will recall that Redrow Homes applied for permission to build 456 flats at 265 Burlington Road, in 7 tower blocks up to 15 storeys high.  At the public meeting we held, which over 200 people attended, there was universal opposition to the scheme. Over 500 letters of objection were made, and the Council’s planning committee refused the application in February last year. 

    Redrow then appealed against the Council’s decision to the Planning Inspectorate.

    The Inquiry took place over a mammoth 11 days, with 8 days of evidence heard before Christmas, and another 3 in the new year. It concluded on 13 January.  It was held remotely over Microsoft Teams, owing to the pandemic. 

    Jerry Cuthbert and I represented the Association. You can read Jerry’s report here.

    The Inspector read all the objections previously submitted, and had numerous written proofs of evidence to consider as well as live testimony from witnesses. On behalf of the Association we put in our own written evidence and submissions.  

    Councillor Bokhari spoke against the scheme on behalf of herself and Councillor Bailey. Two other local residents also gave evidence, as did the Deputy Head of Raynes Park High School, and a representative of Champions, the timber merchants. The Inquiry also heard expert evidence on both sides on highways and parking, on urban design, and on planning, flooding, and CO2 reduction.  There was a lot of evidence as to how much further housing was needed, and it is likely that the decision will turn on the weight to be given to this, when set against the clear overdevelopment of the site.

    We do not expect to receive the Inspector’s report for at least another month.  We will publish it straightaway on our website. 

    John Elvidge

  • Report from our Treasurer

    December 2020

    It is almost eight months since we were required to cancel our AGM as a result of the pandemic.

    I hope that you are all keeping well and I look forward to meeting up again when we can safely do so.

    As we are a non-profit making organisation, I had some serious  concerns initially about our ability to afford printing and incidental costs without dipping into the last of our reserves.

    Fortunately, and thanks to our tireless road stewards and brilliant  members, we have over half of our annual subscriptions banked already. This is very encouraging and I would be grateful if those of you who have not yet renewed this year could do so in one of the following Covid-safe ways:

     

    £3 in cash or cheque put in an envelope with your name and address clearly marked. This envelope can then be put through your road steward’s door or mine.

     

    £3 by direct bank payment (BACS) to RPWBRA, Sort Code: 30-99-66, Account no: 32070068, adding your name as reference.

  • Morden Cemetery - Locked Gate

    (North East Surrey Crematorium) 

    We are pleased to learn from one of our tireless road stewards that the pedestrian gate into the cemetery has now been reopened indefinitely, re-establishing this peaceful, accessible route for local people to visit the cemetery and avoid the unnecessary and lengthy journey via the main gate in Garth Road.

    Our Road Steward is grateful for the support she received from the RPWBRA and we, for our part thank her for drawing our attention to this serious issue, which is now, hopefully, resolved.

  • Chairman's Blog, Dec 2020

    2020: A CHALLENGING YEAR

    This year has been, as the Queen memorably described 1992, an “annus horribilis”. For all of us it has meant lockdowns, an inability to meet relatives and friends including those in care homes, to worship, to travel and to go on holiday as we wished. For many people it has been very much worse, with the loss of loved ones through Covid or otherwise and, made worse by attendance at funerals being very limited. Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected. 

    THE WORK OF THE RPWBRA

    Although we were unable to hold the AGM in April, the committee members have continued to liaise by email, Zoom meetings and shared reports. We have also held two socially distanced meetings, an outdoor one held at the Paddock allotments and an indoor one at St. Saviour’s Church. 

    NEWSLETTERS AND THE GUIDE

    The firm that that had previously printed our Guides closed its doors in April, so we had to find another means of communication. We produced Newsletters in May, June, July and August followed by a return to The Guide in September. We now have our Guides printed by Prontaprint which means it is necessary to have them ready for immediate photocopying and printing. The bonus is that we can afford to have full colour copies, a very positive outcome! 

    ROAD STEWARDS

    The RPWBRA worked hard to keep in touch with members but we did not wish to expose our volunteer road stewards to the virus. However, we are very grateful to those stewards who were not shielding and were able to deliver copies to residents in a COVID-safe way

     

    SUMMARY OF PLANNING ISSUES 

    Redrow/Tesco Public Inquiry; Tesco site, 265 Burlington Road.

    The RWBPRA is a full party to the Inquiry. Read more Tesco/Redrow Appeal Update - 10 December2020

     

    208-212 Burlington Road - Planning App:20/1688

    The RPWBRA has already lodged a comprehensive objection to this plan for an inappropriate seven storey development overlooking Barnard Gardens. Read More: 208-212 Burlington Road (20/P1688)

     

    Bellway/Meadowview  Playing Field (Former LESSA) – App:20/P3237

    Bellway homes has now made a planning application to build 89 properties on the sports ground at Meadowview Road. Read More: Bellway Plans to build houses on Meadowview Sports Ground

    The company bought the land knowing that the Planning Inspectorate had decided that a maximum of 44 houses and flats could be built there, on the strict basis that the rest of the land should be retained as a sports ground. All offers from local schools and sports organisations are being dismissed by Bellway, as not viable.

     

    Proposed Wyke Road Development - App:20/PO945

    An unsuitable plan to build dwellings along the length of Wyke Road is of great concern and we are examining the details. Our new Committee Member, Mary-Jane Jeanes, has already submitted a comprehensive formal objection. 

     

    A full set of planning apps to keep us busy! However, looking on the bright side, and in Shelley’s words: 

    “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” 

    My very best wishes to you all!

    John Elvidge, Chairman

  • Chairman's Blog - Nov 2020

    PLANNING MATTERS

    We are dealing with no fewer than 4 major planned developments at the moment. We are or will be objecting to all of them strenuously. 

    1. REDROW/TESCO plans to build 5 blocks of flats on Burlington Road.

    The public inquiry is still fixed for 4-6 days starting on 8 December.  It is unclear where or how it will be held. It is also uncertain whether it will go ahead on this date, since the pre-hearing case conference has twice been postponed, and is now due to take place by Zoom on 5th November. The Association is a full party to the inquiry, and will be submitting detailed evidence in support of the Council’s decision to refuse the application. 

    2. 202-208 BURLINGTON ROAD

    There is a new planning application on the opposite side of Burlington Road from Tesco’s.  This is 20/P1688.  The plan is to demolish the auto repair shop and build a 7 storey block of 20 flats.

    The building would be next to Shannon Corner and directly opposite the Krispy Crème outlet and Champions. This area is prone to flooding. It would severely overlook and impact several properties in Barnard Gardens, and the upstairs flat above the shop at 214 Burlington Road. They would suffer severe loss of light. Only 9 parking spaces would be provided, which would inevitably result in further parking in Barnard Gardens which is in the Cavendish parking zone. 

    3. BELLWAY PLANS TO BUILD ON THE FIELD AT MEADOWVIEW ROAD

    With regard to the proposed BELLWAY plans to build 90 houses and flats on the sports ground at Meadowview Road, off Grand Drive, a number of clubs and schools have written to their agents informing them of their wish to take a long term lease of the land for sporting purposes. This is what two planning inspectors have recommended and is the current planning designation. The planning officers have been informed. We await to see what Bellway now intend to do and will challenge any attempt to ignore the wishes of the local residents. 

    4. WYKE ROAD / LANGHAM COURT

    There is a planning application 20/P2583 for the land between

    Pepys Road and 284 Worple Road, but this is actually a fire route for the residents of Langham Court. 

    Established trees would have to be cut down and residents’ safety would be put at risk.

    There is also a proposal to add an entire floor to the entire block at Langham Court. Worrying times for the residents of this fine old establishment.

     

    SEASONAL WALKS

    Once again I would like to share a photo taken on my daily walk on the beautiful Cannon Hill Common.

     

    COMMITTEE CHANGES 

    For over ten years Andrew Barwick has overseen membership of the RA and has also been responsible for the  distribution of The Guide.

    Additionally, Andrew has coordinated the Bushey Road Area and both he and Mette have distributed The Guide to various households in Grand Drive and the adjoining roads. 

    However he would now like to stand down from his various roles and I would like to pay tribute to his hard work over the years. He will retain his position as the Company Secretary and Chairman for the Pavilion holding company. 

    Meanwhile Andrew and Mette will continue to distribute The Guide to their “patch” and when the time comes that we can socialize again he and Mette will be pleased to attend RA functions. 

    Kind Regards, John Elvidge

  • Chairman's Blog - Sept 2020

    I hope that you are all well. I am delighted to report that the first edition of our new all-colour Guide was distributed to all our members in September 2020. The lockdown in March meant the abrupt closure of most services and shops. Sadly, our April Guide was thus full of cancelled events and activities. For the last four months we as a community have relied on our amazing NHS and care workers, our diligent postal workers, waste management teams, transport sector employees plus essential shop and distribution staff who remained at work throughout the pandemic. We are grateful to them all. 

    There are also countless stories of residents supporting others by helping vulnerable neighbours with shopping or obtaining medical supplies, by contributing to food banks and providing PPE, all on a voluntary basis. We thank everyone who offered and gave support to others. 

    Keeping in touch with our members

    We have relied for years on our hardworking Area Coordinators and Road Stewards to distribute The Guide and this is a brilliant system overseen by Andrew Barwick. However, the downside is that without an email contact system it was exceptionally hard to keep in touch with our members during the lockdown. The REDROW and BELLWAY issues (see further on) highlighted the problem. David Freeman is, as ever, scrutinising and monitoring the planning developments. Fortunately, Clare and John Townsend, Dick Coleman and Michael Marks worked together (by email!) to produce newsletters which were then uploaded by Charles Briscoe-Smith to our website. Jerry Cuthbert continued to update the website with important updates as required. Gradually, more and more stewards participated in delivery (coordinated temporarily by Clare and John), with the result that by August we were able to get back in touch with all our members. 

    To ensure that we can contact our members in future emergencies, we would be grateful if members would allow us to build up a bank of email contact details for RPWBRA use only. Michael Marks will be overseeing this. Meanwhile, Dick Coleman has been developing links through the Nextdoor Social Network. 

    REDROW PLANNING APPEAL

    The Public Inquiry is scheduled to start on Tuesday 8t h December at 10.00am and run for 4 days.

     265 Burlington Rd - Date Set for Public Inquiry

    The venue for the Redrow public inquiry into the appeal in respect of their application to build 456 homes in 5 tower block near Tesco's on Burlington Road has still to be decided. Although it is to be hoped that it will be held physically, this will be subject to the government rules and the Inspectorate's own guidance as to Covid-19 at that time. 

    It may be necessary to hold the proceedings remotely over the internet or by telephone link for those who wish to participate.We will update you through The Guide, this website, via emails and through the RPWBRA Association User Group app on Nextdoor. 

    Plans to build on the former LESSA ground in Meadowview Road, off Grand Drive 

    Bellway Plans to build houses on Meadowview Sports Ground

    The RPWBRA and local residents have fought hard over the past 20 years to retain open land in Meadowview Road. The land, which until September 2000 was a sports field boasting 2 full-sized football pitches, an overlapping cricket pitch, 4 tarmac tennis courts, a children's play area and a pavilion, was acquired by Barratts who attempted to build 111 flats on the site in 2002. Merton council refused the application and Barratt's appeal, in an inquiry held over 3 days was dismissed. The Inspector stated in a detailed judgement that the land should remain available as a sports field. Barratts then sold the land to Doram which submitted its own planning application for housing in July 2008 and this was turned down in 2009. Doram appealed and signed a section 106 agreement guaranteeing to provide some sporting facilities at the ground. On this occasion, in October 2009, the appeal was successful and was allowed as a single scheme which permitted the development of homes on open space if it funded sports facilities. 

    Doram then sold the entire site to Bellway in May 2010 as a result of which the present 44 homes on the site were built, starting in October 2010. The remainder of the sports field was fenced off and a small area of play facilities for younger children of residents on the site was installed. Five tennis courts and a pavilion were provided for and leased to the Raynes Park Residents Lawn Tennis Club in 2013, enabling it to move from its former home at 129 Grand Drive. This was in line with the section 106 agreement. The decision letter from the Inspectorate approves the continued use of the field for sports, making reference to the laying out of pitches and a pavilion. However, these provisions were not made part of a requirement under the section 106 agreement. 

    The inspectorate appears to have been swayed by a proposal from Kings College School that they wished to use the sports field for its junior pupils, but in the event KCS did not take up the option of a lease being granted to them. BelIway simply had to maintain the ground by cutting the grass and clipping the hedges BUT the land had to be made available to any other school or sports club. The RPWBRA suggested to Bellway on several occasions that another junior school, as well as a sports club, might be interested in taking up a lease but nothing resulted from our approaches. 

    We believe that notwithstanding the passage of time and in the light of clear views from the Inspectorate it will be for Bellway to demonstrate WHY the field should not be used for sports purposes rather than for additional housing. 

    John Elvidge

  • Bonfires and Smoke Nuisance

    There are now so many restrictions on the way we used to live our lives and one of these is that it’s much more complicated to take rubbish to the Garth Road Recycling Centre. This has resulted in some residents having bonfires in their back gardens. This can be very unneighbourly, particularly when many of us are stuck at home  and want to enjoy the summer weather in our own gardens, without breathing in the smells, fumes and smoke from bonfires. We remind residents that there are regulations concerning bonfires, which that may be read here. This link also covers how to report a nuisance.

  • Grand Drive - Road Closure

    We have recently been forwarded a copy of the following email, received at 15:40 on Monday 4 May 2020 from SGN. This concerns

    a planned road closure along the northern end of Grand Drive, between Bushey Road and Raynes Park Station.

    It is planned to start on Monday 11 May and run for two weeks. 

     

    The most important road diversion for us all, is that northbound traffic on Grand Drive will only be able to turn left at the traffic lights onto Bushey Road in a westbound direction towards Shannon Corner and the A3. Therefore, traffic on Grand Drive wishing to access Raynes Park Station and town centre, West Wimbledon, the Apostles, Wimbledon Chase, etc should divert along Cannon Hill Lane and Martin Way.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Good afternoon,

    We know that during the coronavirus outbreak, our communities will rely on us now more than ever to keep them safe and warm.

    The safety of our communities and our employees will remain our number one priority in the weeks and months ahead. 

    We need to carry out safety-critical work to upgrade the gas network in your area. This needs to go ahead now,

    rather than wait until the pandemic passes, to ensure your local community continues to receive a safe and reliable gas supply. 

    We shouldn’t need to interrupt gas supplies to homes or businesses, and our engineers won’t be calling at residents’ home. 

    We will start work in Grand Drive Raynes Park on 11 May 2020. 

    In close consultation with Merton Council, we have agreed to complete the following work, which includes

    traffic management in place to ensure the safety of everyone around the site: 

    ·                  On 11 May 2020 for approximately 2 weeks, we will be working on Grand Drive near the junction with Bushey Road (A298)

    ·                 To ensure safe flow of traffic around site, we will be implementing a lane closure on Grand Drive at the junction.  Vehicles will not be able to turn north into Grand Drive from Bushey Road.

    Ve              A diversion Westbound will be in place via Beverley Way, Kingston Bypass (A3), Coombe Lane, Lambton Road, Worple Road and Pepys Road

    ·                  A diversion Eastbound will be in place via Kingston Road

    ·                  Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout 

    We’re working closely with UK Government and public health bodies to make sure we work safely and in line with expert advice during the coronavirus outbreak. We have extra safety precautions in place to protect our colleagues and our customers from catching or spreading the virus as we carry out our safety-critical project. 

    There’s more information about our coronavirus preparations on our website: sgn.co.uk/coronavirus 

    Thank you for your understanding and support during these challenging times.  

    To be clear, the lane closure is on Grand Drive towards Raynes Park Railway Station only. 

    Kind regards, 

    Nicole

     

     

        

     

  • Chairman's Blog - April 2020

    AGM and Subscription Collection both Postponed! 

    Please note that we have had to POSTPONE the Annual General Meeting of the Residents’ Association as a result the government restrictions of meetings during the outbreak of Coronavirus.  It was due to be held on Tuesday 14th April. 

    This is a pity because we were due to hear from Leonie Cooper, the Merton and Wandsworth London Assembly Member, and also from the local police. 

    We are postponing the AGM until a date in October, when we hope that the pandemic will be well and truly over.  We will let our members know of the new date and the venue when it is finalised, through the Guide and on our website.  

    In the meantime, we can confirm that the annual subscription for the Association will continue to be held at £3 for the year 2020/2021. However, the usual collection of members’ subscriptions by our Road Stewards at this time of year is also postponed. 

    Planning Brief Needed for the Tesco Site. 

    Redrow put in their planning application to build 456 flats on the Tesco Extra car park and Burlington Road after extensive discussions with Merton’s planning officers. We, as the local community, were not included! 

    Despite huge local opposition to the scheme, Merton’s planning officers recommended it for approval. Fortunately, the Planning Applications Committee (PAC) refused the application for the good reasons put forward by residents. 

    At the time of writing, we are still waiting to hear whether the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will override Merton’s PAC and - notwithstanding the enormous local opposition to the scheme - decide to allow the development to go ahead. 

    The Residents’ Association believes that this is entirely the wrong way to deal with such massive development proposals, and that it should be for the Council, through its Councillors, who by listening to their voters, decide what should happen to any site that needs redevelopment.  Each Council draws up its own local plan and this should be what determines what interested developers can build, thus ensuring that no major changes can be go ahead by default. 

    It is obvious that the area in Burlington Road needs to be redeveloped. There can be no objection to some housing on the site, providing it is relatively low rise, and includes some play facilities, and greenery. We would suggest that the housing should be a mixture of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom flats with the emphasis on the latter, given the need for family accommodation.  The number of new residents should be such that the local schools and GP services can cope. Ideally there should be a medical practice included in the plans. 

    Under the current Merton Plan, the whole of the Tesco site could be redeveloped, with flats built over a new Tesco store, like those above Waitrose store in Raynes Park. 

    These are our thoughts, but what are YOURS? Please let us know what YOU would like to see included on the “Tesco site”, by contacting either the Residents’ Association at rpwbra@rpwbresidents.org.uk  or to any of our three West Barnes Ward Councillors: 

    Cllr Eloise Bailey           eloise.bailey@merton.gov.uk

    Cllr Hina Bokhari            hina.bokhari@merton.gov.uk 

    Cllr Carl Quilliam            carl.quilliam@merton.gov.uk 

    Local Hospital Provision 

    The NHS has set out its preferred option for future hospital provision in this area. The aim is to bring together specialist services for seriously ill patients in a new hospital, to be built in Sutton - next to the Marsden - including A & E services and critical surgery.   This would also be the maternity hospital and have overnight services for children. 

    The intention is to remove these facilities from both St Helier and Epsom hospitals, but to retain 24-hour urgent Treatment Centres there.  There is, naturally, concern over whether this will mean delays in ambulances getting to a single more central site.   However, these proposals mean that 85% of the services we all use would remain at St Helier, and the promise is to spend at least £80 million on improving the buildings at both St. Helier and in Epsom Hospitals. 

    John Elvidge, Chairman

  • Townswomen's Guild - March 2020

      Raynes Park (Afternoon)Townswomen’s Guild. 

    At our January meeting, Beryl Smith from the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance gave a most interesting talk about their work, and details of the new Air Ambulance which can be transformed into an operating theatre. She illustrated her talk with informative slides. 

    At the time of writing, we are busy preparing for our February meeting, which will be our AGM. Annual subscriptions will be paid, and the new officers and committee for the coming year will be elected by the members. This will be followed by a Bring and Buy Sale and a Dutch Auction of unsold items - to boost our funds. 

    Our programme of speakers will resume in March, when Mike Grimshaw will be giving a talk entitled “Shetland”. Some of you may recognise his name as he was booked to give us this talk in October but had to cancel at the last minute for personal reasons. He has assured us that nothing will prevent him this time. 

    The meeting will take place in St. Saviour’s Church Hall on Thursday 19th March at 1.30 pm.  As usual, all are welcome to come along to the meeting.

  • Notice of AGM - 14/04/2020

    NOTICE OF MEETING THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 

    of the Raynes Park & West Barnes Residents’ Association 

    will be held at 

    Raynes Park Library Meeting Rooms (via side entrance, in Aston Road, SW20 8BE) 

    On Tuesday, 14th April at 7.30 p.m.

     

    AGENDA 

    1,    Apologies for Absence

    2.    Chairman’s Report on the Work of the Association during 2019/20

    3.    Treasurer’s Report

    4.    Election of Officers and Committee

     

    Break for Refreshments

     

    5.    Guest Speakers

    6.    Updates on current Planning Matters

    7.    Residents’ Forum and Any Other Business

     

    Please bring a copy of ‘The Guide’ with you to verify membership 

    The association invites any member who wishes to join the committee or nominate another member(s) as a candidate for consideration, to contact our Hons Secretary, Clare Townsend, by email to rpwbra@rpwbresidents.org.uk by 31st March 2020.

  • Chairman's Blog - March 2020

    REFUSAL OF REDROW PLANNING APPLICATION 

    We are delighted to tell you that the application by Redrow to build 456 flats in tower blocks up to 15 stories high was REFUSED by Merton Planning Committee on 13th February. 

    The proposal was to build these on the Tesco Extra Car Park site, and at 265 Burlington Road. The refusal was despite the recommendation of the Planning Officer that the scheme should be approved. The decision was by a majority vote of the Committee and after a debate of 90 minutes. 

    The Council Chamber was packed with some 150 residents who all opposed the scheme. The Residents’ Association had urgently hand delivered notice of the meeting to 600 of the nearest properties.  

    Three individual objectors spoke in opposition for 3 minutes each, as did three of our Councillors, two from the West Barnes Ward, and one from the Raynes Park Ward. The representative from Redrow was allowed 9 minutes to reply. 

    The Residents’ Association had also e-mailed all the members of the Committee our extensive and detailed planning objections, -as set out in the February edition of The Guide - in advance of the meeting.  These were picked up by the various speakers in opposition. 

    Grounds of Refusal

    The grounds of the refusal were on strict planning criteria and cited the various sections of Merton’s design policies, principally the excessive massing and an imbalance in the housing mix. The proposed accommodation was mainly in one and two- bedroom apartments, whereas Merton’s housing needs were for up to a third of three- bedroom units for families in new developments. 

    Much of the debate centred on concerns that the proposed development was too high, being in tower blocks 7 to 15 stories tall, and that this was totally out of keeping with the suburban housing around it. Such tall buildings should only be placed in town centres. 

    The Design Review Panel

    This Panel, (which is an independent body mostly composed of architects and town planners who provide advice and comments on planning  applications to the Council} rejected the design at the pre-application stage, on grounds of height, design, and density. The design would create wind tunnels, and there was a lack of play space and greenery. .We understand some changes to the design were made but that the full application (as presented to the Planning Applications Committee) was NOT referred back to the Panel . We wonder why particularly in view of the adverse comments made by the Panel about the Pre- application proposals! 

    Public transport from the area was inadequate, and only 220 car parking spaces were provided. Burlington Road was already at a standstill for much of the day, given the proximity of the West Barnes level crossing. This volume of new cars would have meant the introduction of CPZ’s in the surrounding streets. The proposals should have included the widening of West Barnes Lane for pedestrians and traffic. 

    The money provided for schools, and medical services, was totally inadequate for the number of new residents proposed, particularly given that 40% of the flats were designated as “affordable” accommodation. 

    The proposals were contrary to the recently adopted climate change policy of the Council. We calculated that the offset needed to make them carbon neutral would have meant planting a million new trees! 

    There was much relief on the night at the decision, but it is still open to Redrow to appeal it to the Planning Inspectorate. If they do, then, of course, we will oppose it vigorously. 

    We have always stated that we are not opposed to housing on this site, given the housing needs of Merton.  We are not opposed to smaller flatted developments there up to 4 or 5 stories in a better design. 

    We told Redrow 18 months ago that this is what they should be proposing, and it is a great pity that they did not listen then. We hope that they will not waste further time in appealing, but instead talk to the local residents, and discuss what is acceptable on this site. 

    Ideally, we would hope that the site, including the Tesco store, should be developed, with a new store being incorporated into the housing design. This should include greenery and play facilities, and more provision for local schools as well facilities for say a new GP Surgery. 

    John Elvidge

  • A Big Thank You to all our Volunteers

     

    Throughout the year our committee members, pavilion management group, area coordinators and road stewards work together to:

     

    • Listen to residents' views,
    • Act upon local concerns, (e.g. The Tesco/Redrow development)
    • Keep residents informed about local activities and organisations
    • Publish and distribute the Guide throughout the year
    • Run and take care of the Residents' Pavilion on a daily basis
    • Run this website

     

    All this unpaid work enables us to keep the Residents’ Association subscription fees to an astonishingly low £3 per year! 

    Our Chairman, John Elvidge, thanked volunteers and their families at an enjoyable Christmas Social held at the Pavilion on Saturday 7th December. During the afternoon he presented Linda Fitch (who is standing down from her role within the pavilion management group) with a beautiful plant.

     

     AFTER THE PARTY - Andrew Barwick and David Freeman wield the vacuum cleaner!

  • Townswomen's Guild - Feb 2020

    Our Christmas celebrations in December now seem but a memory. 

    At the beginning of the month, 20 members enjoyed a two-course Christmas Lunch at Morden Brook, where we were joined by our National Chairman – Penny Ryan. For those who always have work to do at our meetings, it was a pleasure to be able to sit and chat over the meal which had been prepared and served by others.

    Our Christmas Party was held in the hall a couple of weeks later – a fun afternoon with a couple of light-hearted Christmas Quizzes, a Christmas tea prepared and served by the committee, and a bumper raffle in which everybody went home with a prize.

    At the time of writing, we are all looking forward to our January meeting, when a lady from the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance will be coming to tell us about their work. We understand that her talk will be illustrated with slides. 

    January 31st sees the end of the Townswomen’s Guild year, so our February meeting will be our AGM, at which the members elect new officers and committee members for the coming year. There is also an opportunity to discuss ideas and other points that may be raised. Once the formal business has concluded, we have a Bring and Buy Sale – and possibly a Dutch Auction of unsold items - to boost our funds.

    Our AGM will take place in St. Saviour’s Church Hall on Thursday 16th February at 1.30 pm.  As usual, all are welcome to come along to the meeting.

  • Chairman's Blog - Feb 2020

    MRS JILL TRUMAN 

    We are delighted to report that Mrs Jill Truman, who is the current Editor of The Guide, and our Joint Secretary, has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours. 

    This has been granted to her “in recognition of her services to the community in Merton”. 

    Jill has been working for the Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents’ Association ever since 1968 and has held every office over the years(except Treasurer  {she says money burns a hole in her pocket) including that of Chairman and Advertising Manager. and Secretary.  She has been tireless in her efforts to improve the well-being of residents. 

    In March 2014 she co-founded, and continues to run, the highly successful Pavilion Social Club. This organises weekly get -togethers for men and women in The Pavilion in Grand Drive and other programmes of activities.

    Jill also served for many years as a Councillor for the London Borough of Merton and was its Deputy Mayor.    

    We offer her our many congratulations on this well - deserved award. 

    RECENT RAINFALL

    In the weeks leading up to Christmas we suffered by far the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in these parts. The lower part of Prince George’s Playing Field was under water for weeks.

    On the All England Playing Field off Grand Drive a huge lake built up behind the houses in Elm Walk and Southway. This had to be buttressed by earth works piled up around. You can see the size of the lake from the attached photo.   

    Fortunately, this lake should become a thing of the past, as the current works include the construction of huge underground holding tanks, which will allow any future floods to drain away gradually into the sewers. 

     John Elvidge

  • Good News for St Helier

     

    The Government’s recent announcement  (www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49867376)  of further capital investment in the NHS has provided good news for Epsom & St. Helier NHS Trust which will be one of the beneficiaries. Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles says “I am delighted to say that our Trust is named and means that the hundreds of millions of pounds of funding we need to both improve St Helier and Epsom hospitals, and build a new major acute hospital will be made available.

    This multi-million-pound investment will transform patient care for the 500,000 people who use the Trust’s services, greatly improve the experience of the 6,000 committed staff working in the hospitals and secure a long term and sustainable future for hospital services in our area. It will allow us to create a state-of-the-art hospital facilities for the sickest patients, invest in and refurbish the older parts of all our hospital buildings (which are currently not fit for modern healthcare), and support the medical workforce to improve staffing levels and patient care”.

     

     

  • Tennis Club News - Dec 2019

    I am very pleased to be able to report that our club continues to thrive and grow. New members continue to be very welcome, and we have reached a new height of 150 senior members, 144 juniors and 24 parent/guardian members who love to get out on court with their juniors. Over the summer we were delighted to host 20 teenagers from the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative, who normally receive coaching at the Community Ground on Grand Drive, to see why a tennis club offers so much more than just some courts and tuition. Our adult and student members also enjoy ongoing singles box leagues, biannual doubles knockout tournaments, and of course our regular turn-up & play club social sessions. 

    The coaching programme continues to expand under our fabulous Head Coach, José. If you watched any of the ATP Finals at the O2, then the ball boys and girls there were once again trained by José. In addition to beginners and intermediate adult group sessions, Coach Frances has just started a new cardio tennis session from 10-11am on a Sunday morning, a fun way to get fit and improve your tennis at the same time! There are still a few places available so do get in touch with her at frances@rprltc.co.uk if you would like to join in, non-members welcome. 

    Despite the cold weather, tennis continues throughout the winter and we have two upcoming events in December. First on 7th December at 1:30pm, José will be leading the club social, getting us warmed up with some fun mini games before pairing people up for a few sets of convivial doubles. On the weekend after Christmas we will be running what is known as an “American” tournament, a fun and friendly competition for all playing standards. Please check our website: 

    https://www.rprltc.co.uk, for exact date and start time. 

    Nathan Dimmock

  • Townswomen's Guild - Dec 2019

     

    In December, our thoughts turn to Christmas. On December 5th, most of our members will be coming to our Christmas Lunch. As we had to find a venue which is fairly local and easily accessible by public transport, we have booked to have it at Morden Brook this year. On this occasion we will be joined by our National Chairman, Penny Ryan. She is no stranger to us as she came to our 85th Birthday Party in June 2018 – but at that time she was the National Treasurer. 

    Our December meeting, on Thursday 19th December, will be a Christmas Party - another annual celebration! 

    Although December is the last month of the year, the Townswomen’s Guild year starts in February – which will be our AGM. 

    So the final meeting of our year will be in January, when (subject to confirmation after Christmas) someone from the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance will be coming to tell us about their work.  This will be on Thursday 16th January 2020, 1.30 for 1.45 pm, in St. Saviour’s Church Hall.  As usual, all are welcome to come along to the meeting. 

    All that remains is to wish you a very Happy Christmas from the Raynes Park Townswomen’s Guild – and every good wish for 2020.

  • Chairmans Blog Dec 2019

    REDROW PLANNING APPLICATION 

    The latest information we have is that it’s Merton Council’s intention to decide the planning application for the massive Redrow development at Burlington Road and on the Tesco extra site on Thursday 16 January 2020.  But we have real doubts that the planners will be able to keep to this date, given that we understand that the Greater London Authority and Transport for London still have issues that they want to be satisfied about; and there will be little working time to sort these out owing to the extended holiday period. 

    If the application does go ahead on this date, we will try and let as many local residents know as possible, given the intense opposition to the proposals, as witnessed by the 250 or so people who came to the public meeting that we organised, and the fact that over 350 individual objections were sent in. 

    We believe many residents will want to attend at the public meeting in the Civic Chamber to see what the planning committee decide.

    If the planning officers recommend acceptance of the scheme in any form, the rules provide that objectors can speak in opposition but only for a TOTAL of 6 minutes in all, with the developers allowed a similar time to respond.   In that event, we will have to sort out speakers who can make their points shortly but very clearly.   The names of the speakers must be notified in advance. 

    SHOPPING AT WATERLOO? 

    By April 2021 developers hope to transform the three levels under the four platforms of the former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo into an upmarket shopping and restaurant mall, equivalent to those at the major airports.  The platforms were built in 1994 but have been largely unused since 2007 when the terminal was moved to St Pancras International.  There will be also be a new pedestrian street to be called the Waterloo Curve.  This would certainly enhance the South Bank Centre, which is packed with millions of visitors each year. 

    Meantime, let us hope that the high street retail stores can fight back against the closures forced on them by the advent of home delivery services.  One of the tasks of the new government must be relieve these stores of the excessive burdens of rents and business rates, in some way and to recoup the money in taxation from firms which sell here but have moved their taxation regime overseas. 

    John Elvidge

     

     

  • Correspondence with Tesco

    The following Letters are reproduced with the permission of Dr. Garry Hunt, past Chairman

     

    To:       Mr. Dave Lewis, Group CEO, Tesco plc

    From:    Dr. Garry Hunt

    Date:    7th October 2019

     

    Development on the site of Tesco Extra, New Malden KT3 4PJ

    Failure of Tesco to Interact with local residents 

    The attached letter was sent to you on the 16 September 2019 by post and by email and expressed the many concerns of local residents with regard to possible activities on the site of Tesco Extra, New Malden KT3 4PJ. On behalf of the many thousand of residents who are also your customers, I expressed the need for a meeting between appropriate senior Tesco staff and the local community for mutual benefit, which the Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents’ Association (RPWBRA) will convene. The report of the recent public meeting organised by the Association ( see October Guide, www.rpwbresidents.org.uk) already shows the concerns of residents to possible activities on Tesco’s site. 

    After four weeks I have not received any response from you or any member of Tesco’s staff, beyond the automatic email acknowledgement given below. This is very disappointing. You should be aware that my letter has already been published in the October edition of the Guide; the monthly community magazine of RPWBRA so many thousands of people, your customers, are aware of this correspondence. Many are asking for details of your reply.  

    I am again sending this letter to you by both mail and email to make sure it is received.  This letter will be published in the RPWBRA Guide so it will be read by local residents, people in neighbouring communities and past members now living in other parts of the country. I hope this time I will receive a reply. When received it will be passed immediately to the RPWBRA for their action. 

    The Association has interacted vigorously with countless companies and organisations for the benefit of the local community during the past ninety years. As a past Chairman, I have considerable first hand experience of such activities over several decades. Never before have we been ignored.  

    I have once more copied this letter widely to local Councillors, MP and Chairman of the RPWBRA and also the Chairman,Tesco plc. In addition, the letter has been sent to the editor of the RPBWRA Guide. 

    cc Cllrs Hina Bokhari, Eloise Bailey, Carl Quilliam, Cllrs David Dean, Daniel Holden, Nick McLean, Stephen Hammond MP, John Elvidge (Chairman RPWBRA), John Allan, Chairman, Tesco plc

     

    The Reply:

     

    To:       Dr. G. Hunt

    From:    Lesley Anne Logan, Customer Service Specialist, On behalf of the Executive’s Office. Tel: 0800 072 6685

     

    Date:    7th October, 2019

     

    Case Reference: 3631249 

     

    Thank you for your letter addressed to Dave Lewis, our Chief Executive. As work commitments are currently keeping Dave away from the office, I am writing on his behalf. Please be assured he is kept informed of all contact received into this office.  

    I was sorry to hear that some buildings we own have fallen into disrepair. I appreciate your concern about this and that you have taken the time to get in touch with us about this matter.  

     

    I have reached out to Mark, our Property Manager who is in charge of this area. He has advised that we try to keep on top of external maintenance and undertake regular inspections of these buildings. Despite the security we have in place, sadly these buildings have attracted unwanted visitors.  

    We are trying to come up with a permanent solution to ensure this area is more astatically pleasing and as soon as we can provide more information we will do so to the local community.  

     

    I have asked for Tom, our local Community and Communications Manager who covers your area to get in touch with you so that he can arrange a meeting with you about this area.  

    I hope that this is resolved quickly for yourself and our other local residents.  

     

    If I can be of any further help please do not hesitate to get back in touch with us via post, email (ceo.customerservice@tesco.com) or call (0800 072 6685 – Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-6pm).  

  • A Visit to AELTC Grand Drive

    A visit to the ALL ENGLAND CLUB COMMUNITY SPORTS CENTRE

     On one of the glorious days of mid- September, I was invited along to the AELTC Community Sports Ground in Grand Drive to see for myself the progress that has been made on this amazing All England Club venture.

     From the moment I walked through the main entrance gates I was impressed at the amount thought that has gone into - not only the sports facilities themselves - but the whole ambience of the place, which is delightful.  The immediate feel is one of familiarity - a special extension of the All England Club itself – but with the specific purpose of working with young people, local schools and clubs, and with able and disabled alike.  There are significant landscaped areas planted out with a profusion of flowers - hydrangeas everywhere - and on the land bordering the properties in Cannon Hill Lane an amazing wildflower garden.  

     I was met by Catherine Edser, Duty Manager, Andrew Ambrose, and Ruth Edwards who after entertaining me to an excellent cup of coffee in the temporary club facilities took me around the site.

     Although only about halfway through the project, some of the facilities are already in use and the porous acrylic outdoor courts - all painted in the Wimbledon colours of purple and green - are being used by local schools, for special coaching. and I believe even Raynes Park Tennis Club members have been taking advantage of the first of two ‘bubbles’ - the huge inflatable air-conditioned, and beautifully lit structures – in which the indoor courts will be housed.

     Health & Safety is of paramount importance to Careys the Civil Engineering firm that is contracted to undertake all the groundworks and so we all had to don boots, hard hats, high viz jackets and special gloves before we could examine the ongoing and very extensive groundworks.

     The current focus is on completing the preparations for the second indoor facility; and excavating and then building the grass courts which will cover a significant proportion of the site.   Once finally prepared and seeded, these won’t be ready for use until the season of 2022, as it takes about two years for them to mature.  

     High in priority is good on-site drainage and the excavation of a sustainable drainage basin is currently underway. 

    No doubt residents living around the grounds have suffered from the hustle, bustle  and inconvenience of  the development, but once finished, the benefits of overlooking a green and tranquil world class sports facility will be a reward in itself.

    Jill Truman

    Find out more, follow: https://communitytennis.aeltc.com/About

  • Babylon NHS GP Practice

    New Free digital-first NHS GP Practice opens in Lambton Road 

    Babylon GP at Hand - London’s digital-first NHS GP practice - opened a dedicated face-to-face clinic in Raynes Park on 1st October. 

    The new clinic is located on the top floor of the Raynes Park Medical Centre on Lambton road. It will mean that Babylon GP at Hand patients can see a GP or nurse face-to-face usually within one working day. This is in addition to having access to a GP via video call within minutes, 24/7.

     

    Seeing a GP through a video call means Babylon GP at Hand patients can speak to a doctor at any time and place convenient for them. 90% of all our appointments can be taken care of over a video consultation. And every session is free, no matter how long it lasts. 

     

    What is Babylon GP at Hand?

    Babylon GP at Hand is an NHS GP practice like any other. However, patients registered with Babylon GP at Hand can also: 

    ·       Video call a GP in minutes, 24/7

    ·       See a GP face-to-face in Raynes       Park within 24h, or choose from 5 other clinics across London

    ·       Have prescriptions delivered to any local pharmacy

    ·       Use Babylon’s instant AI symptom checker

    ·       Book and manage appointments through the Babylon app

    ·       Access notes and replay video appointments 


    Download the Babylon app, or visit 
    www.gpathand.nhs.uk to register with Babylon.

  • Townswomen's Guild - Nov 2019

    Raynes Park Afternoon TWG

    In September we resumed our regular meetings, with an interesting talk by Jane Muddle about “Bags and Hats from Madagascar”. She arrived with a large number of hats and bags, which made an attractive display on the table and some were used as ‘visual aids’, passed round during her talk. Jane transported us to Madagascar, a large island in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Mozambique, and took us on a round tour as she introduced us to the bags and hats which were all ethically sourced – made from raffia, and hand dyed using the roots of plants found in Madagascar. The baskets were doubled skinned, with drawstring lining – able to carry considerable weight if required - and the wide brimmed hats could be squashed in a suitcase yet come out looking ‘good as new’. At the end of the talk, she asked for a couple of members to act as models – although only one volunteer was forthcoming. 

    On 1st October, the Luncheon Club arranged to meet at The Watchman in New Malden. Around a dozen members went along, enjoying the opportunity to chat with friends over a leisurely lunch.  At the time of writing, our October meeting is almost upon us: a talk by Mike Grimshaw about an island much nearer home - ‘Shetland.’ 

    At our monthly meeting in November, we look forward to a return visit from the Handbell ringers – which will no doubt include much ‘audience participation’.  This will be on Thursday 21st November, 1.30 for 1.45 pm, in St. Saviour’s Church Hall*. 

    As usual, all are welcome to come along to the meeting. 

    (* That is – providing we don’t have a snap election’ called for that day. As the hall is used as a polling station, it would be unavailable so our meeting would have to be cancelled.) 

  • St Saviour's War Memorial - Update Nov 2020

    I thought Association members might like an update on where we are at with respect to the Raynes Park War Memorial restoration.  I know many of them attended either our Men of Raynes Park 1914-18 Exhibition or last year’s Remembrance Day at St Saviour’s, or both, and we were grateful for their support. 

    We had hoped to be well on the way to re-carving the names by now.  However, the whole process has been dogged by delays.  

    We had originally hoped to have final approval and a grant from the War Memorials Trust early in 2019.  However, they suspended consideration of applications submitted for the December 2018 deadline until the end of March 2019, and then finally made a grant offer at the end of May.  Unfortunately, the offer included several conditions and exclusions, which affected the validity of the contractor's quotation that we had accepted, and would almost certainly have driven up the price.  Moreover, the exclusions raised doubts that we could achieve clear name inscriptions that would remain legible for the next 100 years. 

    To avoid any more delays, and with Listed Building Consent, we have decided to proceed on the original basis and forgo the War Memorials Trust grant (which we reckon would have been taken up with the additional work they would require anyway).  On that basis, we have decided to proceed with the restoration though it is very unlikely it will be completed by the forthcoming Remembrance Sunday.  

    The good news is that we have been reasonably successful at raising funds, both at the time of the launch and subsequently.  Our target is £23,000 and, so far, we have either received contributions or pledges for around £19,900.  Without the War Memorials Trust grant, though, it does mean we are still looking to raise just over another £3,000. 

    It seems extraordinary now that we originally thought we might have all the work completed by last year’s Remembrance Day, but have learnt the lesson that, in this field, however much time you think a project will take, multiply it by at least three! 

    Although we are not in a position to invite RPWBRA Members to the unveiling of the restored memorial this Remembrance Sunday, it would still be very nice to see them there. The Scouts and Guides will again be in attendance and do their best to remember those who died in the Great War, and subsequently, in protection of our freedoms.

    With very best regards 

    Peter Hutton

    Memorial Research and Exhibition Co-ordinator 

     

    UPDATE NOVEMBER 2020

    The Rev’d Peter Kelley tells our members that there were originally thought to be 97 names on the war memorial, but during the careful re-engraving by the Master Letter Cutter, the name of Cecil was discovered (but with no discernible other name), in between the family names of Thomas and Wilfred. 

    William Roy Penfold (possibly from a travelling family) was also added, out of alphabetical sequence. 

     

    From what would have been a small population in 1914-18, the number killed in this tragic war must have had a shocking impact on the community. It is thanks to the amazing work by St Saviour’s Church  leaders and parishioners that the memorial is harboured in such a peaceful, tended  place in which to contemplate the brave actions of an earlier generation.

     

  • Chairman's Blog - Nov 2019

    NEW DESIGN GUIDE FOR HOUSING 

    The Government’s housing minister is to issue next month a national standard for Council planners to adhere to, which will give them more power to reject unattractive developments.  He said that he wants new homes to be in harmony with the local area and rooted in communities. New housing must enhance its surroundings, have a distinctive identity that will delight occupants, have a walkable form with “recognisable streets”, prioritise nature, and have tree lined public spaces. 

    Developments should include a mix of housing types.  They should inspire a “sense of delight” and “lift our spirits”. This is in an effort to boost house building and overcome local opposition. There will be “ten characteristics of beautiful places” that it expects planners to follow. Ministers accept that more homes must not come “at the expense of beauty, quality and design”. 

    The Redrow proposals for Burlington Road and the Tesco extra car park site are so massive and ugly that they have already attracted almost universal local opposition.  It will be interesting to see if Merton’s planners give full weight to the new official guidance and reject the schemes. 

    It is unlikely that the applications will come before Merton’s planning committee any time soon. 

    DRAINAGE PROBLEMS 

    The heavy rainfall over the past few weeks has again highlighted the fact that this area has always suffered from drainage problems and flooding.  This was why the Residents’ Association was originally formed back in 1928. 

    There is a particular problem with the water that falls on Cannon Hill Common, when the natural aquifer is saturated, so that flooding arises above ground level.  We believe that the ditches on the Common were originally constructed to take water away towards Prince George’s Playing Fields and Bushey Road, and that these are no longer maintained properly. 

    The result is that some of the ground water runs down the natural slope towards Parkway and Elm Walk, streaming under some of the houses, and then pools onto the All England Club ground that is bounded by Cannon Hill Lane, Grand Drive, Southway, and Elm Walk.  The ground, at the time of writing, is currently covered with water.

    The All England Club is now constructing a number of new tennis courts on their ground, and they are building a land-drain network in accordance with the planning consent. Residents can see the extensive number of pipes that have been brought onto the site.  There will be perimeter drains for each of the hard courts and buildings.  These will all drain into a large “retention basin” to be excavated to the rear of the gardens of the houses at the junction of Elm Walk and Southway.  As and when the flow from this basin gets too high, there are also two underground buffer tanks to store the excessive water from storm surges, before gradually releasing it into the surface water sewer under Grand Drive, near the entrance to the site. If this design works, there should be no runoff from the AELTC ground onto neighbouring property, as happened in the past. 

    This does not solve the problem of the ground water that runs off the Common under Parkway and Elm Walk and onto the AELTC ground, since the Common is higher. That is why we have asked the Council, which owns the Common, to maintain their ditches, as they have a responsibility to do. 

    NEW KITCHEN AT THE RESIDENTS’ PAVILION

    We have taken the opportunity over the summer break to refurbish the kitchen facilities at the Pavilion in Grand Drive.  We think that this will improve its usefulness for hirers. 

    The Pavilion is available for hire to residents and groups, at very reasonable rates.  The details of how to enquire about hiring the Pavilion are here. 

    John Elvidge

     

  • The Raynes Park Association - Blog, October 2019

    Our Residents’ Association is a member of the Raynes Park Association (RPA), an umbrella group of local residents’ associations and business representatives, in an around Raynes Park. As our residents’ association has a large membership compared to some others, we have two representatives within the RPA. Its aim is to enhance the environment of the centre of Raynes Park in the interests of people who live and/or work there. It provides a focal point for enhancing the Raynes Park environment, by addressing issues relating to the centre of Raynes Park, and other significant matters in the surrounding area which will affect people beyond the confines of a particular residents association’s boundary. 

     

    Its secretary, Chris Larkman, has written a blog about some of the RPA’s activities, which may be read  here .

  • Wimbledon Light Opera - October 2019

    Wimbledon Light Opera Society, which as its name suggests is a local group, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. As part of the celebration it is performing The Wizard of Oz (itself 80 years old this year) at Wimbledon Theatre this October during half-term week, from Wednesday 22nd – Saturday 26th Oct with matinees on Thursday and Saturday. A number of local residents and children are taking part, including long term members in Greenway and Heath Drive. Come and enjoy this fun family show suitable for all ages.

     Tickets can be obtained from ATG tickets 0844 871 7646 www.atgtickets.com/wimbledon

  • Townswomen's Guild - October 2019

    On August 15th we went on our coach outing to Brighton. Unfortunately, this year we were unable to fill enough seats to break even, but after initial uncertainty we decided that our summer outing should go ahead regardless.  We were very pleased to welcome members from other local organisations who were able to join us. Thank you to those who came. After the wet outing of 2018, this year we had glorious sunshine, and an enjoyable day was had by all. 

    The following Thursday, Margaret held a Garden Party Lunch at her house. This has become annual event – and is always an enjoyable occasion. In the past, the weather has not been kind to us, and we have end up staying indoors and admiring her garden through the window. But things were different this year. The sky was blue, and it was another warm, sunny day. Everyone chose to sit outside, but it soon became rather hot in the sun, so we were pleased to benefit from the shade provided by two garden umbrellas. 

    In September we resume our regular meetings, and at the time of writing we are looking forward to welcoming Jane Muddle, who will be giving us a talk entitled “Bags and Hats from Madagascar”. 

    Our monthly meeting in October will be on Thursday 17th October, 1.30 for 1.45 pm, in St. Saviour’s Church Hall, when Mike Grimshaw will be giving a talk entitled ‘Shetland.’ As usual, all are welcome to come along to the meeting.

     

  • St Saviour's War Memorial - Update

    ST SAVIOUR’S CHURCH WW1 MEMORIAL RESTORATION UPDATE 

    Most of you will be aware that the Scout Group was very involved last year with the development and launch of the “Men of Raynes Park” exhibition. This launched an appeal to raise funds to re-carve the names of the 97 men from the Parish who died as a result of the Great War on the memorial in the church grounds.  

    The budget for the project is around £23,000.  To date the money raised or pledged, amounts to around £21,000, which is a tremendous achievement.  

    Many parents and supporters of the Uniformed Groups, as well as members of the public, made contributions or pledges towards the appeal, for which the organisers at St Saviours are most grateful.  

    St Saviour’s would like to thank everyone who voted for the project in the Tesco and Waitrose Community Support schemes.  Together these raised £2,281. 

    The project, though, has been moving forward very slowly, though not through lack of effort or commitment from the St Saviour’s team. The current hold-up is with the War Memorial Trust who have placed restrictions on the agreed work, which we hope will shortly be resolved. 

    As soon as we have a date for the commencement of work St Saviour’s team will be in touch to call in pledges.

  • Chairman's Blog - October 2019

    Public Meeting about "Tesco Site" Development

     The public meeting we held on 10th September at the Holy Cross Church Hall was packed. Over 200 residents came, all very concerned about the effect of the Redrow planning applications at 265 Burlington Road, and the Tesco Extra car park site.

    This is a proposal for a truly massive development.

    The points of objection made at the meeting were numerous, and we stressed that it was not too late for individual objections to be made. These carry great weight with the planning committee which make the decisions.  The objections could be on a single basis, or for multiple reasons, can be in layman’s terms, and do not have to cite planning guidance. But objectors needed to give their names and addresses, with the post code.  

    We were told that some 350 such objections have been made so far. 

    You can read the objection made by this Residents’ Association, here, which is just one of many objections submitted. 

    Everyone is objecting to the height of the tower blocks, one of 15 storeys, which are utterly out of keeping with the surrounding housing and would dominate the landscape.

    At our meeting it was explained that there was the real possibility that, if this application is approved, even higher and more blocks could be built on the site of the Tesco store itself, which would be knocked down.  

     The 456 units of accommodation would swamp the local health services and schools, with woefully inadequate funding being given in the area to cope with the sudden influx of new residents of all ages.  

    Only 220 car parking spaces are to be provided, which is bound to lead to more cars being parked on the surrounding roads, and the inevitably of paid-for car parking zones being introduced.  

    There was concern about renewed flooding in the area.

    The proposals would markedly increase the carbon footprint of the borough, which the Council has promised to reduce by 2030.

    The tower blocks would lead to a wind tunnel effect, given the increase in high winds in recent years, such as is evident if you try and go walk past the Civic Centre in a wind. This is 14 stories high. 

    There would be traffic chaos in Burlington Road, and at the West Barnes level crossing, where there is already gridlock for much of the day.

    We do not expect an early decision, since the Mayor of London must examine the applications  owing to the number of units of accommodation being proposed.

     

    Car Parking Charges in Raynes Park

    The Council has been forced to review its decision to impose swingeing parking charges in Raynes Park of £3 an hour from this autumn. This will prevent its resurgence as a local shopping centre. Over 3,000 residents protested during the consultation, and, for once, the Council was compelled to reconsider.   

    However, despite having another consultation, the Council has decided to ignore the views of  local residents and  APPROVE the car parking charges in full. 

    The strong suspicion remains that this is simply a tax raising measure.  The Council’s case is that the income from parking charges will  only be spent on parking and transport projects, including mending potholes, resurfacing borough roads, and new cycling schemes; but we believe that it is being done simply to boost the Council’s coffers for their general spending. The proposed charges were highest in Wimbledon Town Centre, where they will rise to £4. 50 an hour.    The Council also claims that the decision was taken in the interests of cutting down car use and so improving air quality. But they have produced no evidence that this is so.  

    John Elvidge

     

  • West Barnes Litter Picks - 2019

    Local councillors have been organising litter pick-ups in West Barnes.  The next one is scheduled for 21st September 1 - 3 pm.  Please contact Hina Bokhari):

    (hina.bokhari@merton.gov.uk for the meet up location, or look out on twitter or mumsnet. 

    Previously litter pickers have met at Linkway and Claremont Avenue.  Hina can provide the ‘pick-up’ tools and bags.  The more volunteers the better if It means keeping West Barnes clean and sweet! Even though it’s is beyond the call of nature, it’s worth it.

     

     

  • Morden Rotary Club - Sept 2019

    As ever it's been a busy first half of the year for your local Rotary team.

    In January and February we were able to host a very successful "Young Chef of the Year" again, which is now a recognized national event.

    Huge thanks to Merton College and their staff for most generously letting us use their superb facilities, and for introducing international chefs as judges.

    We've also raised more funds at the Rotary Fair in Cheam Park in May, and in July at Morden Fun Day. Many thanks to Aldi Stores for their sponsorship and support that made 
    these events successful.

    In June we arranged for over 100 young special needs children from Merton Schools to have a great "Kids Out" day at Chessington World of Adventure. Sincere thanks to The Leivers Trust for making it possible, and the team at Merton Council Transport Pool for their practical support too.

    Besides these very enjoyable events we've been able to give financial support to
    St.Raphaels Hospice, Morden Little League Footballers, The Wimbledon Guild, ShelterBox, Perseid School, Wimbledon Park Sailing Club, The Tadworth Trust, Children With Cancer UK, Haig Homes and 16th Morden Scouts.

    None of this would have been possible without the great support of you, the residents of Morden, Raynes Park, Motspur Park and Wimbledon!


    Still to come in the next months are
    The Rotary Regatta in Wimbledon Park, presentations of Dictionaries For Life" to Year 6 children in the the Borough, and a number of other projects which are in the planning stage.

    On your behalf we're connecting with a number of other local good causes and offering practical and financial support.   One of these is Faith in Action, which host lunches twice weekly for the homeless of Merton. FIA has been chosen by Jane Howard, Mayor of Merton, for her fundraising support during her year of office.

    FIA is based at the Salvation Army HQ in South Wimbledon, where besides meals, they also offer laundry facilities, hairdressing and many more practical services to street people.

    Again Aldi Stores generously make available fresh fruit, bread, cereals and other items at "sell-by" dates or in broken packaging to support this project.

    In between the hard work, your community team is organising a day trip to the Tate Gallery, a skittles competition and enjoying the excellent team togetherness we call "fellowship".

    As ever we'd love to have more volunteers join the team for any event, and particularly the Christmas collection. We're all in the community service team, but we do have smaller teams working on international projects, youth work, sports and special charity work.

    Whatever you can offer, we'll guarantee you'll find your effort will be rewarded when you see the visible benefits. You can make a difference!

    You'll find Morden Rotary on Facebook: we hold regular open evenings to show what we do, or just get in touch anytime to find out more.
    Best wishes from your Community Service Team at Morden Rotary.
     

    Joss Ollett

  • Townswomen's Guild - Sept 2019

    August is always a quiet month, as many of our members go away, and we do not have the regular monthly meeting with a speaker in St. Saviour’s Church Hall. 

    At the time of writing, we are looking forward to the outing to Brighton on 15th August, and to a Garden Party Lunch at Margaret’s house the following Thursday. Her annual

    Garden Party is always an enjoyable occasion – not simply an opportunity to raise much needed funds. However, the weather is not always kind to us, and we often end up staying indoors and admiring her garden through the window! Perhaps the weather this year will be better – here’s hoping!

     Our regular monthly meetings resume in September. At this meeting, which will be on Thursday 19th September, Jane Muddle will be giving us a talk entitled “Bags and Hats from Madagascar”.

     

     

  • Chairman's Blog - Sept 2019

    PUBLIC MEETING ON TESCO SITE DEVELOPMENT 

    We are holding a PUBLIC MEETING to discuss the development applications at 265 Burlington Road and the Tesco Extra car park site, made by Redrow.   

    This will be held at 7.30 pm at Holy Cross Church Hall, Adela Avenue, Motspur Park, KT3 6HT

    • on Tuesday 10 September 2019 and will be a meeting for local residents only, Redrow have not been invited.

     Please note that this REPLACES the Open Meeting planned for the Pavilion on that date.

     

    Although the address of the development may seem far away from many of our residents, the visual effect of overlooking on roads such as Westway and Linkway will be overwhelming, since the proposal includes seven tower blocks of flats up to 15 storeys high. 

    We have been alerted to these proposals previously. However, since January we have not heard anymore from the developers until they recently lodged their planning application.  Therefore, this is the first opportunity we have had to place the actual applications before our Members.  

    The developers may have hoped - by choosing this date - to minimize the number of objections that are bound to be made, as many people will have been away on holiday during this period. 

    Planning Applications 

    The statutory 21-day period for objecting to their first planning application, P/A 19/P2387 officially runs out on 24th August.  (The Council's Planning Website now states 30 August ) However, we have been assured by the planning officers that representations made after this date will be taken fully into account by the planning committee when it comes to consider the applications.  

    Given the size and scale of the development, this is not likely to be, until September or October at the earliest. In addition, the application is so large that it will have to be considered by the Mayor of London, who can approve or refuse it, or leave the determination entirely to Merton. 

    It is worth repeating that the planning committee of the Council is required to be fully independent of any political pressures and must judge proposals only on their planning merits. 

    We are calling this public meeting so that all residents can understand what is being proposed, and to express their views to the Council.  

    Members are encouraged to make their own individual representations. We are also preparing an objection on behalf of the Residents’ Association. 

    We have hand delivered a colour flyer to all residents in the roads most affected in the West Barnes area, showing the visual impact.  

    We should stress that the planning committee tends to pay much more attention to individual letters of objection from residents, which do not simply repeat the words of others. These should therefore contain the name and address of the person objecting, and the effect on them personally. 

    A SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSALS AND WHY THEY SHOULD BE OBJECTED TO 

    The plans are to build no less than 456 new flats, in blocks between 7 and 15 storeys high. They will be a mix of 1,2, and 3-bedroom flats but mainly 2-bedroom flats.  The lower blocks will front Burlington Road. This is completely out of keeping with the character of local housing, which is mostly inter-war two storey suburban housing.  It is noteworthy that at the first public exhibition of the plans last September, the highest storey was 11, but, despite public objections, this was increased to 14 storeys by last November, and is now 15. This is also despite the pre-application discussions that Redrow have been having with the Council’s planning department.   

    Some 35% of these flats will be “affordable” housing, but these are to be contained in separate blocks, managed by a housing association, from those that will be available to buy outright or under a shared ownership scheme.  This is a practice that is known to lead to increased social problems.  

    There are only 220 vehicle spaces provided, which will inevitably mean that residents of the new development and their visitors will try to park in the surrounding streets. This will again, inevitably, mean that residents’ parking permits will in time be called for in these streets.

    The plans would reduce the number of car spaces for those shopping at Tesco’s, since it will take up almost a quarter of their site, and perhaps reduce the viability of this store. 

    The access to the development will be off Burlington Road, and there is no clear idea how this will impact the already confused traffic movement at the West Barnes level crossing. 

    Although the developers are bound to pay a community levy charge to the Council, there is no guarantee that this will be used in the immediate local area.  It is very doubtful that there will be a sufficient increase in the number of local school spaces, GP practices, and hospital care to cope with such many new residents.  The community levy charge does not begin to pay for the infrastructure needed, and so the cost will mean an increase in the rates. 

    There is a separate but linked planning application: P/A 19/P2578. This proposes to demolish the building at 247 Burlington Road and construct a temporary road for the Tesco car park for a 2-year period, providing both vehicle, pedestrian, and cycle access. Access by vehicles, particularly by those turning right, would interrupt the traffic flow from West Barnes level crossing to Shannon Corner, and would be opposite the entrance to Cavendish Avenue.

    We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our meeting. We urge all of you to consider the proposals very carefully, and, if you object, to send in your objections as soon as possible.  You could do so by letter or by e-mail to planning.representations@merton.gov.uk quoting the application number and your name and address. 

    John Elvidge

  • TESCO SITE DEVELOPMENT

    Link to further information - Tesco Site - 265 Burlington Road

  • Images for 19/P2387

    IMAGES OF BELWAY'S PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT AT 265 BURLINGTON ROAD (19/P2387)

     

  • Trees by Beverley Brook

    Trees alongside Beverley Brook at Motspur Park

    One of our members, Clare Green, contacted us and the Environment Agency after an oak tree fell onto a Mini. She was very concerned about this and other trees alongside the Brook at Motspur Park.   She has sent us the response she has received from the Agency, who write as follows: 

    “The Environment Agency has already been out on site with tree surgeons to look at the remaining trees. We will be taking action to reduce the height of the mature oak trees and removing dead branches etc. from those that we are responsible for on the left bank at the end of the year. There was nothing that the professionals felt was “dangerous” warranting immediate removal. My advice is that the latter part of the year is best for the proposed type of work.

    I hope that this satisfies your concerns – do feel free to call me if you have any further queries regarding this issue. 

    Mary Seabourne, Technical Advisor, APT (Mole and South London) Environment Agency | Medway House, Powdermill Lane, Leigh, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9AS”.

  • Townswomen's Guild - August 2019

    Raynes Park (Afternoon) Townswomen’s Guild 

    At our June meeting, we celebrated our 86th Birthday with a tea and a musical entertainment from ‘Fool Circle’. Two in number, they entertained us for almost an hour with a variety of well-known songs, which was much enjoyed by all. 

    Our July meeting also had a musical theme with the return of the ‘Nonsuch Handbell Ringers’. No doubt they will again be encouraging some of us to ‘have a go’ at ringing the bells. 

    This month we have our annual outing, which is on Thursday 15th August.  This year we are going to Brighton, and we would welcome others who would like to join us. The cost will be £16. There is still plenty of room on the coach – so if you are interested in booking please contact us. 

  • New Cycle and Foot Path

    Cycle and footpath from New Malden to Raynes Park 

     

    The new walking and cycling route was opened on 13 July 2019.  It is like a delightful  a country path and will be useful for many people!   Try it out!  You can always walk one way and get the train back.  From Raynes Park the path is accessed via Taunton Avenue which is off West Barnes Lane, (nearly opposite Waitrose Carpark).

     

  • Visit to Clandon and Hatchlands

    Out & About With the Pavilion Club, 129 Grand Drive, Raynes Park 

    Do join us on our SUMMER COACH OUTING to CLANDON PARK & HATCHLANDS PARK 

    On Tuesday 13th August

    Cost: £20.50 per person to include entrance fees and coach, but only £8.50 if you are a National Trust Member 

    Pick up points

    Motspur Park (Earl Beatty) 9.00 a.m.

    Raynes Park (Approach Road south side) 9.15 a.m.

    Grand Drive (Greenway bus stop) 9.30 a.m. 

    Please be at your chosen pick up point at least 5 minutes before given time. 

    To Book contact Jill West at rpwbra@rpwbresidents.org.uk.

  • Chairman's Blog - August 2019

    FURTHER HEATHROW CONSULTATION

    Heathrow Airport has now published further proposals for its expansion with a third runway. This is due to open in 2026.

    It is fair to say that the effect on the whole area will be massive, with the M25 diverted under the new runway. There will be two extra car parks, one for 24,000 vehicles built on existing playing fields, and another for 22,000. The total parking will increase to 53,000. This is despite their claim that there will be no increase in airport related traffic.  761 homes will be demolished.  It will cost 14 billion pounds, but this is only for the first phase of expansion.  It is believed that the end cost will be 30 billion.  The intention is to increase the yearly numbers of flights to 756,000. 

    There is a local consultation being held in Wimbledon on Saturday 17 August from 10 am to 4 pm. This is at Everyday Church, 30 Queen’s Road, SW19 8LR. The consultation documents are also at Merton Civic Centre or at heathrowconsultation.com. The deadline for replying is midnight on 13 September. You can reply by e-mail to: feedback@heathrowconsultation.com 

    Of particular interest to this area will be the direction of flights, night flights, noise, and air quality and climate change. 

    While the demand for passenger and freight flights continues to grow every year, so does the need for a severe reduction in carbon emissions, to which the Government is committed.  I will only express the hope that the Government and Parliament will scrutinize these proposals most carefully.   

    SUMMER PARTY

    Some 60 of our volunteers enjoyed a summer party at The Pavilion on the middle Saturday of Wimbledon, in glorious weather. This was held as a thank you for all the hard work and dedication of our Area Co-Ordinators and Road Stewards, the Premises Management Group, and the Committee. 

    We took the opportunity to ask Pamela Robinson’s nephew, Roger and his wife Donna, to unveil a plaque on the tree we planted in memory of Pamela, who sadly died last year.  Pamela was a long serving and much - loved member of the Committee, as well as being a talented artist who designed the front cover of The Guide. 

    Roger kindly gave the Association another watercolour that Pamela had made of Raynes Park station, and this will hang in the Pavilion.  You can see in this edition a photo of Roger by the tree holding this painting. The tree is a flowering hawthorn, with pink and white stems in the spring, and berries loved by the birds in the autumn. It has been planted so that it can be seen from the entrance at the end of the path.   

    THE GUIDE

    The Guide has been published ever since 1926, and for many years has been brought to you every month. It is still highly valued by our members. 

    The Committee has decided that it would be better to have a copy of the Guide for December and January that covers both Christmas and the New Year.  This is partly because of the difficulty of meeting deadlines for printing in the run up to Christmas, but also since it is a period of the year when everyone takes a break from day to day life.

    The intention is to have a larger edition coming out in December to cover December and January, with the hope of increasing advertisement income over the Christmas and New Year period. 

    The effect would be that in future we will produce 11 editions of the Guide in all.

    We will ensure that our existing loyal advertisers are not prejudiced in any way.  

    John Elvidge

     

  • Pavilion Club Visit to Whitstable - 24 JULY 2019

    Out & About with the Pavilion Club - 129 Grand Drive, Raynes Park 

    Do join us on our SUMMER COACH OUTING TO: 

    WHITSTABLE, KENT on 24th JULY 2019

    Cost £15.00 

    Pick up points 

    Motspur Park (Earl Beatty)                       9.00 a.m.

    Raynes Park (Approach Road south side)   9.15  a.m.

    Grand Drive (Greenway bus stop)              9.30 a.m.

     Please be at pick up point at least 5 minutes before given time.

     To Book telephone:  Jill West 020 8286 9809

  • Townswomen's Guild - July 2019

    Raynes Park (Afternoon) Townswomen's Guild

    At our May meeting, Bob Sinfield came to give us a talk which he entitled “The Great Unwatched”. His informative talk was both entertaining and amusing. We had no idea that a talk about Radio Broadcasting would be so interesting.Townswomen’s Guild.

     Also in May, 10 members attended a TG Federation Lunch held in St. Bede’s Conference Centre, (which is behind St. Raphael’s Hospice) to mark the 90th Birthday of the Townswomen’s Guild. It was a very good meal, and a most enjoyable occasion. 

    At the time off writing, we are looking forward to our June meeting, when we will be celebrating our 86th Birthday with a tea and a musical entertainment from ‘Fool Circle’. (Formed only 4 years after TG began, we believe we are one of the oldest Guilds in the London area.) 

    Our July meeting also has a musical theme with the return of the ‘Nonsuch Handbell Ringers’. No doubt they will again be encouraging some of us to ‘have a go’ at ringing the bells. 

    The following month we have our annual outing, which is on Thursday 15th August. This year we are going to Brighton, and we would welcome others who would like to join us. The cost will be £16.

    We are hoping to leave around 9.30 am with pick-ups at Motspur Park, Raynes Park Station and Greenway - but this awaits confirmation. We would appreciate bookings and payment by the last week in July. 

    For further details of our meetings, and of our social activities please get in touch. 

    Dorothy Raymond. Tel: 0208 395 9489

  • Parking Permits - Latest

    EXTORTIONATE HIKE IN PARKING CHARGES AND FEES FOR PARKING PERMITS 

    Following the receipt of more than 3000 letters of objection from residents, Merton has deferred its decision on the introduction of the new charges.  They are ‘re-consulting’ so you still have time to protest loudly if you want to add your objections to the other 3,000.   Write to: 

    Cllr.Stephen Alambritis, Merton Civic Centre, London Road,  Morden, Surrey SM4 5DX

  • Chairman's Blog - July 2019

    YET ANOTHER BANK BRANCH CLOSING

    Notices are up in Lloyds Bank in Raynes Park stating that the branch is due to close on 22 August.  This will mean that there will be no longer any bank branches in Raynes Park. This must impact on the continued improvement of Raynes Park as a local shopping and business centre. 

    We have asked Stephen Hammond MP to do what he can to change their minds, but it seems that all the clearing banks are determined to cut their costs in this way. 

    We have said before that many people, and particularly the more elderly, do want to see someone in person to discuss their financial needs. Many people, rightly in my view (as one who has been defrauded by an incompetent bank) still distrust on- line banking. 

    This closure follows that of the branch of Barclays in Raynes Park, the closure of the branches of NatWest in Morden and Wimbledon Village, and of Santander in Morden.    NatWest has been left with the main branch in Wimbledon Town Centre, which always has a long queue of people waiting to see the tellers, because of the inadequate number provided of these.  The need for branches is still there, but the banks are not responding to the wishes of their customers. 

    MORE NEW HOMES IN RAYNES PARK

    In October last year the Council granted planning permission for the demolition of the Manuplastics site at 579-589 Kingston Road, and for the building of 99 flats.   Now the owners want to add to their number in a new application. These will be studio flats, and one and two bedroom units, but none of three bedrooms. All of them will be flats for rental only, and there will be no “affordable” units.  The proposals are to tier the flats in 2 to 7 storeys. It remains to be seen whether such a large development on a relatively limited site will be granted permission. 

    265 BURLINGTON ROAD

    We reported in the February Guide on the proposal by Redrow to build a massive 446 flats at 265 Burlington Road, taking in part of the Tesco car park.  The flats were to be built in 7 blocks, with the tallest of them rising to 14 storeys, another of 13, and another of 10, all facing the Tesco store, and reducing to 7 fronting Burlington Road.   The intention of the developers at that time was to proceed with a formal planning application as soon as possible. 

    Since then it has gone deathly quiet, and it may be that the developers are having second thoughts about whether to proceed.    We will keep you informed and will hold a public meeting if a planning application is made, as there are bound to be major concerns as to the height and size of the development, and its effect on community provision for health and schools. 

    BOUNDARY COMMISSION REVIEW

    The Boundary Commission and Merton Council are considering proposals to reduce the number of Councillors on Merton Council from 60 to 57, which would, of course, reduce the cost of council services to some degree.   This would bring the number of Councillors back to its previous level. The aim is to have this in place in time for the next council elections. 

    This would entail some changes to the existing ward boundaries, and perhaps some wards having two Councillors rather than three. 

    An initial analysis seems to show that the wards which this Residents’ Association represents, of West Barnes, Raynes Park, Cannon Hill, and Lower Morden, are unlikely to be greatly affected, since the number of residents here has overall increased, rather than lessened. 

    John Elvidge

  • Paddock Coach Trip - 18 July 2019

    Paddock Allotments’ Coach Trip

    The Paddock Allotments Society has  arranged a coach trip to The Weald and Downland Living Museum and West Dean Gardens in Sussex.  They  will be going (hopefully if they have enough takers) on Thursday 18th July leaving Grand Drive at 9 a.m. returning at approx 6pm.  The cost is £30 which includes entrance to both venues, the coach fare and the drivers tip.
    Anyone wishing to join Paddock members is more than welcome. 

    Contact Ruth Whitehead on 8286-9362 where she has an answer phone, leaving your name and phone number. Ruth will call back, answer any questions and  you’re your booking.

  • St Saviour's Organ Recital - 13 July 2019

    St Saviour's Church - UK Sibelius Society sponsor an organ recital by Theodore Frazer

    The organ is a superb liturgical instrument, being originally built in 1907 by William Hill. In 1998 it was completed as a two-manual instrument by F.H. Browne & Sons, of Canterbury. A unique selling point for this concert is The Improvisation on a Theme that Sibelius was asked to supply to the Organ Music Society of London in 1933. 

    The UK Sibelius Society checked the records and asked permission from the family, so to their knowledge this is the first time this 9-bar fragment has been improvised on since 1933. 

    The recital will be held at St Saviour's Church, Raynes Park SW20 9DL on Saturday 13th July – (7.00 for 7.30 p.m.)  Tickets cost £10.00 on the door, or just £1 if you are under 18. 

  • St Saviour's War Memorial

    St. Saviour’s WW1 Memorial Restoration Project….Your Vote Counts at Waitrose Raynes Park!

    The Memorial Group is hoping for a cash boost from the Waitrose Community Matters initiative and needs your vote..

    The WWI memorial was erected in 1921 to honour the 97 men who gave their lives in the First World War. Over the years the names on the memorial have gradually been eroded and are no longer legible, the project team are working to raise funds for it to be restored and the names re-carved. 

    As part of the fund-raising campaign The Restoration Group has been chosen as one of three charities to receive a share of the cash award from Waitrose Community Matters. Voting for the WWI Memorial restoration project runs in the Raynes Park Waitrose Store throughout June, you can cast your vote by asking for a token every time you shop. Do please help!

  • Canon Hill Common- Summer 2019

    Friends of Cannon Hill Common - Calendar of Events

     

    BOTANICAL/FLOWERWALK

    Irene Kettle, one of our long-standing members has agreed to lead another Botanical/Flower Walk for us on the Common on the evening of  FRIDAY 28TH JUNE 2019. Meet at 6.30 p.m. by the South Meadow on the corner of Cannon Hill Lane and Parkway

     

    BUTTERFLY WALK

    Neville Squires has agreed to lead a Butterfly Walk on the Common on SATURDAY 20TH JULY 2019. Please meet on the bridge by the lake on Cannon Hill Lane at 2 p.m. 

     

    TREE WALK

    Dave Lofthouse will lead our annual Tree Walk on FRIDAY 26TH JULY 2019 as part of Love Parks Week commencing at 7.15 p.m.  It is suggested that participants should bring insect repellent, some sort of head covering to keep off the midges and possibly a torch as it may be getting dark before the walk finishes. Please meet on the bridge by the lake on Cannon Hill Lane.

     

    BAT WALK

    Alison Fure has agreed to lead a Bat Walk for the Friends of Cannon Hill Common on   FRIDAY 20th SEPTEMBER 2019.    Please meet at 7.00 p.m. on the bridge by the lake on Cannon Hill Lane. The walk will last approximately two hours and we suggest you bring a torch with you as it will be dark when the walk finishes. Insect repellent or some sort of head covering to keep off the midges is also advisable. 

    Children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. 

     

    ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

    TUESDAY 16TH JULY 2019 from 7.30 p.m. – 9.00 p.m.

    Paddock Allotment Garden Clubhouse, 51 Heath Drive, SW20 9BE.

  • Raynes Park Townswomen's Guild - June 2019

    As it was close to Easter, our April meeting was a “do-it-yourself” with a Beetle Drive, which had an Easter theme. Everyone received an Easter Egg, and the winner received an orchid plant. 

    At the time of writing, we are looking forward to our May meeting, when Bob Sinfield will be coming to tell us about “The Great Unwatched”. This talk is about Radio Broadcasting. 

    Our June meeting will be our 86th Birthday Party, which includes a musical entertainment. 

    Later in the year we have our annual outing, which is on Thursday 15th August. We are going to Brighton, and we would welcome others who would like to join us. The cost will be £16. 

    We are hoping to leave around 9.30 am with pick-ups at Motspur Park, Raynes Park Station and Greenway - but this awaits confirmation. We would appreciate bookings and payment by the last week in July. 

    For further details of our meetings, and of our social activities please get in touch. 

    Dorothy Raymond

  • RPA Objection to Revised Parking Charges

    RAYNES PARK ASSOCIATION LETTER TO MERTON COUNCIL

    Letter of Objection to proposed revised parking charges 

    I am writing you on behalf of the Raynes Park Association to register our objections to the proposed rises in parking charges.  To remind you the Raynes Park Association is an umbrella organisation comprising local residents’ associations, businesses and other local organisations within the Raynes Park area, cutting across several Wards.  

    i.   Town Centre Parking Charges

     While parking charges in town centres such as Raynes Park may be necessary to ensure efficient use of available spaces, we believe these charges should be kept as low as is reasonably possible to encourage the use of the services offered in our local town centre.  We are therefore totally opposed to the proposal to double these charges which, we believe, will cause damage to our high street at a time when they can least afford it.  

    ·       LaToya Harding (The Daily Telegraph 10th April 2019) said “The number of high street shops closing remained at record highs last year as rising business rates, declining customer footfall and a shift to online shopping took their toll.”    So regardless how you class the north side of Raynes Park, unless we do more to help small shopping streets the impact will continue until it is full of Charity shops and large national chains. 

    ·       The Retail Gazette Jan 2019 said “Over 175,000 jobs are set to be shed from the UK’s retail industry, while retail property values will slide amid the continuing increase in online shopping.  A further 23,000 shops are expected to close this year, according to research conducted by real estate advisers Altus Group.” 

    ·       Thomas Heatherwick, the award-winning designer has remarked when it comes to retail “feeling is function”.  Shopping should be a pleasant experience without unjustified financial obstacles. Why would a shopper drive to a retail area, spend time trying to find a parking place, and pay a large parking charge when they can sit comfortably at home and order supplies from a lap top.  

    What is Merton actually doing to enhance the public realm experience in Raynes Park?  It is clearly not using the parking charge or CIL funding for environmental improvements. It is just another form of local taxation with the money going in one direction whilst failing to address the fundamental retail issues. 

    You will be aware that we have formally requested the setting up of a free 20-minute parking period in the part of Raynes Park on the north of the railway to match what is already provided on the south of the railway.  Officers have indicated that the north is classed as a “Town Centre” whilst the south is not; we would suggest this is illogical.    Some local businesses believe they need more than 20 minutes, but at least it is a start; businesses also need longer term parking for their own vehicles without the punitive business parking permits. 

    Whether or not you decide to introduce the increases, we ask you now urgently to review our request and to consider it favourably. 

    ii.                Residents’ Parking Permits 

    We are appalled at the concept of the massive proposed increases in the charges for residents to obtain permits to park in the CPZ areas.  When the London Borough of Merton consulted local residents on the setting up of CPZs it was understood that the charges would reflect the cost to the Council in managing the service.  It seems to us wrong that the Council should unilaterally decide to increase the charge as a ‘tax’ against local people owning a car.  This was never part of the consultation and we therefore question the Council’s authority to initiate this additional charge.  

    In any event, the increased charges are totally unfair as it is only applicable to people living within a CPZ.  If you are lucky enough to have your own driveway or indeed live in a road with no controls, you will not be charged.  Your vehicle will equally cause pollution, which appears to be the rationale behind this ‘tax’, yet having your own driveway makes you exempt.  Furthermore, there is no equality across the whole of Merton, why should residents in the Mitcham not receive the same increase as in Wimbledon and Raynes Park, especially when one of the key planks in the argument for the increases are to reduce pollution; pollution does not suddenly stop in Mitcham surely?  We suggest that the rationale has indeed been drawn up in what can only be seen a 'planned way' to increase taxes in areas where the ruling majority is not represented which might well be considered as maladministration. 

    We suggest that Resident’s Parking Permits: 

    i.   In the interests of fairness be the same cost regardless of which part of the borough one lives.

    ii.   Increase proportionately with inflation and the actual cost of managing the service.

    iii.   Should be automatically renewed via direct debit to save staff time dealing with the complicated existing process requesting a pin then re-submitting and having to remember the renewal date.

    iv.   No longer require a paper notice, but rather linked to the vehicle registration and Parking Attendants be given devices that can scan the registration number and link to the Council’s database to confirm it can park in Zone situated.  No doubt DVLC would be pleased if the Council were also able to catch unlicensed vehicles at the same time.  

    We trust you will consider all our suggestions favourably.

    Chris Edge

    Chairman RPA

     

     

  • Chairman's Blog June 2019

    ALL ENGLAND CLUB GROUND, GRAND DRIVE

    This sports ground, which is bounded by Grand Drive, Cannon Hill Lane, Elm Walk, and Southway is being used by the All England Club for its Junior Tennis Initiative, and for general Community use.

    The ground already has a bubble housing indoor courts, and also has grass and hard courts, all of which the public can use when they are not required for training or the Wimbledon Fortnight.

    In October last year the Club received planning permission to provide another air dome (housing 3 acrylic courts) situated behind the present one, 16 new grass courts, and a new pavilion and a maintenance building. 

    The Club is now about to start the construction works, and held a drop in session for local residents to discuss their proposals in April.  

    We were told that the work will commence with the delivery of the specialised soil (loam) for the 16 grass courts, which will be of Championship standard. The first delivery for 4 courts was due in May, and others will be phased in between October 2019 and January 2020. The lorries will use the existing northern access point off Grand Drive.

    In June work is expected to start on drainage improvements, the acrylic courts in the new air dome, and the seeding of the grass courts.

    The planning permission so far granted did not extend to the details of the maintenance building, which was treated as a reserved matter.  The intention is to submit a further application setting out its appearance, maximum footprint, height, and access.

    One of our residents in Grand Drive has already expressed concern about extended parking behind her house, and what appears to be a vehicular exit near the end of Southway.

    Any queries about what is happening can be directed to the Community Manager of the Ground at communitytennis@aeltc.com 

    OPEN MEETING

    We are holding an Open Meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 12th June at Blossom House School in Motspur Park.  Do come and meet other members, as well as members of the Committee, and we can discuss any local issues that are concerning you.

    There will be light refreshments afterwards.  Do come.

    ADVERTISING IN THE GUIDE

    As you are probably aware, apart from membership subscriptions (which have been held at £3 for many years), and apart also from the revenue that hire of the Residents’ Pavilion brings in, the Association is funded from advertisements in The Guide.

    Dick Coleman, our Advertising Manager, is keen to increase our advertising revenue by attracting potential clients, and would like your help in doing so.

    For example, if you, or one of your neighbours, is having work done at home by a local tradesman, why not suggest that they advertise in The Guide? Or perhaps one of your neighbours runs a local business and might be interested?  Members and non-members are equally welcome! If you can, try and get a contact number & an e-mail address, and let Dick know - advertising@rpwbresidents.org.uk

    We currently distribute some 2000 copies of The Guide each month, and our range of adverts stretches from economical “small ads” to more effective display spaces. And we don’t even charge VAT!  Full details are on our website at www.rpwbresidents.org.uk/advertising

    John Elvidge

  • St Saviour's May Fair - Monday, 6 May

     

    St. Saviours May Fair

    St. Saviour’s May Fair will be held this year on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May from 12.00 noon to 3pm.  This annual event gives the Church the opportunity to welcome local residents - as well as those from further afield -  to the church in Grand Drive. 

    As usual there will be many attractions including the crowning of the May Queen, Maypole Dancing, a demonstration of hand-bell ringing and the greatly enjoyed BBQ. There will also be the usual wide variety of games and side shows plus numerous other stalls and a grand draw. 

    Do make sure to take this marvellous bank holiday opportunity to join St. Saviours for this happy family occasion! 

    Admission is FREE.

  • Lambton Road PPG

    Lambton Road Medical Practice

    The Patient Participation Group of the Lambton Road Medical Practice will be held at 3.00 p.m. on Saturday 11th May at the Lambton Road Practice. Peter West, Chair of the Lambton Road PPG, suggests that patients should go along and hear about ."service developments at Lambton Road and wider NHS plans for Primary Care in Merton, under the heading “You and your primary care”.

  • Townswomen's Guild - April 2019

     

    RAYNES PARK (afternoon) TOWNSWOMENS’ GUILD 

    In March, Miss A Hoyland with her talk ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ was a delight.  A professional musician (woodwind) in West End theatre orchestras, she decided to add another string to her bow (sorry), by training as an Image Consultant, to advise people how to always be polished and well dressed.  Armed with a colour wheel and specially made demonstration garments she enlisted the help of a member, and herself, to showcase her techniques and theories.  Topics covered were complexion colouring, curved and straight body shapes, long and short lengths to the waist, accessories, pattern sizes on materials and tricks to improve body line generally.  This was a fun talk which we all enjoyed. 

    On Wednesday 3rd April ten members attended the Townswomen’s Guild 90th Thanksgiving Celebration Service at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square conducted by Revd Jonathan Evens.  Area Federation Banners were paraded, the Trustees made an interesting presentation featuring the development and achievements of the Guild, and we finished with the TWG song.  However, a special mention must go to the Chamber Choir of Burntwood School (an academy school for girls in L B Wandsworth) who sang an eclectic mix of pieces throughout, making a truly excellent contribution, which complimented the passage of the service, hymns, and readings, perfectly. 

    Our May meeting features a talk by Bob Sinfield entitled ‘The great unwatched’.  This will be held on Thursday, 16th May at 1.30 for 1.45 pm in St Saviour’s Church Hall, Grand Drive.  Visitors or new members are always welcome. 

    Dorothy Raymond, Vice Chairman

  • Chairman's Report 2017/18

    CHAIRMAN’S REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE ASSOCIATION 2017/2018

    The recent heavy rains remind me that it was local flooding that led to the forming of the Association in 1928. We have continued ever since - even through the war years - so this year we are reaching our 90th Anniversary.

    We intend to hold a dinner in celebration at Merton College, prepared by the catering students. We did this very successfully for our 75th Anniversary, and some of you were present then. It will be held in November, and we will send out invitations when we have a firm date.

    We also intend to hold a summer party on the middle Saturday of Wimbledon fortnight, 7th July, as a thank you to all those who give their time and effort to keep the Association running. These are our Area-Co-Ordinators, our Road Stewards, our Committee, and the Management Group of the Residents’ Pavilion. I would like to pay tribute to all these unpaid volunteers, who contribute so much to maintaining the local environment and the well-being of residents.

    We will be producing a special Anniversary edition of The Guide in the Autumn.  This will be in colour.  We experimented with some colour in The Guide last Christmas with favourable comments.  I anticipate that the Anniversary edition will contain items of interest from each of or 9 decades, as well as the usual up to the minute news.

     I would like to single out for special thanks tonight one member whose contribution has been wholly exceptional. This is Jill Truman who has been working for the Association for 50 years starting in 1968.

    She has held nearly every office in that time (other than Treasurer

    since she claims she isn’t safe looking after money) Starting with Advertisement Manager, then Association Secretary, ultimately being voted in as Chairman both before and after standing for Council. She doubled up as both Editor &advertisement Manager for a couple of hears, until Dick Coleman stepped into the breach. 

    You may have seen from this month’s Guide that she was recently in hospital with a serious condition. 

    I am sure Jill would also want to join me in paying public tribute to the other members of the Committee. Clare Townsend is our Minutes Secretary who with her husband our very exemplary Treasurer John, also organises our social events and much else.  Together they form a double team and a joint whirlwind of energy. 

    As Treasurer, John Townsend manages to keep on top of a multitude of financial transactions and make them understandable. He will be presenting the accounts later in his usual enjoyable manner and I also want to thank Brian Lewis-Lavender for again auditing them.  

    Dick Coleman has brought huge enthusiasm to his role as Advertising Manager and has canvassed local businesses for new advertisements with great success, thus increasing the revenue that is vital if we are to continue to produce The Guide monthly. We know of no other residents’ association that so regularly communicates with its members. 

    This is a huge achievement by a great team of people. Andrew Barwick continues to be, as he has been for over ten years, our Distribution Manager, which is an onerous monthly task. In this he is assisted, again, by Dick, and by George Holder who looks after the postal members. They deserve an enormous thank you for their continued service.  A relative newcomer to this team is Rosemary Wright, who is now assisting Andrew Barwick as our dedicated Membership Secretary.

    Jerry Cuthbert is the Chair of the Residents’ Pavilion Management Group and has overseen the transformation of a semi-derelict tennis pavilion into a warm and welcoming community hall and continues to manage the bookings and lettings. It is now used on a very regular basis by a large variety of community groups, and this now increasingly contributes to the overall income of the Association.  Jerry also keeps our website up to date with news and information about local matters, whilst our Webmaster Charles Briscoe-Smith, keeps our website up and running.  This is now increasingly used as a point of reference for new entrants to the area, and for enquiries. 

    Jerry Cuthbert is also one of our representatives on the Raynes Park Association and Raynes Park Forum.

     Where he is relied on to provide very professional insight into Crossrail 2 and other environmental issues.  David Freeman continues, as he has done for many years, to be our adviser on planning matters.  He is extremely knowledgeable and advises the Secretariat and Members on the complex local planning laws which help us and them fight ill-advised planning applications; keeps us informed of applications in the pipeline and attends the planning committee when necessary to put across our point of view when we oppose a scheme. He also gives Jerry great assistance in running the Pavilion along with the Management Group who look after the                                     grounds, non-keyholding hirers, and so on.

    We have had very great help, as usual, from our local councillors, of all political persuasions, who attend our committee meetings.  I won’t mention any of those standing again by name tonight, given the imminence of the local elections, but they know who they are, and we thank them and wish them well.    I can however, mention Mary-Jane Jeanes, who is not standing for re-election, but who has been an excellent councillor, and a very strong supporter of the Association.  We hope that we can persuade her to continue to join the Committee and help us in future.

    I feel I must mention two of our affiliated social activities. The Pavilion Social Club meets most Thursday afternoons and is much enjoyed by between 35 to 40 residents each week, with an overall membership of 45. They love the opportunity for social interaction, each other, and the expert and warm way in which it is run by Andrea Hannan and Jill Truman.  The Pavilion Club runs coach outings that are open to non-members (this year it will be to Losely House, Eastbourne and Brighton and to the Annual Wisley Open Day, so well run up until now by Margaret Barratt, who has at last had to retire from this role. We thank her very much and wish her and her husband John all the best for the future. 

    I am also particularly pleased to welcome tonight Ruth Whitehead who will be speaking to us on the work of the Paddock Horticultural Society, which has many allotments on Cannon Hill Common, The Paddock also runs a tremendous social calendar, including regular Sunday Brunches, all delivered in a lovely friendly atmosphere. 

    At last year’s summer party for the volunteers, Gordon Stratford unveiled the plaque for the flowering bird cherry tree we had planted in honour of Jan Bailey, his partner and our former Secretary. It was a moving occasion.  It will be lovely to see it in bloom for the first time this year.

    One highlight of our year was when 30 members were treated to an extended tour of the All England Lawn Tennis Club just before the Championships, led by the Chief Coach, Dan Bloxham, who lives in Raynes Park. We went around the show courts, and saw young people training as part of the Club’s Junior Tennis Initiative, which goes to all schools in Merton.   Later in the year we were also invited to their impressive ground off Grand Drive, where large numbers of pupils from a very young age were playing.

    Another happy event was the retirement after 45 years of unbroken service to the community of our milkman John Braden MBE.  We organised a collection for him to which a huge number of people contributed, and we intend to present him with a cheque and the cards and messages after this meeting. 

    We had an Open Meeting in June at Blossom House School in Motspur Park, which has specialist therapeutic facilities for children with difficulties in speech and communication and were given an inspiring talk from its founder and Principal Joey Burgess OBE.

    At our Open Meeting in September we had a presentation from the officers of the St Helier and Epsom Hospital Trust on the future for local hospitals and were given the assurance that no major changes would be made in the next few years, and after that not without extensive public consultation.

    We have made representations on the proposed introduction of wheelie bins from next October and on the introduction of fortnightly collections, which we think is a mistake.

    Additionally, we have made representations on several individual planning applications; on street cleaning; on problems with flooding; as well as on the parking restrictions in the Sir Joseph hood Memorial Playing Fields. 

    We have kept people up to date with the latest news as to the closure of the tracks into Waterloo in August, and the plans for Crossrail 2 and Heathrow.

    So, we look forward to another busy year to come!

    John Elvidge - 11 April 2018. 

  • Telecoms Mast - Somerset Ave

    Proposed Telecoms Mast – Raynes Park Sports Grounds, Somerset Avenue 

    Last month saw Residents in the vicinity of Raynes Park Sports Ground at Somerset Avenue, being concerned about a proposal to install a Telecoms mast in these sports grounds. This was part of a pre-planning consultation and at the time, the actual application had not been submitted. 

    One cannot comment or object to a planning application until it is listed for a decision (probably by the Planning Officers - unless it is called in by a local Councillor) – but having said that, from the plans we have seen, the siting of the proposed mast fairly unobtrusive. 

    It is simply a pole situated in the farthest corner of the playing fields and far away from most housing.   There will also be three associated cabinets for various technical uses.   These are generally quite compact and painted green.  

  • Tudor Williams to Close

    New Malden shoppers are very sad to see the announcement in early March of the closure of their department store, Tudor Williams on 4th March.  This store has traded from its site at 53-59 High Street for over a century. 

    A spokesman for Tudor Williams said: "One of the areas’ most loved family-run department stores, Tudor Williams, is greatly saddened to announce its intention to close after over 100 years of trading in New Malden and shall embark on a Great £1,000,000 Store Closing Sale, beginning Friday May 17, with a final closure date of Saturday June 29." 

    Managing Group Director John Morris has blamed the spiralling costs and the wider difficulties faced by high street retailers in recent years as having influenced the decision. 

    Mr Morris said that  "despite the tremendous effort put in by our New Malden management and staff -  and the extensive refurbishment of the store - unfortunately it has not seen the necessary improvement in sales.” 

    He went on to say that neither their Dorking store and Tudor Williams’ sister store, Elphicks of Farnham, (which recently has also undergone major) refurbishment will be affected by this decision and will continue to trade as normal. 

    Tudor Williams intends to sell all stock ahead of the closure, while any "special orders" will be handled by Elphicks at Farnham. 

    According to Tudor Williams website, the store began life in 1913 as a small corner shop Mr.. Tudor Williams having come to New Malden from Wales in 1913, and purchased a small corner shop. Initially the business concentrated on Millinery and Haberdashery and over the years this was developed by Mr Williams and his wife, ith the business acquiring adjacent properties as the range of stock began to develop.

  • Townswomen's Guild

    The Raynes Park Afternoon TOWNSWOMENS GUILD   

    In July last year I told you about the mixed fortunes of our 85th birthday celebration lunch. 

    We are one of the oldest TWG branches nationally and this year is the 90th anniversary of the setting up of the national movement.  Accordingly, in April we plan to attend a national Thanksgiving Service at St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square; and in May a lunch is being arranged by the Federation of branches in North-East Surrey to be held at St Bede’s Hall (behind St Raphael’s) in Cheam Road.  

    At our Raynes Park AGM in February,  the retiring officers and committee were reappointed for another year. 

    In March the popular lunch club dined at the Morden Brook and on Monday 11th, a rather disappointing turnout of members visited the All Saints Church in Kingston for the regular Monday lunchtime concert, this time given by the Alianor Piano Trio (Piano, Violin, Cello), a very competent group whose programme of music was well received by a an appreciative audience.  Also, of interest was a small art display by Pauline Creed. 

    The April meeting which is to be held on Thursday 18th will be a social occasion featuring a beetle drive.  May’s scheduled speaker is Bob Sinfield,  whose talk is entitled ‘The great unwatched’. 

    We welcome visitors or others interested in our activities.  Our meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month at St Saviour’s Church Hall, 1.30 for 1.45 pm, 

    Dorothy Raymond

    Vice Chairman

  • Residents' Tennis Club

     Upcoming Events at the Raynes Park Lawn Tennis Club  

    Now the weather is warmer, and the evenings are longer, there are lots of activities taking place at your friendly and welcoming local tennis club in Meadowview Road. On Wednesday 3rd April in place of our regular Wednesday evening club night we have a fun and social tournament to celebrate the arrival of the longer evenings. Our members are also enjoying a fun variation on our usual club-sessions on the first Saturday of every month as Head Coach José devises games and exercises to improve your skills before grouping people up for a convivial set of doubles (or three, if you are so inclined)!  

    For 5-16-year olds, there are Easter holiday camps running 8-12th April. Tuesday and Thursday morning club sessions have been rescheduled that week, please check the website for details. Summer holiday camps will also be announced in due course. Recognising that it can be difficult to make the jump from junior coaching to adult match play, we would be pleased to welcome those older junior players (14+) who are ready to start playing with adults at Club Sessions on weekend afternoons, as well as Wednesday evenings.  

    Our next Open Day is Saturday 11th May but prospective members are always welcome to come along to a Club Session for a free trial, no need to wait until the Open Day. At just £140 for a year’s adult membership we are one of the cheapest and best value clubs in the area. Our three men’s and two ladies’ teams are also in fine form and moving up the divisions in the Surrey League, so we are pleased to offer a huge range of tennis opportunities for all.  

    For more information about any of the events mentioned here, please visit our website at https://www.rprltc.co.uk 

    Nathan - RPRLTC Chair

  • Morden Rotary - March 2019

     

    Young Chef of the Year 

     On Saturday 2nd March, a dozen young aspiring chefs competed in the "Young Chef of The Year" district final at South Thames College in Morden. They came from a wide area, from South London, Surrey and Sussex. Aged 11- 16, all the entrants had won through first round competitions.


    The judges were noteworthy professionals - Master Chefs Omera Gallucci, Franco Fontebasso, Soukias Tchilingirian and Master Baker, Tom Cromwell.

    They were led by internationally renowned chef Giovanni Fontebasso, and Morden Rotary Club was delighted to have such a distinguished judging panel.

    After briefing, the competitors had two hours to produce their meals, and present them in a table setting.

    The judges found all the results were extremely high quality - commenting that they felt each one was exceptional.

    The winner was
    Florence Pattendenfrom Fleet, and second place went to Oliver Trowell of Banstead. Both will go on to the regional final in Orpington in March - and if 
    successful, to the National final, taking place at Leeds City College in April.

    Trophies and certificates of merit were awarded to the contestants by Merton Mayor Mary Curtin, and Rotary District Governor David Easton and afterwards all the entrants had a very special time, as each was given personal feedback and guidance by the judges to help them improve even further.

    Giovanni Fontebasso, who has seen "Young Chef of The Year" develop into a nationally recognized award, was very enthusiastic, and commented he's seen hundreds of youngsters benefit from this competition. He was very impressed with the improving standard of entrants every year.

    "Young Chef of the Year", was hosted by Morden Rotary Club, and sponsored by Fillppo Berio Olive Oil.

    President Margaret Sinclair was supported by club members Jim Sinclair, William Rhind, Stan Earl, Peter & Margaret Redway, Tony Hunn, Phil Watson, Barry Bramley and Joss Ollett.  

    The club is very grateful to Rotarian Syd Mair and the catering tutors and staff of South Thames College at Merton for their great organization and enthusiasm for this event. 

    If you would like more information, or if you know someone who would like to take part, Please contact:- 

    Morden Rotary Club: - http://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/homepage.php/ClubID=8 

    Joss Ollett

  • Merton Bowling Club - 110 Anniversary

    Merton Bowling Club is celebrating 110 years of bowling in the community. 

    They have tried to trace the meaning of their Club badge, but details are sketchy. The top part of the badge is the 'Royal Navy Crown'. This is seen on the badges of  most of those for individual ships. It is associated with the Merchant Navy as well. 

    The fouled anchor part of the badge is the insignia worn by  Leading Ratings of the Royal Navy on their dress uniform.  The Club would welcome any more information about this from readers of The Guide’s  to add to the club history. 

    According to the Club's honours board, and as the name of the Club’s venue indicates, one of the members was Sir Joseph Hood. He was President of Merton Bowling Club from 1920 – 1931. Sir Joseph  was a businessman and a Conservative MP. 

    At the 1918 General Election  Sir Joseph was elected as  a Coalition  Member of Parliament  for Wimbledon. He  went on to hold the seat at the next two general elections, and in 1922 was created a “Baronet of Wimbledon in the County of Surrey”. 

    Sir Joseph Hood was known as a generous benefactor to the area he represented in Parliament.  On his death the lands he  bequeathed to the community were named after him in honour of his generosity. 

    Since then Merton Bowling Club playing at the Joseph Hood Recreation Ground, has had a constant flow of members -  ranging from ten years of age to 94 – and the Club looks to provide a friendly and social environment where people can bowl at their leisure, or more competitively,  pursue places in the  Wimbledon & District Bowling Association and Kingston District League.  

    The Club’s 110-year celebrations will continue until its Open Day on the afternoon of Sunday 28th April 2019 from 12.00 till 15.00 hours. 

    Visitors will be  very welcome, so the Club hopes everyone will come along and have a free bowling taster session; a cup of tea and a chat.

    If you are interested, but are unable to make this date, do please check the Club’s website and consider booking  a session, with or without, coaching at:

    www,mertonbowlsclub.com

     

  • Chairman's Blog - April 2019

    SCAMS

    Beware of scam calls and messages.

    The number of scam phones calls I get has increased no end. In addition, I am now getting scam texts on my mobile phone and very doubtful e-mails. There doesn’t seem to be any way to stop them.  

    The phone calls typically say that your broadband has been “compromised” and you need to dial a number to speak to a technician. Or that you need to speak to someone about your gas bill.

    A recent text message stated that my (named) bank account had been suspended for security reasons, and I should visit a web link to restore access. Another purported to come from DVLA and said that they had “identified that you still have an outstanding vehicle tax refund from an overpayment” and that I should follow the process to get it on another web page. 

    It is often difficult to distinguish a genuine message from a false one, which is why they so often succeed.  When in any doubt do not open an attachment to an e-mail, and never answer a call, or try a suggested website.

     YET ANOTHER HIGH STREET BANK BRANCH CLOSES

     Some time ago I deplored in these comments that the NatWest bank had closed its branches in Morden and Wimbledon Village, leaving customers who needed personal service to join the every lengthening queue at the branch in central Wimbledon, where they typically have only two members of staff manning the desks. 

    Now the Santander branch in Morden is closing on 9 May, leaving customers to get to the Wimbledon or Sutton branches, or use the Post Office.  They are cutting a fifth of their high street network. Which?, the consumer group, calculates that nearly two thirds of the UK’s branch network has been lost in the past 30 years, the numbers of branches having fallen from over 20,583 in 1988 to 7,586.     

    While I fully understand that many people now prefer to do their banking online or through mobiles, there are still a large number of people, many of them elderly, who cannot access these systems or prefer not to for security reasons.  I also understand that banks are commercial organisations, which are set up to make a profit.  

    However, what particularly riles me is that these closures are dressed up as improvements to the service, when they are nothing of the kind. 

    HEATHROW THIRD RUNWAY 

    The public consultation as to the future flight paths into and out of Heathrow has closed. We have, along with all other local replies, stressed that the flight paths should not come over this area, which has been largely free of noise to date.  However, we fear that if the proposed third runway is built, some increase in noise will be inevitable, given the huge increase of 250,000 extra flights being planned, up to 740,000 flights a year from the current 475,000. The noise maps reveal that some areas that are currently free of noise will suffer 47 flights an hour overhead. The noise levels from inbound planes, flying at 5,000 feet and below, will be up to 65 decibels.  

    5 councils, including Wandsworth, are seeking a judicial review of the Heathrow expansion. 

    What is really needed is for MP’s to look again at the necessity for a third runway at Heathrow, at a cost of £14 billion. It is surrounded by dense housing, and building would mean major alterations to the road structure. 

    The Airports Commission report, which led to the Government’s adoption of the scheme, was largely based on the need to maintain Heathrow as a global “hub” airport, where passengers would wait to be connected to a smaller plane. The Times business commentary pointed out the concept of a “hub” airport was in real doubt, given that the Airbus A380, which contained anywhere between 544 and 853 passengers, was now being replaced by smaller and cheaper aircraft which went direct to the final destinations.  

    The build up in flights is in part due to the increase in holiday traffic. The sensible policy must be to allow more local airports to expand, building in time a second runway at Gatwick and Stansted, and with more flights from regional airports. 

    John Elvidge

  • Raynes Park Forum - 26 March 2019

    The next Raynes Park Forum will be held on 26th March in the Library Meeting Room.  It will be chaired by Cllr. Omar Bush, and amongst the items to be discussed are the proposed hike in parking charges; street cleaning, rubbish and recycling; Town Centre developments and the Railway.  As  as well as the opportunity for residents to raise any other matters of concern.

     

  • Motspur Park Post Office

     

     

    Finally, things are happening regarding the re-establishment of a PO branch in Motspur Park village. The new location is Sima Brothers Newsagents, 347 West Barnes Lane - next door to the previous location, at Ecklee. We are told the target date for opening is 20th March.

  • Morden Rotary Club - March 2019

    Time to say thanks again to Santa, the elves and the support team who helped make our Christmas collection very successful just a few weeks ago. Despite a couple of wet evenings, your Rotary Club raised an excellent total to put into good causes in our local community. A special word of thanks to everyone who generously contributed as Santa did his sleigh rounds.

    Also, we thank many more from further afield who visited us at the Lower Morden Lane illuminations. Great work again by the residents there, who've created a wonderful attraction to celebrate Christmas.  Funds have already been allocated to St .Raphael's Hospice, and we'll publish a list of other beneficiaries soon.

    Volunteers Needed

    May we ask any of our readers if they might be able to volunteer a few hours to help us from time to time?

    This year's Christmas rounds and collections is way off - but that's always a fun time to join in -  and enjoy what we do. Much closer, the Summer Fairs’ season is on our planning board right now. Is there anyone who can lend a sturdy gazebo for the day please? and help put it up! work part of the day?

    Also, a new pilot scheme that Morden Rotary is operating would welcome your support.  Aldi (Ewell by-pass branch) is donating fresh food and vegetables at "sell-by date" to us. A wonderful bonus!  We collect two evenings a week from there and deliver to Faith in Action at The Salvation Army in South Wimbledon.

    This organisation provides hot meals (and much more) to the homeless street people of Merton. Anyone who could help from time to time with the pick-up and delivery would be most welcome. 

    Or, have you any serviceable warm clothing, a sleeping bag, backpack etc you can donate please? (contact details for collection below).

    Be our Guest

    Would you like to be a Rotary Club guest one evening at The Morden Brook, Lower Morden Lane, SM4 4SS?  Visiting speakers in the coming weeks are Wimbledon Guild Feb 28th, Wimbledon Sailing Club March 28th and Child Cancer Care April 28th.

    These are all on Thursday evenings and we meet in the back room (where else!) at 6:30 pm. Please contact me if you would like to join President Margaret Sinclair and the dozen other Rotary volunteers on one of these dates,  or any other Thursday evening.

    Pennies from Heaven

    Finally, we still operate "Pennies from Heaven" - should you have a pile of small change or old coins or foreign currency, we can collect. It all goes to support St. Raphael’s Hospice - over £6000 raised so far; AND every penny donated to us is spent on good causes WITHOUT any deductions or paid staff.

    Thanks again for your support, and hopefully you may be able give us a helping hand in the future.

    Best wishes to you all for a happy and healthy 2019.

    Joss Ollett.

  • Gully Cleaning 2019-2020

    The Wimbledon Times of 7th December 2018 carried a Public Notice from the London Borough of Merton (LBM)  about gully cleaning across a wide area of the Borough including West Barnes and Raynes Park. This was due to start on 10 December and continue for up to 18 months. 

    The Notice says that work will be carried out on a "rolling basis” with warning signs being posted 3 days before work is expected to take place and cones being put in place the day before. 

    Under the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 (as amended) the Council has a Statutory duty to publish these sorts of Notices. That they have done, but I question whether the way it is being done is either adequate or as useful and constructive as it could be . 

    Gully cleaning is necessary not just to make the roads look cleaner but hopefully to ensure that rainwater is able to drain away and, if possible, prevent 'flash' flooding which is a potential problem in low lying parts of the Borough such as West Barnes. 

    Clearly this type of work can only be completed in a meaningful way if most of the vehicles, normally parked in a road, are parked elsewhere on the day concerned . But is three days’ notice enough time to warn of what is about to happen? I doubt it. 

    Come Spring and Summer many car owners (who cannot park 'off-road’) will be on holiday for a couple of weeks (without their cars!)  and  - under the existing system - will be totally unaware of what is about to happen. 

    The Schedule to the Public Notice contains a long list of roads - at a guess 250 to 300 - in alphabetical order, but of course the roads will not be cleaned in that order. Surely it should be possible - without too much additional effort - for the Department concerned at Merton to publish, say each month, a list of the of the roads to be cleaned during the following 2 months with INDICATIVE DATES of when EACH road will be dealt with. 

    I assume the Council MUST have this information on their files as part of their rolling work programme. Why not share it month by month with  those who are likely to be affected? 

    Many of the roads listed are in the area covered by our Association. If the Council was willing to do so (and our Editor agreed) the Guide could carry an item giving a working guide to when roads were to be done .For example the April Guide would provide the indicative programme for the month of May and so on. It is hardly rocket science. Moreover, it might well help to ensure that more roads can be cleaned than I suspect is the case currently.

    David Freeman, March 2019

     

     

     

  • Chairman's Blog - March 2019

    NEW CONCERT HALL IN WIMBLEDON? 

    The Times reports that a new 1,250 seat concert hall is being proposed for the car park behind Morrisons supermarket in central Wimbledon.  Early designs have been prepared by the world famous architect, Frank Gehry, who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. 

    To go ahead, the project requires a massive £100 million, made up of £65 million for the building with the balance needed to provide an endowment for running costs. This would have to come from private funding.  This is now being sought.

    While Merton Council owns the land, it would not provide any public funding, but might lease the site on a long term basis. 

     The Council is currently consulting on a plan for the future of the area.  It has been earmarked for many years as a site for a replacement for the Civic Hall, which was demolished in 1987 to make way for the Centre Court shopping centre.    

    NOTICES TO PREVENT TRESPASSING ON LOCAL PARKS 

    The Council has obtained orders in the High Court to prevent trespassing on parkland, including Cannon Hill Common. These are addressed, as they must, to Persons Unknown, but contain a power of arrest. The hope is that these further powers will prevent the incursions that have taken place in recent years and make removal quicker and easier if they do occur. 

    The Home Secretary is also proposing further measures, which would make the setting up of unauthorised camps a criminal offence, given the difficulty of enforcing aggravated trespass notices. These would give police new powers of eviction. 

    WARNING NOTICES ABOUT THE RISK OF POISONING TO ANIMALS 

    There is also a notice on Cannon Hill Common asking people not to leave out pieces of chicken. These will decay and can cause poisoning to dogs, and other animals.   We understand that these notices were made necessary since some cases of poisoning did occur. 

    RUBBISH COLLECTION 

    The Council’s Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel will be meeting at the end of February to discuss waste, recycling, and street cleaning under the new contract. We have put forward some suggestions for improvements to the present system. 

    One of the major problems, in my view, is that the recycling boxes for plastic and bottles are collected only every fortnight, and often have lots of small items in them.  They have no lids and tend to be left out overnight.  The result is that whenever it is windy, the streets and gardens around are full of blown rubbish. Also, on a very windy day, the boxes themselves can be blown into the street. 

    PAUL ELECTRICAL 

    Paul Electrical has been a fixture among the shops in Grand Drive for the past 60 years. Very sadly, it has now closed.  

    The shop contained a vast array of electrical goods and supplies of all kinds, at prices which more than matched those of the High Street retailers. But we have lost the expertise of the staff, their friendliness, and their willingness to give expert and unbiased advice; you could buy the product one day, have it delivered and fitted within a day, and have the old item taken away, all without fuss.

    It’s a great shame that in this internet age, this kind of personal service is disappearing. 

    John Elvidge

  • Minutes of RPWBRA AGM, 2018

    MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE RAYNES PARK AND WEST BARNES RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION HELD ON WEDNESDAY 11TH APRIL 2018 AT RAYNES PARK LIBRARY       

    WELCOME AND APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

    The Chairman welcomed twenty-five residents to the meeting.

    Apologies for absence were received from Avril and Jerry Cuthbert. 

    MINUTES OF THE LAST AGM HELD ON 5THAPRIL 2017

    These were published in the April 2017 issue of the guide and were approved by those present. 

    CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT

    John Elvidge spoke of his pride in the work and achievements of the Association since its inception in 1928. He reminded those present that the RPWBRA had been formed 90 years ago mainly because of local concerns regarding flooding but also to engender community activities and awareness. He felt that the original reasons for its existence were as relevant as ever and he thanked all those who helped to keep the association running. 

    He announced that a special 90th anniversary dinner at “Taste” (Merton College) would be held in November and that full details would be published once details had been confirmed.

    The Chairman recognized the dedicated, conscientious band of road stewards and area coordinators who, once again, had given freely of their time and energy throughout the year to ensure that residents received the association’s monthly Guide.  He hoped that they would join him and the rest of the committee for a summer celebration on Saturday 7th July. 

    Before highlighting other areas of endeavour the Chairman singled out the joint secretary and editor Jill Truman for special praise. Amazingly, Jill has worked as a volunteer for the association for 50 years! During this time she has held every office apart from that of treasurer. Prior to the AGM Jill had been very ill in hospital, yet she insisted upon participating in the meeting and assured members she would be busy during the coming months researching and collating a special 90th anniversary edition of the Guide. 

    The Chairman then extended his gratitude to the other members of the committee. He thanked John Townsend for his exemplary work as treasurer and was particularly appreciative of the clarity with which he regularly summarised a multitude of complicated financial transactions. He also expressed his appreciation for the audit support provided by Brian Lewis-Lavender. 

    The Chairman also thanked both Dick Coleman for the huge enthusiasm he has brought to the role of Advertising Manager and Andrew Barwick for his ever-efficient work as Distribution Manager for the Guide. Excellent support for Andrew’s task was also provided by Dick, by George Holder (postal members), by Charles Briscoe-Smith (webmaster) and by our newly appointed membership secretary Rosemary Wright. 

    John Elvidge then drew attention to Jerry Cuthbert’s tireless work as Chairman of the Pavilion sub-committee and thanked him for overseeing its development. He appreciated the involvement of David Freeman and he felt that the Thursday Social Club run by Jill and Andrea Hannon was a great resource for local people. 

    The Chairman noted the huge amount of work done by Jerry and David respectively regarding information about environmental matters such as Crossrail2, Heathrow expansion and local planning issues.  

    There was appreciation of the work done by the local councillors, Gilli and Brian Lewis-Lavender and Mary-Jane Jeanes.

    Mary-Jane had informed us she was standing down and was presented with a beautiful garden plant in recognition of her work.

    The chairman also thanked Margaret Barratt for her painstaking organisation of the annual RPWBRA horticultural outing to Wisley. 

    Please note: unfortunately Margaret could not attend the AGM so the Treasurer visited her the next day with the bouquet she should have received at the AGM. She was very grateful for the gift and sent a letter of appreciation. 

    Amongst the events which had taken place since the previous AGM were

    (i) A beautiful outdoor social occasion during which a flowering cherry tree was dedicated to the late, much missed Jan Bailey, which was much appreciated by her partner Gordon Stratford, plus family and friends.

    (ii) An excellent guided visit “behind the scenes” to the All England Lawn Tennis Association Club attended by over 30 road stewards and committee members

    (iii) A lively Christmas party at the pavilion enjoyed by over thirty volunteers and friends 

    (iv) An enjoyable open meeting at Blossom House where those who attended were most impressed by a fascinating talk from Joey Burgess, the Principal of the establishment

    (v) A well-organised Wisley trip (mentioned earlier) plus various well-attended outings organised by Andrea and Jill.

     

    TREASURER’S REPORT

    John Townsend gave a clear, comprehensive report of the Association’s finances. He emphasised that they were in a healthy state thanks to Dick Coleman’s success in managing to increase revenue, Andrew Barwick’s volunteer teams ensuring steady membership levels plus a regular income garnered by Jerry Cuthbert and the Pavilion Management Group. He thanked Brian for auditing the accounts.

    The treasurer then spoke of the excellent response to Tom Deveson’s article regarding the retirement of local milkman John Braden. Over £600 had been received from residents. Clare had arranged the accompanying cards and letters into an attractive booklet to be presented with the money. 

    Please note: the publicity-shy milkman did not attend the meeting so John Townsend took the booklet and money to John Braden’s home where, as you might imagine, the gifts were received with much gratitude! 

    ELECTION OF OFFICERS 

    John Elvidge vacated the Chair which was taken by Jill Truman.

    There were no new nominations and in response to Jill’s proposal, seconded by Gilli, John Elvidge agreed to continue as Chairman for the coming year.

    The remaining members of the committee were then re-elected by general approval.

    The Chairman thanked members for his re-election and urged any residents who wished to become involved in the general organisation to put themselves forward for consideration as committee members. 

    INVITED SPEAKER – RUTH WHITEHEAD 

    The Chairman was pleased to introduce the Secretary of the Paddock Allotments to the meeting.

    He described the allotments as a “true local success story” and was intrigued to learn more about its development from a run-down underused council facility to its present vibrant existence. 

    Ruth thanked the association members for inviting her to the meeting and then proceeded to give a fascinating account of the Paddock’s history and current situation. 

    Pre-dating the formation of the RPWBRA by two years, the lands covering five and a half acres were originally earmarked for allotment use in 1926. Then in 1946 the Paddock Horticultural Society was formed to enable Cannon Hill residents to buy and sell stock. 

    Gradually the brief widened to include neighbouring areas and a strong community and social spirit emerged centred around the allotments. 

    Merton Council eventually asked members if they wished to take over the management, encouraging them to do so by improving basic aspects such as the water supply and fencing and providing a simple hut.   

    By 1991 the paddock members had established the beginnings of today’s thriving set-up. Whilst still answerable to the council, the Paddock Committee is in charge of tenancy, security and maintenance and has overseen amazing improvements to the site. 

    It is a truly community facility – anyone can become a garden member for only £4 per annum, enabling them to participate in social activities and to use the shop – and those wishing to have their own plots can apply to Ruth for cost details as there is a waiting list. 

    Ruth was particularly proud to emphasise the multi-cultural nature of the plots, adding that anything could be grown as long as it was legal! 

    Ruth outlined the range of social activities: Sunday breakfasts provided at a reasonable price by four teams of volunteers, a weekly hobby club run by Cynthia Hatcher, quiz nights, seasonal events such as the Christmas dinner and Summer bbq, “yellow book” open days and the unmissable annual Horticultural Show. 

    Yvonne Sharp also organises short holidays at reasonable cost and there are a number of popular day trips throughout the year. 

    Ruth pointed out that the whole enterprise was made possible by an amazing team of volunteers who open up and lock the facilities, clean, cook, stock and run the shop and generally commit to the shared feeling of mutual endeavour. 

    The Paddock Committee members listen to plot-holders and garden members, meeting regularly to review matters and plan improvements thus ensuring that all runs smoothly. 

    Following her talk, Ruth was applauded by those present and presented with - what else? -  a beautiful bouquet of her favourite flowers! 

    ANY OTHER BUSINESS

    Although there was no single overriding issue, there was discussion and concern about impending waste management changes, the loss of local post office and banking facilities and the never-ending traffic and parking concerns. 

    Garry and Wendy Hunt spoke from personal experience about the need for vigilance regarding postal and identity theft and this concern was echoed by many present. 

    The meeting finished at 9.50pm. The Chairman thanked Clare and John for arranging the refreshments and was grateful to everyone for their contributions to an informative and friendly meeting.

  • Agenda for AGM on 3 April 2019

    NOTICE OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

    Raynes Park & West Barnes Residents’ Association

    will be held at the Raynes Park Library Meeting Rooms (Aston Road Entrance), Approach Road, SW20 8BA

    on WEDNESDAY 3rd APRIL 2019 at 7.30 p.m.

     

    AGENDA 

    1.         Apologies for Absence

    2.         Chairman’s Report on the Work of the Association during 2018/19

    3.         Treasurer’s Report

    4.         Election of Officers and Committee

    5.         Guest Speaker  

     Break for Refreshments 

    6.         Updates on current Planning Matters

    7.         Residents’ Forum and Any Other Business

     

    Click here for the minutes of last year's AGM.

     

     

     

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - Feb 2019

     

     

    At the end of 2018, as well as the usual Christmas features (Christmas lunch and Party) a  minibus was taken by a large group of members to visit the Guildford Cathedral where the National Committee had organized a Carol Concert for the southern counties.  The trip was enjoyed by all.  Members are now looking forward to the annual January Music Hall at Wimbledon Theatre. 

    At our January meeting Mr Norman Beauchamp from Co-op Bank Legal Services talked about Wills, Probate, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney, reminding us of the most important points to consider, including with inflation, the increasing importance of a funeral plan, and the advisability of reading your will every 5 years approximately to check all is still as currently wanted. 

    Our February meeting will be the Annual General Meeting.  For further details of this meeting or of our many social activities please get in touch. 

    Dorothy Raymond , Tel: 0208 395 9489

  • St Saviours War Memorial - News

    To mark the centenary of the WW1 Armistice, St. Saviour’s church in Grand Drive held a two-week exhibition, “The Men of Raynes Park, 1914-18”, to remember and honour the 97 men who lost their lives in the Great War.  Their names are recorded on a community memorial that stands in the church’s grounds, erected in 1921 with public subscriptions. 

    This exhibition was publicised in The Guide in the autumn and the team at St. Saviour’s was delighted that so many people from the surrounding community came to see it, in particular at the opening day on Saturday 26th October and on Remembrance Day itself, on each of which more than 200 people attended. 

    The names on the WW1 memorial are now no longer legible and we have embarked on a project to restore it so that the men and the sacrifices they made are always remembered. We have now obtained formal tenders from contractors to carry out the work and are seeking approval from the Diocese of Southwark and the War Memorials Trust. However, we face a funding shortfall of around £10,000.  The total cost of the work is likely to be over £22,000 and the donations and pledges from the community raised to date are around £12,000. This includes the many wonderful contributions made through the exhibition. 

    While we await the necessary approvals, we are pursuing further fund raising, with applications also to the Heritage Lottery Fund and to local businesses and we intend to contact all those who have already pledged support to provide details of when the funds will be needed.  But, given the funding gap, it seems likely that we will need still more support from the community.  

    Any contribution would be much appreciated. If you wish to pledge or donate an amount, please see contact details below.

    With grateful thanks for your support. 

    The Administrator,

    Parish Office, St Saviour’s Church, Grand Drive, London SW20 9DL

    stsavioursofficesw20@gmail.com

    0208 540 9406

     

  • SGN Works - West Barnes Lane

     

    Southern Gas Networks – Works to West Barnes Lane, SW20

    [Based on the text of a notification by Southern Gas Networks recently posted on their website.]"  

    SGN are working to upgrade the gas network in the West Barnes Lane area of Raynes Park.   In consultation with the London Borough of Merton Council, the work started on 7th of January and will last for approximately 33 weeks. 

    The Company is investing £300,000 to replace the old gas mains and services with new plastic pipe to ensure a continued safe and reliable gas supply to the local area.  SGN’s engineers will be carrying out investigation work in the footpath outside Cranleigh House, West Barnes Lane and will be working there for approximately two weeks. 

    All being well with their investigations they will need to install temporary two-way traffic lights in West Barnes Lane at the start of February, to ensure everyone’s safety around their work area. SGN will need to return to complete their upgrade work at the Coombe Lane junction and they will install temporary four-way traffic lights for safety They are planning to carry this out during the Easter school holidays. To help minimise disruption, SGN have also agreed to carry out our further investigations to their network outside West Wimbledon Primary School. For approximately two weeks from Monday 21 January, they will be working in the West Barnes Lane carriageway, but two-way traffic and on-street parking will be maintained. However, they will need to close the cycle lane while they work  there. 

    Pending their investigation work, SGN will install temporary three-way traffic lights at West Barnes Lane’s junction with Bodnant Gardens to complete their upgrade work here during the February school half-term.

    They will need to suspend a bus stop on West Barnes Lane heading southbound during the work. An alternative stop will be signed. SGN also need to suspend some parking bays outside Trafalgar Court, West Barnes Lane to safely store their equipment. 

    The company are continuing to plan further phases of their work in consultation with London Borough of Merton Council. They will be working in Coombe Lane and will provide details of their plans once confirmed. All our works will be suspended over the Wimbledon Championships during the summer. 

    SGN understand that people can get frustrated by roadworks. However, the new plastic pipe has a minimum lifespan of 80 years. This means that when the work is complete, Raynes Park residents will continue to enjoy the benefits of a safe and reliable gas supply for years to come. 

    A link to SGN’s website about these works can be found on the Association’s website or as below.

    https://www.sgn.co.uk/Roadworks/southern-projects/Raynes-park-west-barnes-lane/

  • Chairman's Blog - Feb 2019

    265 BURLINGTON ROAD 

    The developers, Redrow, of the very large residential development proposed for 265 Burlington Road and part of Tesco car park, presented their ideas to the Committee and the West Barnes Councillors at a meeting in early January. A formal planning application is likely.  

    The plans are for a massive 446 flats built in 7 blocks with the tallest of them rising to 14 storeys, one of 13 storeys, and another of 10, all facing the Tesco store, and reducing to 7 storeys fronting Burlington Road. There would be 226 car parking spaces.

    25% of the flats would be one- bedroom, 65% would be of two- bedrooms, and 10% of three- bedrooms.  While most would be privately owned, 35% of them would be “affordable housing”, which would be managed by a housing association, or of shared ownership. 

    While £7 million would be given to Merton under the Community Levy scheme, there is no guarantee that the Council would spend any of this sum locally on proving for the extra schooling and health provision that would be required for such a large number of new residents. 

    The Association will be making its response to the formal application when it is lodged. We did point out to the developers that our initial view was that the height of the taller flats was likely to be strongly opposed as out of keeping with the surrounding housing in the area.  As we have stated before, it is important that local residents who will be affected make their own objections as well. 

    HEATHROW AIRSPACE CONSULTATION 

    Heathrow Airport is having a consultation on the flight paths it will use for its present two runways, and its proposed third runway.  The consultation runs until March 4th. At present there are 480,000 flights a year, and this would increase to 740,000 flights a year if a third runway is built in 2026.  Even before a third runway is built, they hope to have an additional 25,000 flights a year, a 5% increase overall, by allowing planes to land on both runways at the same time. 

    Heathrow pledges to ban night flights for six-and-a-half hours, with no arrivals or take offs before 5.30 a.m. The plans include flight paths being alternated to give residential areas a longer break from aircraft noise.  You can see the details at www.heathrowconsultation.com   and you can comment online. Or you can comment by e-mail to feedback@heathrowconsultation.com There will be a manned consultation team to speak to in Wimbledon on Tuesday 12 February between 2pm to 8 pm at the Antoinette Hotel in The Broadway.  

    At present this area escapes most of the routing of planes into Heathrow, as the flight paths go further north.    This could well change if the airport is even more intensively used than at present. 

    WIMBLEDON GUILD 

    The Wimbledon Guild, a long- established charity based in 30 Worple Road near the Town Centre, provides a large number of activities, talks, and trips, as well as counselling, bereavement support, and befriending. You could pick up a leaflet, or book on activities@wimbledonguild.co.uk. The phone number for further information is 0208 946 0735. 

    ANDREA HANNAN 

    St Saviour’s Church was packed for the funeral of Andrea Hannan who died in early December. She will be remembered by many local residents for establishing in March 2014, with Jill Truman,and for running together since, the highly successful Pavilion Social Club on Thursday afternoons for men and women. She will be much missed. R.I.P. 

    John Elvidge

  • Gas Main Works - West Barnes Lane

     

     

    SGN plan to start gasmain replacement works in West Barnes Lane, Raynes Park. These are expect to start on 7 January 2019 and run for 33 weeks. There will be temporary traffic lights, which will are expected to be moved to various locations during the works, including the junction with Coombe Lane. 

    You can read more at SGN's website here.

  • Wimbledon Guild - Merton Live

     

    Wimbledon Guild and New Wimbledon Theatre

    Present:

    MERTON LIVE

    SATURDAY 26TH JANUARY 2019

     

    Wimbledon Guild, the local charity that supports people across Merton, and New Wimbledon Theatre are holding a brand-new community event on Saturday 26 January from 10am-5pm to celebrate local talent in Merton.

     

    Merton Live! will showcase a plethora of local bands, dance, drama and gymnastics groups with performances throughout the day at one of London’s biggest theatres. In addition, the theatre will be throwing open its doors for ticket-holders to explore this historic building with backstage tours and a host of theatre related activities for all the family including: workshops; dressing up in theatre costumes; face painting; insight to technical side of the theatre; arts and crafts; treasure hunt; food and drink, plus lots more.

     

    Already confirmed to perform on the day are: DanceMode Mitcham; Merton Gymnastics Club; Rock Choir; RR6 Band; Rutlish School; The Study Wimbledon; Urban Dance City; Wimbledon High School; ; Wimbledon Stagecoach and Wimbledon Village School of Dance.

     

    This family day out will help to raise money to aid the vital work Wimbledon Guild does to support local people in Merton who are experiencing social isolation and loneliness.

     

    Tickets for the event offer superb value at just £4.50 adults, £2.50 child and under 3’s go free.

     

    Merton Live! will be one of the charity’s main fundraising events of 2019 and comes at a time when the charity is seeing an increase in the number of people seeking their support, as Wendy Pridmore, chief executive, explains:

     

    We are delighted that through Merton Live! we will be able to showcase local talent and provide a feel-good winter warmer event on a cold and rainy January weekend.

     

    However, New Wimbledon Theatre and Wimbledon Guild have also developed this event for a more serious reason. A recent Arts Council survey highlighted that over 76% of older people felt that cultural and creative activities were key to making them feel happy

     

    Wendy Pridmore concludes: “I am sure Merton Live! will be a wonderful day out for all ages and I look forward to welcoming people from across the borough who will be entertained and impressed by the young talent we have on our doorstep.”

     

    Find out more  here 

  • Chairman's Blog - January 2019

    Planning Issues 

    Merton Council is updating its Local Plan which is in Draft form and is now out for public comment. Responses are meant to be in by 6 January 2019. The details can be found here . 

    There are two sites of particular interest to local residents. 

    The Former LESSA Site

    The first is the former “LESSA” private sports field bordered by Greenway, Westway, and Grand Drive.   The Association fought a long battle to preserve this ground for sporting purposes, defeating a proposal by Barratts to build over 100 flats there. After that the land was eventually sold to Bellway Homes. Bellway succeeded, after a planning appeal, in getting permission to build the houses now known as Meadowview Road.  A new tennis pavilion and courts were also constructed for the Raynes Park Residents’ Lawn Tennis Club.

    The remainder of the land was designated as Open Space and is protected as such.  The planning Inspector’s report made clear that he expected this land to be used for sport, and the intention was that a pavilion would be built to facilitate this. It has remained unused since that time, and Bellway have not taken up invitations from the Association to discuss their future plans.  Nor have they taken up several approaches from schools and sporting bodies who would like to use the site for outdoor sport. 

    Bellway has suggested to the planning officers that this site, now known as RP6, is potentially classifiable as suitable for a “Residential development of between 71 and 83 dwellings and sporting facilities”.  It is hard to escape the conclusion that this was always their aim in leaving the land vacant.

     Fortunately, the Council appears to be sticking to the existing designation. Its proposed site allocation states that “Sporting or community use of the whole site will have to be demonstrated as undeliverable before any other uses can be considered”.

     This should open the door for schools and sports clubs who can make use of the land for outdoor sport, as the Inspector decided, to come forward with proposals, which Bellway will need to consider seriously.

     265 Burlington Road and Tesco Extra car park site

     The second site fronts onto Burlington Road and proposes utilising that part of Tesco’s Car Park adjacent to it, and the current office building at No. 265 Burlington Road. 

    Redrow Homes Plc have held public consultations on their proposals to develop this site for a very large number of flats in seven blocks up to a height of 14 storeys.  You can read further details on this website by clicking this link - 265 Burlington Road. 

    A formal planning application is expected in early January, and we will be consulting widely.   If the plans remain unchanged it is inevitable that the Residents’ Association will be strenuously opposing them on many grounds, including massive over- development.  

    It is important to stress is that the many residents who will be badly affected by overlooking, extra traffic, and lack of community amenities for the new proposed occupiers, need to write and send in their own objections as well.  

    A reflection on the turn of the year 

    In our December 90th Anniversary Edition, we printed two excellent articles by John Tarling entitled Building a Suburb and Rebuilding a Suburb. The second one set out the damage done locally during the Second World War.  It mentions the V1 flying bombs which fell on Merton, and one that fell on Elm Walk on the night of 22nd/23rd July 1944. 

    My parents lived in Elm Walk during the war, and my mother’s sister and her two children lived further along Elm Walk and were killed by this bomb. It must have been devastating for my mother, but she never mentioned it, apart from when she visited the Gap Road cemetery where they are buried. She simply got on with bringing up her own four children. 

    Her generation seemed able to cope with the most enormous grief at the wholesale destruction and death all around them.  I cannot help but contrast this with the anxiety now being expressed at something so trivial by comparison as to whether and how we leave the European Union, and at the so- called difficulties of modern life. 

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

    We wish all our members a very happy and peaceful New Year. 

    John Elvidge

  • Epsom & St Helier - Podcast

    News from Epsom & St. Helier NHS Trust 

    From the lifesaving to the routine, and featuring staff working behind the scenes and on the frontline of our NHS services – Epsom and St Helier have launched a new podcast (thought to be the first of its kind in the country), to help provide more of an insight into the experiences of patients and the diverse and specialised roles that our staff carry out. 

    The first podcast was released on 30th November and will be available on a monthly basis via the Trust’s website at:

    www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/podcast and for download from your usual podcast provider – simply search for ‘Your Epsom and St Helier. 

    The ‘Your Epsom and St Helier’ podcast is being produced by the Trust’s Communications and Engagement Team and aims to provide a new platform for both patients and staff to share their stories with a wide audience. 

    The very first episode covers the story of Rob Glanville – a professional inline skater who suffered a life-changing brain injury while out skating and was subsequently cared for by the neuro-rehab team at St Helier. Rob is joined by one of the speech therapists who treated him – Sally Tan. 

    Rob gives his account of the very serious accident that he had in Hammersmith, which resulted in him suffering a sub-duralhaematoma (bleed on the brain), while Sally tells us what it was like to treat Rob and how she and her team helped him to talk, swallow and walk again. 

    Director of Communications and Patient Experience, Lisa Thomson, said: “Our Trust is committed to showing members of the public what really happens in our hospitals – people’s lives are being saved and changed for the better every single day in our hospitals, but sometimes those stories go unheard. This podcast aims to get these unheard stories out and available to a worldwide audience. This is a pioneering project within the NHS – we can’t wait to have more people come on and share their stories with us – and we are very excited about its potential”. 

    “While the focus of the podcast will be NHS services, staff and the patients we care for, the conversations – as with any good podcast – can be slightly unpredictable. So, while in this first episode you might learn a little about what it’s like to suffer a brain injury and how NHS experts can help, you’ll also hear why we think helmets are so important and why Lewis Hamilton is the best Formula One driver of the moment. 

  • 265 Burlington Road & Tescos

    Proposed Redevelopment of 265 Burlington Road and Tesco Extra car park 

    In the October 2018, we set out the basic details of a proposed large residential development scheme on a part of the Tesco car park site alongside Burlington Road. This was based on information provided at a Consultation Exhibition on 18th September mounted by BECG (Built Environment Communications Group) who are acting as agents for the housebuilder Redrow Homes PLC. 

    BECG held a second consultation, again at the Holy Cross Church hall, Motspur Park, on 13th November last year but this time with slightly amended proposals. 

    The Scheme 

    As at early December 2018, the outline proposals envisage using the Eastern side of the Tesco car park (1.21 Hectares) which would be just under one quarter of the whole Tesco site area. 

    We therefore anticipate that the Planning Application from Redrow, when submitted, will aim to provide 446 flats in seven blocks ranging from 14 storey on the side furthest from Burlington Road down to 7 storey on the side closer to Burlington Road. 

    • The units would be made up as follows:
    • 90 one bed flats (approx. 20% of the total);
    • 290 two bed flats (64 %); and 66 three bed flats (16 %) 

    " Affordable " Housing 

    Taken overall it is claimed that 35% of the flats would pass the test of being regarded as "affordable" i.e. they would be social or subsidised housing either for sale or rental at no more than 80% of the prevailing market-rate costs and prices. 

    It is quite often the case that developers tend (for obvious reasons) to offer the cheaper (mainly one bed) units to meet the social proportion. Currently, we are not aware how this will work out in practice, but the Planning Application will probably clarify this point. 

    Car Parking 

    The proposals include up to 220 car parking spaces and the current thinking is that these would be at the base of the flats i.e. as an ' undercroft ' scheme. It is claimed that 575 car spaces will remain available for the Tesco store shoppers. 

    Site Access 

    One change to the original proposals is to provide up to 475 sq. meters. of commercial space at ground floor level in the blocks fronting Burlington Road.  What type of business would be housed in these units is not known at present, but presumably Tesco would NOT want any competition quite so near their store! 

    Also, the earlier proposal was that the existing short access road leading from Burlington Road to the Tesco store would become THE vehicular access road for the residents of the new flats, but no longer for vehicle access to the Tesco store, although pedestrian access from Burlington Road was to be maintained. 

    This idea appears to have changed so that vehicle access from Burlington Road would be available for BOTH the new residents and shoppers going to Tesco. In short for Tesco shoppers no change to the present (unofficial) arrangement. At first sight this strikes us as far from being an ideal arrangement, given the single proposed vehicle access, the volume of traffic in Burlington Road even now, and the proximity of the level crossing, Surely the congestion would become even worse? However, it is still ‘early days. 

    High Rise Development 

    Anybody familiar with this part of West Barnes will know that it is characterised by inter-war mostly two-storey suburban housing, apart from Raynes Park High School to the North. We leave you to contemplate what it would be like for those residents having to live in the shadow of blocks of flats up to 14-storeys in height. 

    There is currently great concern about possible flats at this sort of height along Wimbledon Broadway; but is at least that area has a Town Centre designation. Tesco car park certainly has not! 

    The Local Plan 

    Merton Council now has a New Local Plan out for consultation. This may be seen here.  At present, this document is only a draft, and it is hoped that this will replace two other Planning Guidance documents sometime during 2020. Within this bulky document are Site Proposals for many areas of the borough including several for Raynes Park. 

    One of these is site RP3 (page 158) named as Burlington Road -Tesco. The map provided (which is intended to show the area potentially suitable for development) shows the ENTIRE Tesco site, store, car parking, petrol station, redundant offices in the NE corner: all 5.2 hectares of it.  However, the proposals from Redrow relate only to a quarter of the site alongside Burlington Road. 

    On the face of it, there is an anomaly here. The Council preference appears to be redevelopment of the whole of the site. but the proposals from Redrow - so far – are for only a part of it. 

    Greater London Authority - Office of the Mayor 

    We should just mention that because of the large number of housing units involved, the Planning Application - when it is submitted - will have to be considered by the Mayor of London in the first instance. The Mayor and his planning staff have the option either to a) approve or refuse the application or b) leave the determination process entirely to Merton Council. This added layer can sometimes hold up the process of considering the application. 

    The Local Press 

    It is possible - but not certain - that by early January a Planning Application will have been submitted. At that stage there is a strong chance Redrow will seek some publicity in the local press, quite apart from a notice in a local newspaper, under a heading, such as,

    “Merton Council Town and Country Planning Act.”  Once the application has been formally submitted to Merton’s Planners, the Association, and most importantly, individual members of the community can make their comments to the Planning Officers and Ward Councillors regarding these proposals. 

    DAVID FREEMAN December 2018

     

  • Crossrail 2 - Update December 2018

    The Independent Affordability Review has reported to the Government. However, uncertainty continues ...

    Various lobby groups are now trying to influence the outcome (businesses, LAs), but one should take the various recent statements in the press with a pinch of salt. 

    Against this background, Crossrail (The Elizabeth Line) has run into a 9 month delay, has needed a £350 Million bail out and the CEO has resigned. 

    Some say the three objective of Crossrail 2, 

    o    Inter-connections at Euston for HS2

    o    Alleviate pressure on Waterloo

    o    Meeting the anticipated growth in demand for transport, caused by population growth in the London suburbs 

    can be met more cost-effectively in other ways. It may be that the central London section is completed first, with later phases being deferred almost indefinitely. 

    Some say that the cost of CR2 could be met by increasing local domestic and business rates of, say 1%, a bit like the Olympic Games levy. Another suggestion is for a rates surcharge on properties likely to benefit from being close to the line. 

    After the Brexit deadline in 2019, it may be that the Government refocuses on infrastructure projects, perhaps with a new “Spending Review”. 

    TfL is currently struggling with a fall in passenger numbers and is expecting a £1bn deficit this year. 

    At the same time, the controversy over the cost of rail fares rumble on. 

    Also Network rail continues to struggle with delivering the electrification of the national rail network, with massive cost overruns and whole swathes of its original plans cancelled. 

    The rationale behind HS2 also continues to be questioned, despite the promises made for the Northern Power House. 

    Jerry Cuthbert

  • Chairman's Blog - December 2018

     Our Ninetieth Anniversary 

    This month we are celebrating our Association’s 90th anniversary.  The first meeting of the Association was held on 8th March 1928. 

    In celebration, our monthly magazine, The Guide, which is distributed to all our members, is a special anniversary edition. 

    I would like to thank all our contributors, and, make special mention of our Editor Jill Truman who has worked so hard to gather it all together.  Jill has been an active member of the Association for over 50 years and has held most of its offices. She was first appointed as Advertising Manager as long ago as 27 March 1968!  

    The Association was founded by residents concerned with flooding in the area, a major problem that has continued to cause difficulties many times since. At that time there was a large programme of inter-war building, with new family houses being built up Grand Drive and into the surrounding streets. 

    We have the Minute Books of the Association since November 1934, and they show that there were quarterly meetings, open to all members, that were well attended.  Many of the issues discussed were those still being debated today, such as planning and road traffic, parking at Raynes Park station, grass verges, refuse collection, and postal facilities in Coombe Lane. 

    There was concern at the danger of the junction between Bushey Road and Grand Drive, which was originally a roundabout, and the Association successfully pressed for the introduction of traffic lights in 1940. 

    There was a proposal in the late 30’s by the railway authorities to rename Raynes Park station as West Wimbledon, and the Association fought and won a campaign to prevent this.  

    The Association put up its own non-party, independent candidates to the Merton and Morden Urban District Council, until it was merged into Merton Council.  

    But the Association also rapidly developed social activities of all kinds. There was an active horticultural society, which held an annual show with prizes. There was a children’s party, for the young families that moved into the area. There were dinner dances for their parents. There were whist drives for the more elderly people.  There was a photographic society. There were outings to Brighton and Southend, and visits to the ballet and the Palladium. 

    A tennis club was founded with 3 courts and was originally serviced by an “iron shed”. This was replaced after WWII by a dedicated Pavilion. 

    Our membership has fluctuated over time, reaching a maximum of some 2,500 households, and there has always been a small subscription to join.  This was 2/6p (or half a crown) in 1937. This helped to pay for the costs of The Guide, which has from the outset been the main channel of communication with the members. 

    The Guide was originally published every two months, and, astonishingly, was continued through the years of the second World War.  It has been published every month since, a major achievement for a residents’ association, and, so far as we know, unique. 

    The Guide has always been delivered through the help of Area Co-Ordinators and Road Stewards, very willing volunteers who give freely of their time to help their local neighbours. We thank them all. 

    The Chairman of the Association in 1937 reported that he hoped that the sometime remark “What do I get out of the Association?” would be less frequent - it should be “What do I put into it!”. 

    The Guide is now also available via post or e-mail, and we have developed a website that is much used by members and non-members.  We are actively considering how best we can reach other, perhaps younger, people who use newer forms of social communication, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We are conscious that the previous pattern of residents moving into this area and staying is now being increasingly replaced by a more mobile population. 

    We always try to look ahead. In recent years we have converted the tennis Pavilion into a new home for the Association, after the Tennis Club moved down Grand Drive to new premises. 

    The Association runs a well-attended and successful Social Club on Thursday afternoons. There are weekly lettings for a range of activities, including yoga, ladies keep fit, Pilates, philately and religious groups. It is much used at weekends for children’s parties. 

    In ten years’, time we will celebrate our Centenary. We all hope to be still around! 

    Dinner held in Celebration 

    50 members and their guests, including the Mayor of Merton, came to a dinner on 8th November to celebrate the 90th anniversary. It was held at the Taste Restaurant in Merton College, which is a training academy for catering and front of house students. 

    It was a great success and enjoyed by all present. The food was superb, and the service was impeccable, and reflected so well on the training the students had already received within a month of starting their courses. 

    For more information about “Taste”, the menus on offer and to make a booking, visit https://www.tastemerton.co.uk/  

    John Elvidge

  • Raynes Park Festival - 7 December 2018

     

    Raynes Park Festival Welcomes Christmas

    Friday 7 December 2018 from 3.30pm to 7.00pm 

    On Friday 7th December from 3.30pm - 7.00pm Raynes Park will come alive with the Christmas spirit with a range of entertainment for the whole family. 

    Once again there will be a larger stage for live performances provided by Clownfish Events and located in the car park outside Waitrose. 

    The Mayor of Merton, Councillor Mary Curtin, will speak from the stage at 5.00pm to open the festival. 

    There will be live animals in a petting enclosure, entertainment by a brass band and local primary school choirs and children can pay a visit to Santa’s Grotto to receive a gift from Father Christmas himself. 

    The festival is made possible thanks to the generous support of local businesses whose advertising banners may be seen on the fence Coombe Lane from 1 December.  

    With a range of trade stalls, Friday 7 December promises a great afternoon of Christmas spirit, seasonal live music, drama, entertainment and fun for all. 

    For more information, visit:

    myraynespark.co.uk, follow us on Twitter at @myraynespark or on Facebook at /myraynespark

     

  • Sacred Heart School - Christmas Fare

    Holy Cross Christmas Fair

    Church Hall, Adela Avenue, Motspur Park on Saturday 24th November from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m.  .  Home made cakes, books,

     

    Sacred Heart RC Primary School Christmas Fair

    Burlington Road, New Malden, KT3 4ND

    Saturday 24th November, 12-3pm

    An afternoon of fun including an ice rink, plenty of games, a gourmet BBQ and bar, and more...

    Book your ice-skating tickets now at https://bit.ly/2pSkzSx

    All welcome!

  • Raynes Park Association News

    Raynes Park Station - Update

    Discussions between Network Rail (NR) and the Raynes Park Association (RPA) – September 2018 

    Responses from Connie Banda NR 28 September 2018 with responses from Chris Larkman RPA in italics

    Matters discussed, Enchroaching Shrubs, The state of the Footbridge, Wooden Fencing, Embankment Planting, Japanese Knotweed, Kiss & Ride, Land Transfer

  • Raynes Park Towns Women's Guild - Oct 2018

    Julia Jones was the speaker for our October meeting giving an enthusiastic talk entitled ‘Travels in Iceland’.  

    Julia has been travelling to Iceland for many years, originally for a holiday break but as her love and knowledge of the landscape and the hardy, resilient and hardworking people grew, eventually becoming a travel adviser and exploratory holiday break adviser.  

    Obviously cold and dark in the winter, during the long light summer days the average temperature approaches 20C.  Certainly, she described a lot to see, with geysers and thermal hot springs, evidence of the periodic volcanic activity (I think we all remember the volcanic dust cloud affecting aircraft flights), waterfalls and lakes, interesting walks, pretty, small towns and villages; trolls, a herring fishing museum, and glaciers - one leading to a lake with floating icebergs.  With a very small resident population, there are far more visitors and casual workers than locals during the holiday season.  The fishing industry has contracted.  Never the- less. the sheep have kept on producing a very fine wool which the ladies make into superb warm garments. 

    At our November meeting on November 15th  (1.30 pm at St Saviour’s Church Hall), Michael Grimshaw’s topic is ‘Wildlife in Zimbabwe’. 

    For further details of this meeting or of our many social activities please get in touch. 

    Dorothy Raymond  Tel: 0208 395 9489 

  • The Fountain Pub - New Malden

    The Fountain, at the top of New Malden High Street, has been a local landmark in our neighbouring area for many years, but is alas, at least temporarily, no more. 

    It closed in June for a major redevelopment of the site, which will see three 5-storey blocks containing 43 apartments and a shop or café being built. 

    The Pub will be reduced to half its size within the original Georgian building, but will lose its extension, garden and car park, as well as its first and second floors, previously used as a kitchen, meeting rooms and staff accommodation. 

    The loss of garden and car park space will also impact on the annual New Malden Fortnight event, the Korean Food Festival and a regular Farmers’ Market. 

    Construction work is now in progress, behind a barrier of Berlin Wall proportions. At least, for Pub goers, half a pub is better than none! 

    Dick Coleman

  • Film Merton 2018 - 2019

    Coming Soon

     Film Merton is an exciting initiative funded by the London Mayor's Cultural Impact Award and the local council to increase engagement in the arts amongst socially excluded members of the community. Film was the overwhelming art form of choice of local people and there is a longer-term objective of having a cinema in Mitcham.  During 2019-2020, curated seasons of films chosen by the community and high-profile guests, together with a film festival showing original short films made locally with an emphasis on new technology, will be delivered.

  • Chairman's Blog - November 2018

    NEW MORDEN LEISURE CENTRE 

    The Council has announced that the new Morden Leisure Centre will soon be open to the public. 

    This is in Morden Park. It replaces the Morden Park Pool which was said to be energy inefficient and expensive to maintain. 

    Once the new Centre opens, the old building will be demolished, and the land restored to open space and landscaped with trees. 

    The new Centre has a 25m x 13m main pool and a smaller secondary pool with a movable floor, so that it can be used for everything from shallow toddler sessions to diving. 

    There will be a studio and fitness suite, and a café with outside seating for dog- walkers. There are also facilities for disabled people. 

    It will be run by the same company that already manages the Wimbledon Leisure Centre and Canons Leisure Centre in Mitcham. 

    MASCOT TELECARE

     For elderly and vulnerable people living at home, the Mascot telecare service is an enormous comfort. It ought to be better known. 

    It was introduced by Merton Council some 28 years ago and provides a pendant that can be hung around the neck or on the arm, which clients can press to contact the Mascot office 24 hours a day, should they have a fall or accident at home. The telecare service will then contact a nominated relation or friend - or send a staff member to help. They will contact the emergency services if needed.

    The office is locally based. 

    My own mother was given a pendant when she got into her eighties and found it very reassuring when she had to be left alone in the house. On occasion she pressed the pendant by accident, and they were very good in telling her not to worry about this. 

    Since the scheme originally started, they have added a handyman service which means that someone can come and do the small jobs that need to be done, such as changing light bulbs or fitting tap washers or setting up a bedroom for someone who has just come out of hospital. 

    Mascot also offers other technologies that are designed to help people to live independently. These include door sensors to alert family members if a person with dementia leaves the home, and flood sensors to prevent people letting sinks or baths overrun.

     There is a small weekly charge for the monitoring-only service, and a slightly larger one for the response service, including the handyman. Mascot can be contacted for more information on:

    www.mascot-telecare.org.uk.

     

    TRAVELLERS ON CANNON HILL COMMON

    There were in fact two incursions last month by travellers camping on Cannon Hill Common. We understand that the Council is taking up the suggestion of obtaining a permanent injunction in the High Court to prevent further illegal incidents. This won’t stop the problem altogether but should assist in making their removal quicker and easier. 

    John Elvidge

  • Sacred Heart - Outdoor Space

    SACRED HEART PRIMARY SCHOOL HOPES YOUR VOTES  WILL WIN IT
    £25,000 GRANT FROM THE AVIVA COMMUNITY FUND

     Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, New Malden,  has entered the Aviva Community Fund Initiative and looked for the support of the local community to win a grant of £25,000 for the school.

    Serving nearly 400 children from the areas of Wimbledon, Raynes Park, Motspur Park, Worcester Park and New Malden, the school, situated on Burlington Road, only benefits from two concrete playgrounds and sadly lacks green space.

    Sacred Heart’s active Parent Staff Association (PSA) submitted an application to the Aviva Community Fund in the hope of winning £25,000 to invest in transforming the school's outdoor spaces. Instead of plain concrete there would be nature spaces, fun seating areas, a sensory corner, and lots of opportunities for physical activities including a climbing wall, basketball nets, new play apparatus and sports equipment, and more.

    Sacred Heart staff, parents and children are very excited about this potential project and are working hard to make it happen. Lending your support is simple and only takes a few minutes. You can vote for Sacred Heart Primary School’s project at:

    https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/4-1877  

    Like all state schools, Sacred Heart faces ongoing funding cuts. Winning the £25,000 grant could have a really positive impact on the children and the local area. The PSA is hoping to supplement the grant with a crowdfunding page enabling the public to contribute directly to the project.(http://crowdfunder.co.uk/sacred-heart-school-playground-makeover).

     Voting and crowd funding close on Tuesday 20th November.

  • The Men of Raynes Park, 1914-18

    The Men of Raynes Park, 1914-18 Armistice Exhibition 

    To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice, an exhibition about the lives of the men from Raynes Park who fought and died in the Great War of 1914-18 will be launched at St Saviour's Church on October 27th. 

    Ninety-seven men from the Parish are named on the war memorial in the church grounds next to Grand Drive.   The exhibition will explore the history of Raynes Park and the Parish of St Saviour's, how the memorial came into being, and who the 97 men were, where they lived, where they died, the battles they fought and some of their remarkable stories. A poem has also been specially written for the occasion. 

    The exhibition launch event will be at 2.15 pm on Saturday October 27th.  

    The aim is to create an understanding and appreciation of the lives of the men commemorated on the memorial and the sacrifices they made.   A number of guest speakers will provide context and background stories to the exhibition.  These include Sarah Gould, Head of Merton Heritage, and representatives of the families of Thomas Mewburn Crook, the original sculptor of the memorial, and Wing Commander Frank Brock, a director of the Brock Firework Company, who died in a daring raid on Zeebrugge in April 1918. 

    All residents of Raynes Park, and others who have an interest, are warmly invited to this occasion.  Visitors are advised to arrive early and either walk or use public transport as parking space is limited and there will still be disruption along Grand Drive. 

    Over the last 100 years, the names on the memorial have been gradually eroded.  The St Saviour's Parochial Church Council plans to restore the memorial subject to the necessary permissions being granted and hopes to achieve this in the Spring of 2019.  St Saviour's priest-in-charge, Reverend Peter Kelley, will outline progress on this at the exhibition launch.  If anyone would like to make a contribution towards the costs of the Memorial Project, or a pledge to support the restoration should funds be required, please contact the St Saviour's church wardens at: stsavioursofficesw20@gmail.com .

    Following the launch, the exhibition will be open until Remembrance Day at various times.  Please check. 

    Peter Hutton

  • 265 Burlington Road - 400+ Flats Proposed

    Huge development Proposals for 265 Burlington Road

    (and part of the Tesco Supermarket Car Park) 

    We have recently learned - following an exhibition at the Holy Cross Church Hall on 18th September - that Redrow Homes are working up proposals for a Planning Application for a large housing scheme at 265 Burlington Road and that part of Tesco’s car park adjacent to Burlington Road 

    The scheme as currently planned would be to construct more than 400 flats in several blocks - some very much higher than any other building in the locality. 

    As we understand the situation the proposals are still being refined and are being discussed with the Planners at Merton Council. 

    Currently it is proposed that there would be a mix of units 1, 2, and 3-bedroom flats, a large proportion of which would be 2-bed units, but no houses. 

    In the main these flats would be for sale, but some would be part sale/part rental (under a shared ownership scheme). The current aim is to provide 35% of the development for “affordable” housing (meaning social or subsidized units). 

    The plans, at present, suggest provision of over 200 car parking spaces for the new residents, who would have vehicle access to the new development from the existing short road leading from Tesco’s car park into Burlington road. Pedestrian access to Tesco itself from the Burlington Road side would be maintained. 

    We are in contact with the agents acting for Redrow and hope to arrange a public meeting with them later in the year. We will try to provide more detail about this proposal as and when available. 

    David Freeman and Jill Truman

  • Raynes Park Townswomen's Guild

     Well.  It’s just as well to have a sense of humour. 

    After the long, hot, dry June, July and early August, for the TWG coach trip to Worthing the rain began as we left Raynes Park, continuing steadily until about 3.00 pm in Worthing.  Surprisingly, or because they did at least have one dry hour, ladies returned to the coach reporting they had enjoyed the day.   The respite did enable them to walk on the pier to admire the stained-glass display screens exhibited there. 

    Our summer garden party also turned out to have been scheduled on a wet day.  Nevertheless, our hostess and helper provided a magnificent summer meal which was fully appreciated by all.  With the ladies spread about the dining room and conservatory this friendly social afternoon was well attended and a great success. 

    The October meeting will be on Thursday, 18th October at 1.30 pm in St Saviour’s Church Hall.  Our speaker is Julia Jones whose talk is entitled ‘Travels in Iceland’. 

    If interested, please check us out.  We normally discuss our planned social activities first, with the speaker starting at about 2.30 pm after a tea break.  

    Dorothy Raymond, Tel: 020 8395 9489

     

  • Rememberance Sunday, 11/11/2018

    London Borough of Merton -  2018 Services of Remembrance

    The following arrangements are proposed: 

    Sunday 11 November 2018 - Services of Remembrance

    Nelson Health Centre

    Kingston Road, SW20 8DA

    The Service of Remembrance will commence at 9.00am and will be

    attended by the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Mary Curtin, civic representatives, and the Royal British Legion.

     

    Mitcham War Memorial

    Lower Green West, Mitcham

    The Service of Remembrance will commence at 10.40am. 

    Attended by the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Mary Curtin, Ms Clare Whelan OBE, Deputy Lieutenant, civic representatives and members of organisations in the borough. Members of the Mitcham branch of the Royal British Legion will be in attendance. 

    Following the service the Deputy Lieutenant together with the Mayor will take the salute.

    Please note: For the Mitcham Service, the Parade assembles outside the British Legion Hall, Mitcham.

     

    Wimbledon War Memorial

    Wimbledon Village, SW19

    The Service of Remembrance will commence at 10.40am. 

    Attended by the Deputy Mayor of Merton, Councillor Geraldine Stanford, civic representatives and members of organisations in the borough. Members of the Wimbledon Branch of the Royal British Legion and the 210 Transport Squadron will be in attendance. 

    Following the service the Deputy Mayor will take the salute. 

     

    Monday 12 November 2018 - Armistice Day

    Civic Centre, London Road, Morden to commence at 10.50am

    The Mayor and civic representatives

     

    Mitcham War Memorial to commence at 10.50am

    The Deputy Mayor and civic representatives,

  • Chairman's Blog - Oct 2018

    90TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER

    The Residents’ Association was founded in 1928 and we are celebrating our 90th anniversary with a Dinner. All members are warmly invited, and it will be held on Thursday 8th November. Do please come and join us if you can.   Numbers will be limited so tickets will be provided on a ‘first come’ basis.

    The Dinner is at the Taste Restaurant at Merton College, London Road, Morden. The College is well renowned for its catering and hotel courses for students; and the food and service will be provided by them.  We held our 75th Anniversary dinner in the same venue, and it was excellent. The cost is only £25 for a three-course meal, with a cocktail on arrival.

    Click here for more information on how to make a booking.

    RUBBISH COLLECTION

    As you will be aware, the Council is entirely changing its system for collecting household waste from October. We are now switching to alternate weekly collections for most refuse and recycling. This means collections will only be every two weeks. Paper and card will be collected every two weeks, as will non-recyclable matter (landfill) This means that storage must be found for two wheelie bins; Three, if you also pay for garden waste. Many will find this difficult to cope with. 

    Paper and cardboard are to be placed in a new wheelie bin provided by Merton, and household (landfill) waste in another.  The rest of the re-cycliable products: glass, tins, plastic bottles and food-trays, cans and cartons will still be collected from our green boxes, but these, too, will only be once a fortnight. 

    The Council has promised that those who cannot physically manage a wheelie bin (they are quite heavy) will be assisted, but, obviously, this will take time to work through.  We also understand that smaller wheelie bins can be supplied for single households – but you must apply for these directly via the Council’s website, or by a telephone call to the refuse department.

    Blue and Black plastic bags will be supplied to flatted housing estates so that they can fill these and put them into the relevant bins for collection.

    Collection days will also change in around threequarters of properties.  

    The aim is to increase amount of re-cycling and to prevent waste from being strewn over into the streets due to foxes and other animals tearing at plastic sacks that have not been placed in a lidded dustbin. It is also claimed that in the long run the new system will save costs.  

    Everyone will have their own views about all this and there are almost are bound to be major problems at the outset, so please let your Councillors know of any issues affecting you. They are the best people to take these matters up with the service provider.

    TRAVELLERS ON CANNON HILL COMMON

    Once again, a group of Travellers managed to evade the huge logs placed around Cannon Hill Common to prevent incursions and parked their caravans and vehicles near the former Pavilion.

    As before, it was left to the Council to clear up the mess after they were removed.  

    There have been many such incidents on this site, but it is hard to put up sufficiently immovable barriers to prevent these, without taking away the visual beauty of the Common itself.   

    A possible permanent solution has been suggested by one of the Cannon Hill Councillors. He notes that where there is an ongoing problem, other councils have obtained an interim or permanent blanket injunction in the High Court banning illegal traveller incursion. Such an injunction cannot stop the problem altogether but makes removal very much easier and quicker.

    He asked a question at Council to find whether the Council was willing to look at this as a solution. We will let you know whether they take up this suggestion.

    John Elvidge

  • 265 Burlington Road

    The Association has been contacted by Sarah Wardle of BECG, who specialise in community engagement. They are currently working with Redrow Homes, who recently acquired an interest in Land at Tesco, New Malden.  

    Sarah Wardle explains, “The site comprises 265 Burlington Road, a 1980s office building, and part of Tesco car park. Redrow is in the early stages of formulating plans to deliver new homes and commercial space on the site and has started to engage with planning officers. To complement these discussions, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with the local community, to discuss our initial plans for the site and gain your feedback. 

    We would also like to invite you to our public consultation the details of which are as follows: 

    Venue: Holy Cross Church, Douglas Ave, Motspur Park KT3 6HT

    Date: 11th September

    Time: 4- 8pm”

     

  • Community Forum 18 Sept 2018

    YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND

    THE RAYNES PARK COMMUNITY FORUM

    AT 7.15 PM ON TUESDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2018

    IN RAYNES PARK LIBRARY MEETING ROOM

     

    In the Chair:  Cllr Stephen Crowe

     

    1)     Introduction by Chairman of the Raynes Park Association

     

    2)     Open Forum – an opportunity to raise any other issue of local interest not covered elsewhere on the agenda.    Kindly email your request in advance of the meeting to:chris.edge@ccedge.comand stephen.crowe@merton.gov.uk.

     

    3)     Leader of the Council, Stephen Alambritis, will provide an update on key issues with the Council and take questions

     

    4)     Abbas Mirza, from Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will provide an update on local services and commissioning intentions. 

     

    5)     Town Centre Developments & Railway.  Tony Edwards

    ·         Seating on south side of Skew Arch    

    ·         Possible Removal of Bins on North of Skew Arch

    ·         West Barnes Lane Community Infrastructure Levy [CIL]

    ·         Land purchase corner on South side of Station entrance

     

    6)     Raynes Park Matters.  Neil Milligan, Raynes Park Champion, LB Merton

    ·         New Malden to RP Pedestrian and Cycle Link

    ·         Advertising hoarding between station and Waitrose

    ·         Planning Matters

     

    7)     Feedback, Reminders & Updates

    ·         Citizens UK – Merton Branch Peter Brierley

    ·         Prevention of Flooding – update on planned cleaning of gullies. 

    ·         Feedback from Ride London Sunday 29 July 2018

    ·         Feedback from Raynes Park Summer Festival 29 June until 8 July 2018

    ·         Reminder Christmas Festival 7 December 2018 

    Close at 9 p.m. 

    Future date for the Raynes Park Community Forum:

    Thursday 6 December 2018, Tuesday 26 March 2019

    The Raynes Park Community Forum is managed by the Raynes Park Association and chaired by a Councillor from one of the local wards by rotation. 

  • St Saviour's Concert - 6 October 2018

    A reminder about the up-coming concert at St Saviour's Church in Grand Drive when Mark Eden and Chris Stell - internationally recognised as one of the world’s leading classical guitar ensembles - will be playing works by Johannes Brahms, Mauro Giuliani, Domenico Scarlatti, Francis Poulenc,  Federico Mompou and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. 

    The Concert is on Saturday 6th October 2018. Reception 7.00 for 7.30pm. and tickets are available at £12 from Wendy Cannon (in advance), or at the door.

  • Holy Cross Church - Cafe

    A new Pop-up Café at Holy Cross Church 

    Holy Cross Church is opening a pop- up cafe on October 6th and from then onwards it will be held on the first Saturday of the month.  The Café will be open from 10.00am to 12.00pm and will be serving tea, coffee, cake and soft drinks. It’s so good to meet and chat we hope you will come.  All are welcome.  For more details contact Sally Pusey, Parish Administrator.

  • Open Day - 29 September 2018

    We are pleased to invite all our members to an 

    AFTERNOON SOCIAL EVENT 

    On 

    Saturday 29th September 2018 

    Between 3.30pm and 5.30pm

    Members of the Committee and the Pavilion Management Group will be on hand to show you our “headquarters”, answer any questions you may have for us and generally treat you to an array of light refreshments. 

    This is a free drop-in session, and we would be delighted to meet as many local people as possible. 

    No need to RSVP, just keep a note of the date and come along!

  • Chairman's Blog - Sept 2018

    RAYNES PARK VALE FOOTBALL CLUB 

    It may not be generally known that Raynes Park has its own football club, with a dedicated and well-maintained ground, complete with stands. This is next to Prince George’s Playing Fields which itself regularly hosts football matches at the weekend. 

    On Saturday 11th August fans flocked to the ground to see the Club compete in the first Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.   This was against Lingfield. The score was 3 -0 in favour of Raynes Park. Many congratulations!  They have now reached the Preliminary Round. The next step on the way to Wembley, as I write, is their match against Peacehaven on Saturday 25th August. Fingers crossed! 

    AFC WIMBLEDON 

    While I am writing about football, who can forget when Wimbledon FC won the FA Cup in 1988?  After that, the team was “franchised” up to Milton Keynes, and out of the ashes AFC Wimbledon was re-born, entirely created by fans.  This must be one of the most extraordinary and heartwarming stories ever of local endeavour.

    The Club has been promoted many times and has managed to retain its place in the First Division of the Football League. I saw them play Coventry in their first home fixture of the season, and the team looks good.  They aim to move back to Plough Lane next season, and the ground has already been cleared of the former Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium.  The new stadium will seat 11,000 in the first instance.  The site will also eventually have 604 new homes and retail space.  

    EASTERN ELECTRICS FESTIVAL 

    A music festival held in Morden Park over the weekend of 4 and 5 August was so loud that residents as far away as this area were prevented from enjoying their leisure time due to the loud volume of the music.  The Wimbledon Guardian reported that a resident of Raynes Park said that a relaxing weekend in his garden was spoilt by a “thumping bass” that went on until 10 pm on both days.

    The event was authorized by Merton Council and it apparently complied with all the required conditions. 

    It looks as if this is an annual event. Morden Park is in an area surrounded by residential housing. The Council should require in future that the sound levels are moderated, and that the event finishes earlier in the evening.

    THE JUNCTION TAVERN IN RAYNES PARK 

    Older residents will remember when the Junction Tavern, near the station in Kingston Road, was a pub. When the pub closed, it was turned for a while into The Railhouse, but that venture ceased in 2011. Since then, there have been planning applications to turn the site into a hotel, but these have not been implemented. 

    Now a planning application has been lodged to build nine flats there, but preserving the lower section of the building, which has architectural features that are worthy of retention. 

    HARRIS ACADEMY WIMBLEDON 

    The new Harris Academy Wimbledon will open its doors this September at its temporary site in Whatley Avenue, off Martin Way. This is to cope with the extra 260 children who left primary school in Merton this year.

    The permanent home for the School will be a new school building in High Path in South Wimbledon. This is due for completion by September 2020.

     John Elvidge

  • 90th Anniversary Dinner - 8 November

    Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents’ Association

    90th Anniversary Dinner

    Thursday 8th November 2018 

    Taste Restaurant

     Merton College, London Road, Morden, SM4 5QX 

    7.00pm for 7.30pm 

     

    Starter

    Roast pumpkin velouté, toasted pumpkin seeds and chilli (v)

    or

    Smoked haddock ravioli, soft poached egg, parsley sauce, pancetta crumb 

    Main

    Sautéed chicken, dauphinoise potatoes, spinach, sauce forestiere

    or

    Caramelised onion risotto, rocket, balsamic glaze, shallot rings (v) 

    Dessert

    Bread and butter pudding, vanilla custard

    or

    Shortbread Mille feuille, seasonal fruit and vanilla cream, fruit coulis 

    Freshly brewed tea and coffee 

    Please make your server aware of any allergies or dietary requirements Information about allergens in our dishes is kept onsite and is available on request

    Cost per person, including a drink on arrival, will be £25 

    Members wishing to attend should make contact via the details published in September’s Guide.

     

  • Raynes Park TWG - July 2018

    RAYNES PARK TOWNSWOMEN’S (AFTERNOON) GUILD

    Making women’s lives better since 1929 

    85TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION 

     

    Broken down delivery trucks and heroines! 

    On Thursday, 28th June 2018 Raynes Park Branch of the Townswomen’s Guild celebrated its 85th birthday party.  This makes our branch one of the oldest groups (someone said the 3rd oldest) in being today.  However, our party was characterised by what could have been a disaster and a series of rescuing heroines.  In short, the food ordered from a reputable supplier did not arrive and was not available for collection until well after the Mayor and other guests had been welcomed and seated. 

    The first heroine was Mary of our long-suffering catering help team who made three trips (in hope) to collect the food, two abortive and one where it was finally suggested she should help herself to what was ordered, or similar, from the shelves in the store! 

    The second was Penny Ryan, deputising for the National TWG Chairman – in fact the National Treasurer and our national trustee representing southern England on the national council.  After we had welcomed the lady Mayor of Merton who spoke for a few minutes to congratulate us on this birthday, Penny took to the floor to cover quite a long wait with an off-the-cuff, comprehensive, talk on the formation and history of the Townswomen’s Guild. 

    We had booked a group from the Nonsuch Handbell Ringers to entertain us after the meal but in the event, they hastily set up their equipment to play to us while we collected and ate our food, which was displayed speedily by John and Mary.  They played a very enjoyable selection of tunes in a variety of styles, all with a surprisingly mellow sound.  Later they invited members to come to examine the bells.  At least one member had a go!  The ladies of the handbbell ringers, too, deserve special thanks! 

    Our monthly lunch outing took us to The Haywain in Epsom for another very pleasant meal.  We were surprised when another group of ladies arrived a little later, some of whom we recognised.  This was a party from the Morden Park (eve) TWG!  Obviously The Haywain is a general favourite for TWG ladies! 

     

     

    Worthing Trip – Thursday, 16th August - £15 

    There are still seats available.  Please telephone 8395 4989 if you are interested in joining us. 

    I am in discussion with our coach company who wish to wait until road works scheduled to cause one-way traffic south along Grand Drive start towards the end of July to see how the traffic flow in the area ‘beds down’ before confirming pick-up points and times.  Please make sure I have your telephone number or contact address so that I can keep everyone informed in August. 

    Next Meeting 

    In September 2018 the monthly meeting will be on Thursday, 20th at 1.30 for 1.45 at St Saviour’s Church Hall.  A speaker – Miss A Hoyland – will give us a talk entitled

     ‘Never judge a book by its cover’.   Do join us. 

    Dorothy Raymond,  Tel: 020 8395 9489 

  • Grand Drive Road Closures - Latest

    VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT WORKS TO GRAND DRIVE - FROM SGN

    Notification of major gas works: Grand Drive, Morden UPDATE 20/07/18 

    You may recall I wrote to you in May to make you aware of our upgrade of our gas network in Grand Drive, Morden. 

    Our project is on course to start as planned on 23 July and last approximately 20 weeks as previously stated. However, following feedback from our stakeholders and the local community we have worked with London Borough of Merton to agree a new phased plan of work to minimise disruption. We will now be working in three overlapping phases as follows. 

    To ensure everyone’s safety Grand Drive will be made one-way southbound for the duration of our works. A signed diversion will be in place for northbound traffic. Access will be maintained for residents by following the diversion routes. 

    Phase one – Grand Drive, between Church Walk and Bushey Road 

    We will start our project with two teams both working in Grand Drive from its junction with Church Walk towards Bushey Road. As this phase progresses, one of our teams will move to begin work on phase two. 

    Phase two – Grand Drive, between Blenheim Road and Church Walk 

    During this phase, one of our teams will begin working in Grand Drive at its junction with Blenheim Road and work towards the junction with Church Walk. 

    Grand Drive will remain one-way southbound to ensure everyone’s safety. However, as our work progresses during this phase, we are hoping to be able to re-open some small sections of Grand Drive for northbound traffic to allow residents on Grand Drive to exit their homes and travel north. Grand Drive will remain closed for northbound through traffic and motorists should still follow our signed diversion. 

    Phase three – Grand Drive, between Heath Drive and Westway 

    Both teams will be working in conjunction on Grand Drive, starting at its junction with Heath Drive and heading south towards its junction with Westway. 

    Grand Drive will remain one-way southbound to ensure everyone’s safety. Some small sections of Grand Drive may now be open for northbound traffic to allow residents on Grand Drive to exit their homes and travel north. However, Grand Drive will remain closed for northbound through traffic and motorists should still follow our signed diversion. 

    You can find more information about our work on our dedicated project page at: 

    https://www.sgn.co.uk/Roadworks/Southern-projects/Morden-Approach-Road-and-Grand-Drive/ 

    Dan Edwards

    Southern Gas Networks

  • Paddock - Flower & Vegetable Show

    Don’t Miss the

    PADDOCK ALLOTMENTS’ FLOWER & VEGETABLE SHOW

    2.30 pm; Saturday 8th August 2018

  • Chairman's Blog - Aug 2018

     NAT WEST CLOSES TWO BRANCHES 

    We reported a few months ago that Nat West intended to close their branches in Wimbledon Village and in Morden.  They have now gone through with this, and the buildings are firmly shuttered.  Their branch in Raynes Park closed many years ago.  What an appalling disregard they have shown for the convenience of their customers. 

    These branches were heavily used.   Customers will now have to go to the only remaining local branch in Wimbledon Town Centre, which always has long queues of people waiting to be served, and limited numbers of staff.  They try to make you use machines for depositing funds, but these are so difficult to understand that one member of staff, instead of acting as a cashier, has to be on hand. 

    The bank will argue that much banking is now done on-line, but many customers, like me, who have been the subject of bank fraud, refuse to transact financial details on the internet which can be readily hacked. Some people cannot afford the internet or do not know how to use it.   

    What is particularly galling is the pretence that this is somehow improving the service it gives to customers. When will large companies realise that many people prefer to transact their business with real people? When will they understand that putting the needs of customers before increasing profits actually increases their profits by increasing their customer share? 

    We see the same stupid trend in supermarkets when you have to scan your own purchases, and there remain only a token number of check out tills. 

    ANNIVERSARIES 

    On a lighter note, I was invited by the Raynes Park Townwomen’s Guild to their lovely 85th birthday buffet luncheon at St Saviour’s Church Hall. You will have seen their articles which we publish in The Guide each month.   The Mayor was the guest of honour, and we had a delightful cabaret performed by a group of hand bell ringers. We were told that the Guild grew out of the movement for women’s rights started by the suffragettes.  I was made very welcome despite being the only man present, apart from the Mayor’s attendant.

    We congratulate them for keeping going for so long, including through the war years. 

    Our Association is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, and we intend to publish an Anniversary issue of The Guide in the autumn. We also hope to hold a dinner at Merton College. Details of this will follow as soon as the arrangements are finalised. 

    CROSSRAIL 2 

    Cross Rail 2 is the proposal for a new rail system that is intended to run from surrey and south west London through a tunnel north of Wimbledon up to north London. This is intended to cope with the vast increase in the number of rail passengers.  It will, obviously, be an enormous expensive project, and so the Government has set up an “Independent Affordabilty  Review”  to advise on whether it is actually financially  feasible.  The scheme is not planned to come into operation until at least 2028 in any event.  The team running this will be conducting another public consultation in due course. 

    NEW TENNIS EQUIPMENT AT THE PAVILION  

    We are very pleased that the All England Lawn Tennis Club has provided us with new posts and nets for the tennis courts at our Pavilion in Grand Drive. We have set up two courts for members to use and we have kept the third for short tennis and other ball games. 

    The Club has provided these free of charge as part of its Community Outreach Programme, and we are very grateful to them for the time and effort they have given to us. Any member can use these courts, for a very small hourly charge, on application by e-mail to:  

    pavilionbookings@gmail.com 

    John Elvidge

  • Raynes Park Townwomen's Guild - July 2018

    Lyn Chalcroft’s talk to the Guild on 17th May entitled ‘Dem Dry Bones’ turned out to e about osteoporosis, ow to avoid it and ow to keep your bones strong during the aging process.   Apart from a good diet with milk for calcium, exercise is very important.   Lyn demonstrated a number of useful exercises.   Producing silk scarves, she got the whole company trying these out, and having a great deal of fun! 

    On 19th July our speaker will be Heidi Gomes giving a talk entitled ‘World of the lunchbox network’. 

    Details of our annual coastal coach trip are given below.  I am liaising with the coach company about timings and exact pickup points because of the proposed gas road works in Grand Drive due to commence at the end of July and will keep those reserving a place informed as well as putting any update in The Guide. 

    The Raynes Park Townswomen’s Guild meet in St. Saviour’s Church Hall monthly, on the third Thursday of each month (excluding August) at 1.45 pm.  A visit and a lunch together are also arranged each month as well as some social functions in local homes.   New Members are always welcome. 

    Dorothy Raymond

     

    WORTHING

    Thursday 16th August 2018 

    £15.00 per seat

    Leaving approx. 9.00 am (times to be confirmed) 

    Pick-up points at Motspur Park, Raynes Park Station and in the Grand Drive Greenway area (to be confirmed)

    Return at 4.30 pm 

    Tel 0208 395 9489

  • St Saviour's War Memorial - Grand Drive

    St Saviour's project to restore the memorial and remember the fallen 

    A task group has been set up to restore St Saviour's war memorial and research its history and stories of those who are named on it. An exhibition is planned to open in the church two weeks before Armistice Day so local people can appreciate what the Great War meant for the community and the sacrifices it made. It is unlikely that all work on the restoration will completed before then, though it is hoped that it will have begun.  

    A restoration team will start raising funds once all the required permissions have been obtained. It is hoped that much of it will be covered by grants though there is likely to be a gap. If you would like to contribute towards it, and pledges have already been made, please contact St Saviour's Priest-in-Charge, Peter Kelley.    

    Another team of local volunteers has been researching archives, press coverage and other leads to build up a picture of what went on and the individuals involved.  It is keen to hear from anyone who might be able to provide relevant information. Perhaps members of your family, or the families of people you know, lived in this area and were involved in the Great War and may have been commemorated on the St Saviour's memorial.  You may have stories, anecdotes, press cuttings, photographs and other memorabilia relating to those times and the men who gave their lives that you could make available to us.  If so, or if you have any leads you think it would be worth following, please email: stsavioursofficesw20@gmail.com, or ring the parish office (02085409406) or talk to anyone you know at St Saviour's.

  • Network Rail Performance - Briefing Note

    Wessex Route Briefing Note – Performance – As of May 2018

    Summary

    Network Rail’s Wessex route is one of the busiest and most congested parts of the railway network. The number of passenger journeys on the route has more than doubled in the last 20 years, to around 234 million per year, and is expected to increase by a further 40% by 2043.

    We appreciate our service has not been good enough overall following the completion of major upgrade work at Waterloo in August last year. Our passengers deserve, and rightly expect, a high performing train service.

    A number of significant incidents have impacted the service in recent months, including infrastructure issues at Waterloo (see page 2 on ‘Waterloo’), a fire in the throat of Waterloo in December (which caused severe disruption), bad and extreme weather conditions and points failures and track issues at some of the busiest parts of our network. The congested nature of our network means that delays can have a severe knock on effect.

    Train performance on the Wessex route in April 2018 was recorded as 89.5%, using the public performance measure (PPM)1. We will continue to try to provide the best service possible for our passengers. Independent review on performance

    The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, recently commissioned an independent review into operational performance on the South Western Railway network to ‘ensure all possible steps are being taken to improve performance and passenger experience’.

    We welcome the review and are working with its chair, Sir Michael Holden. It is expected to be completed in summer 2018.

    Responding to incidents

    When an incident happens on the railway network we respond as quickly as possible to limit disruption and get people on the move again. Our joint Network Rail and South Western Railway control centre, at our state of the art Basingstoke railway operating centre, has improved interventions leading to a 1.4% improvement in performance between the morning and evening peaks. We have appointed seven senior incident officer roles working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to lead on incident responses affecting Network Rail and South Western Railway.

    The public performance measure (PPM) shows the percentage of trains which arrive at their terminating station within 5 minutes (for London & South East and regional services) or 10 minutes (for long distance services) - https://www.networkrail.co.uk/who-we-are/how-we-work/performance/public-performance-measure/

    Preventing incidents

    We are making every effort to stop incidents before they happen, through increasing resources on this part of the network and using ‘intelligent technology’.

    We are increasing our asset inspection regime in the Waterloo area and have appointed a new track section manager to prevent incidents occurring.

    We have provided some additional teams and resources for maintenance and incident response between Waterloo and Basingstoke.

    Using ‘intelligent technology’, we monitor the efficiency of our infrastructure, which has allowed us to intervene early on around 500 occasions in 2017/18 which could have all resulted in infrastructure failures delaying passengers.

    There has been a 6% improvement in service affecting failures in the past year, with a 27% improvement since 2014. o We are introducing new safer isolations to turn off electricity to the track remotely. This keeps our staff off the track, improving safety, with less disruption to passengers and means we can deal with incidents more quickly. Waterloo upgrade programme

    Disruption after upgrade work at Waterloo last August was due to signalling equipment faults and snagging issues. Newly installed infrastructure did not perform as we expected in day-to-day operating conditions. All issues relating to the upgrade were resolved in autumn last year.

    The ongoing £800m Waterloo and South West Upgrade will be completed by the end of this year with the reopening of the former Waterloo International Terminal. o This will increase peak time capacity at Waterloo by 30% - space for an extra 45,000 passengers every morning and evening.

    The five additional platforms in the former International Terminal will also give us more flexibility during disruption, which should improve our ability to recover from delays.

    Please direct any questions to the Wessex route public affairs lead, Aeneas Tole, on aeneas.tole@networkrail.co.uk

  • Chairman's Blog - July 2018

    PARTIAL CLOSURE OF GRAND DRIVE 

    We remind everyone that traffic will not be able to come down Grand Drive northbound from July 23rd until December. This is because of work to replace the gas mains, which is being done in two phases. 

    Two exhibitions were held by SGN (formerly Southern Gas Network) to set out the diversions that are being proposed. We urged them to set out diversion signs from miles around, since this will be absolutely necessary.

    We fear that despite the advance publicity most motorists will be taken by surprise, and that there will be traffic chaos for weeks to come. It seems certain that Hillcross Avenue, Cannon Hill Lane, Martin Way and Bushey Road will bear the brunt of carrying the extra traffic, and that these roads will be clogged up for the whole day. 

    The plans did not include the new routing needed for the 163 bus, but we have now heard from Transport for London, which may be read here. More about SGN's plans may be read here.

     FURTHER ROAD CLOSURES FOR THE C YCLE RACE 

    On top of this, there will be a weekend of further road closures for the now annual cycle race around London. This will be on the weekend of 28th and 29th July. The cycle route is from Kingston Hill, along Coombe Lane and Worple Road, up Wimbledon Hill, and along Parkside. There will only be very limited crossing points, yet to be announced, for cars and pedestrians. More details may be read here, 

    LAND BEHIND THE MAISONETTES IN CANNON HILL LANE 

    There is a strip of woodland of about half an acre that runs behind the maisonettes in Cannon Hill Lane and next to the All England Club tennis ground in Grand Drive. It is an enclosed site, with no vehicular access.  It was bought some years ago and the new owner proceeded to knock down a number of trees protected by tree preservation orders, until he was stopped by the council, and then prosecuted. There still remain on the site 11 trees with such orders. 

    The owner decided to sell the land by auction, with a guide price of £20,000-£25,000, and obtained the price of £51,000. It appears that the then would be buyer did not complete, and so it has been put up for auction again through a different set of auctioneers.  

    What was unknown to us until we saw the legal pack with the first auction is that the land is not only land locked, but also has a covenant over it restricting its use to a plant nursery. It appears unlikely that this covenant can be broken without a very difficult application to the Lands Tribunal. So probably it will remain as open space, incapable of development for house building. 

    We await to see if anyone buys the land, and for what purpose. 

    John Elvidge

  • Diversion of North-Bound 163 Bus

    From Transport for London - 21 June 2018


    Dear Mr Cuthbert

    Thank you for contacting us on 6 June, about a forthcoming diversion to route 163 in Raynes Park while gas mains replacement takes place. Firstly I apologise for the slight delay in replying.

    I can confirm the diversion, which will be in place from Monday 23 July to late December, was only recently finalised. It was therefore unavailable to SGN for their drop-in sessions. Buses towards Morden will continue to serve the whole of Grand Drive, as the southbound carriageway will remain open. 

    Buses towards Wimbledon will be diverted along Cannon Hill Lane, Martin Way and Bushey Road to re-join the normal route. Raynes Park Station will continue to be served in both directions. The nearest open stops on the normal route will be St John Fisher School (GP) and Raynes Park Station (P).

    We’ll make more information available on our website nearer the time. We did this for the closure of Approach Road at tfl.gov.uk/tempbuschanges. Our local bus operations manager has requested publicity to be produced for affected stops. This will show the nearest open stops. Drivers will also call at any fixed stop, when requested, while on diversion.

    Thank you once again for contacting us. Please contact us again if you need assistance with TfL services in the future. We can also be reached by phone on 0343 222 1234.

    Kind regards 

    Dave Finlow
    Customer Service Adviser, 
    Transport for London

     

  • Raynes Park Townswomen's Guild - June 2018

    When Claire Nethersole from Age Concern, Merton, visited us last month, she reminded us that they are an independent charitable trust although working closely with Age UK.  With a base in Mitcham, they raise their own funds experiencing the same difficulties in the current economic climate as other small charities, and like Merton & Morden Guild of Social Service operating in Morden to provide many similar services.   Mrs Eileen Brewer gave the vote of thanks. 

    The Pavilion Club reported that they always enjoy a visit to the Earth to Table eatery in Raynes Park.  TWG ladies agree, this month arranging a lunch together there. 

    The following week on a beautiful day a group visited the Millennium Embroidery and Garden, Sunbury.  A bonus discovered on arrival – the local Bead Group was there.  Before looking at the main exhibit we were able to admire their completed items (key rings, bookmarks, necklaces, bracelets and brooches) as well as wandering round to watch them at work, asking questions as we went and examining the equipment and the tiny beads!   We admired their patience and dexterity! 

    A credit to them and the local community spirit, the embroidery itself is a collaborative effort of all the ladies and supporters from local organisations in Sunbury showing the principal features of the area at 2000.  Also shown are the logos of these local organisations carefully embroidered. 

    Seat bookings for our summer coach outing to Worthing are now being taken.  Details below.  Please telephone if you are interested. 

    WORTHING - Thursday, 16th August 2018

    £15 per seat

    Leaving approx. 9.00 am (times to be confirmed)

    Pick-up points at:

    Motspur Park, Raynes Park Station and Grand Drive – Greenway 

    Return at 4.30 pm

    Tel: 0208 395 9489

  • Summer Coach Trips

     

    THE PAVILION SOCIAL CLUB - SUMMER COACH TRIP

     RESIDENTS' ASSOCIATION - WISLEY FLOWER SHOW

    The Annual trip to Wisley Flower show will be on

     FRIDAY 7th SEPTEMBER 

    with pickup points at: 

    Motspur Park, Opposite the Earl Beatty @ 9.15 a.m. approx. 

    Station Approach, Raynes Park @ 9.25 a.m. 

    Greenway bus stop, Grand Drive @ 9.35 a.m. 

    PLEASE NOTE THESE TIMES MAY HAVE TO BE CHANGED DUE TO ROADWORKS IN GRAND DRIVE 

    The Coach will leave Wisley at 4.00 p.m. 

    The fare is £10.00 which includes entrance and driver’s tip.

    Money to be paid with the booking please, giving your name, contact information and preferred pick-up point.

    Cash or Cheques made payable to RPWBRA should be given to:

    John Townsend, 128 Grand Drive, SW20 9DZ, Telephone: 07714 705976

  • Motspur Park Post Office

    Motspur Park Post Office - 345 West Barnes Lane, New Malden 

    The Association raised the closure, on 28th April, of the above Post Office with our MP, Stephen Hammond, being particularly concerned at reports that an application had been made by a local Newsagent to take over this service was not likely to come to fruition until the Autumn – far too long to wait.  Stephen Hammond has forwarded to us the following correspondence he has received on the subject. 

    Dear Mr Hammond 

    We’re planning to make some changes to the above Post Office

    For further information please see attached letter. Customer information materials will also be available in branch.

    Should you have any questions regarding the branch, please do not hesitate to contact your local External Affairs Manager, Ken Penton, by e-mail on ken.penton@postoffice.co.uk, or by telephone on 07970 396 440. 

    Yours sincerely

    Audra Mirjah-Clarke
    Post Office Ltd
     

    A letter dated 16th April 2018, attached, states: 

    “Temporary Closure

    I am writing to inform you that, regrettably, following the resignation of the Postmaster and the withdrawal of the premises for Post Office use, the above branch will be closing temporarily. 

    The provision of a Post Office service to our customers in the local community is important to us, and we will continue to work hard to restore services in the area as soon as possible. We would welcome any applications from potential retail partners interested in running a branch locally on our behalf. The vacancy is currently being advertised on our website: www.runapostoffice.co.uk and applications will be carefully considered. 

    If you are aware of any interested parties, please do share the link with them. I would like to assure you that we are currently investigating the options available which will enable us to reinstate a Post Office service to the local community. In exploring this, it is important that any future service is sustainable for the person operating the service, and for Post Office Limited. Future provision will reflect customer numbers and usage and we may take the opportunity to establish an alternative type of service. This may be a new style branch known as a Post Office local. 

    Post Office locals run alongside an established local shop and create a more modern and convenient retail experience for customers in newly refurbished premises. If you have any questions you would like to raise about this matter, please write to me via the National Consultation Team at the address shown below. Please note that your comments will not be kept confidential unless you expressly ask us to do so by clearly marking them “In Confidence”. Any future changes to service provision would be handled in line with our Code of Practice which sets out how we communicate and explain changes to the Post Office network. You can find more information about the Code at the end of this letter. If others in your organisation are interested in the proposal, please feel free to let them know about it. I would like to apologise for the inconvenience the temporary closure may cause. We hope that our customers will continue to use the Post Office and full details of alternative Post Office services in the area are shown at the end of this letter. I will write to you again once I have any news about our plans for future service provision. 

    Deepak Valani, Area Network Change Manager

     

  • Chairman's Blog - June 2018

    Local Elections

    Our Association is strictly non-party political, and we look forward to working with all the new councillors elected for our local wards, which are West Barnes, Cannon Hill, and Raynes Park.  When we hold our Open meetings and committee meetings we invite a councillor from each of the wards to help us in our decisions.

    At the AGM we paid tribute to the hard work of Mary-Jane Jeanes who was not standing for re-election.  We would also like to pay tribute to the dedication of Gilli Lewis-Lavender, a former Mayor, and Brian Lewis-Lavender. 

    All three former councillors have been assiduous in bringing issues to our notice, in getting council officers to act, and in representing the people they were elected to serve. We wish them well.

    Chaos in Grand Drive

    Residents will be well aware of the traffic chaos caused by the closure of the bottom part of Grand Drive for four weeks while gas mains were repaired. We were not consulted about these works, and so could not advise the gas network and the highways authorities of the warning notices that were necessary to avoid some of the worse effects of the jams.  What was required was notices put in place a long distance away, particularly on the A3, in Tudor Drive and further up Grand Drive, and in Kingston Road so that drivers could find alternative routes earlier. Some warnings were belatedly put up, but not enough.  Even with the notices, a steady stream of motorists came past the road closed notice, and then had to do a U-turn, to the anger and irritation of those living there.

    Worse to Come?

    Two exhibitions are being held about the even worse closures of half of Grand Drive planned to start on 23rd July which will last until December.   Grand Drive will be made one way southbound for the duration of the work. A signed diversion is being proposed for northbound traffic.  Further information is available here. These closures will be worse, as there will literally be nowhere else that traffic can easily be diverted to.  We fear that Cannon Hill Lane and Martin Way will be clogged solid for much of the day. 

    The gas network company, SGN, state that the old metal gas mains are being replaced with new plastic pipe, with a minimum life of 80 years, to ensure a continued safe and reliable supply into the future. This will cost £973,000. 

    Motspur Park Post Office

    The recently relocated post office counter, currently situated in Ecklee International Grocery, is to close. This leaves residents in Motspur Park with nowhere at hand to collect their pensions or for the other myriad things they need to do. The nearest post offices are either in New Malden High Street or Raynes Park, both of which are difficult to get to without a car, and with heavy parking charges for those who drive. We understand that Sima Brothers newsagents, nextdoor to Ecklee, has applied to take over the agency, but that the PO is being rather slow to process the application.

    Open Meeting

    We are having an Open Meeting for residents in Blossom House School, Motspur Park, on Wednesday 13th June, starting at 7.30 pm, with some light refreshments afterwards. Do come and discuss this issue, and any others of concern to you. You will be made very welcome. 

    John Elvidge 

  • Raynes Park Townswomen's Guild

    In May the Raynes Park Townswomen’s Guild ladies are continuing their usual pattern of lunches, visits, social events and monthly meeting.  This will be held at St Saviour’s Church Hall from 1.30 pm on Thursday, 17th May.  The speaker will be Lyn Chalcroft, whose talk is entitled “Dem dry bones”.  The sales table will be ‘Good as New’. 

    Planning for the 85th birthday of the Raynes Park Guild in June is now in full swing.  Our Guild is one of the oldest in the Townswomen’s Guild movement. 

    We are also planning our summer outing to the south coast, this year. As previously, this outing is open to all Residents Ass, Rendezvous Club, Pavilion Club, Friends, Relatives and local couples who would like to join us.  Hope to hear from you. 

    Dorothy Raymond 020 8395 9489

  • Chairman's Report - 2016/2017

    In reviewing the events of the past year, I have to begin on a very sad note. 

    In May Jan Bailey, who had been our Joint Secretary and Minutes Secretary for some 30 years, died very suddenly in her garden. This was totally unexpected, since she was always so full of energy, lively, and extrovert. She knew everything that was happening in our area about planning issues, traffic schemes, and flooding, drains and watercourses, and, if she didn’t know, she knew who to contact to find out. We miss her immensely. 

    Jan also ensured that the developers of the land at Meadowsweet Ditch maintained the free flow of water, and many times cleared it herself to prevent flooding on the properties in Grand Drive. We thank David Rush for taking over from Jan in this essential work. 

    Jan loved trees, and her partner, Gordie, had the excellent idea of planting a tree in her memory in the grounds of our Pavilion in Grand Drive. We published last month the photos of the team who braved the cold to plant it in February. It is a flowering bird cherry. We will be holding a tea party in the spring when the tree will be formally dedicated, and we hope that many of our volunteers will be able to come and join us. 

    We should also remember tonight our members Jim White, who was an Area Co-ordinator and Road Steward for almost 50 years, and Margaret Pye who worked on environmental matters with Jan, and was a regular contributor to our meetings, whose funeral was today. 

    I am very grateful to Jill Truman who took over as our sole Secretary. In addition, she continues to edit The Guide which goes from strength to strength, and is still published 12 times a year.  Her dedication and commitment to the Residents’ Association goes back very many years, and demands all our thanks and congratulations.  

    She was at that time also our Advertising Manager, itself a demanding role, but I want to thank Dick Coleman for taking over that responsibility, and for joining our committee.  He has been very active and imaginative in helping us find new advertisers, as well as retaining the old ones, which is vital if we are to keep The Guide paying for itself, and so keeping our subscriptions to the lowest possible level. 

    To replace Jan as Minutes Secretary we were fortunate to find the ideal person in Clare Townsend, who has thrown herself into the task with great enthusiasm and has brought fresh ideas to our meetings. I would like to thank her for coming forward and for her contributions. 

    Her husband, John Townsend, continues as our Treasurer, and manages our finances with great aplomb and good humour, as well as huge attention to detail.  He will be able to tell us later that we are doing really well financially, despite having taken on the massive demands for a small Association of the building and running of the Pavilion social centre for local residents. I should also like to thank Brian Lewis-Lavender for continuing to audit our accounts. 

    Distributing The Guide each month to our members is itself a major undertaking. Andrew Barwick has been our Distribution Manager for many years, ably assisted by Dick Coleman and George Holder, and I want to thank them for all the hours of work they put into this.  But they and we are dependent on all our Area-Co-Ordinators and Road Stewards, many of whom have delivered The Guide for years. We were very pleased to be able to hold a thank you party for them all, both in the summer during the celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday, and at our Christmas Party. This was our best ever, thanks to the initiatives of Clare and John Townsend.   

    We also communicate with a wider public through our website, which grows in importance every year, with an ever-increasing number of enquiries coming in that way. It is kept up to date in content by Jerry Cuthbert and our webmaster is Charles Briscoe-Smith. We would like to thank them both. 

    A large part of the work of the Association continues to be focused on matters of planning and traffic.  We continue to rely heavily on the day to day expertise of David Freeman, Jerry Cuthbert, and Rachel Skinner, and I want to thank them for all the time and energy they bring to this work. We simply could not cope without them. 

    In the past year they have advised us, among other things, on the issues arising from the CrossRail2 proposals.  These will entail over the next few years major changes in this area, including the three stations of Raynes Park, Motspur Park and Wimbledon. We believe that it is likely that Raynes Park station will be moved along the track towards Wimbledon. The proposals may well suggest the closure of the West Barnes and Motspur Park level crossings to allow for the greater frequency of trains. Obviously, this would cause even greater traffic congestion, and probably standstill for much of the day unless alternative provisions are made.  The expectation is that more detailed proposals for this area will be put out for further consultation later this year, and we will ensure that we are well represented at whatever public meetings are called so that we can put our point of view. 

    We have made detailed objections this year to the Council’s proposed introduction of fortnightly rubbish collections and the compulsory use of wheelie bins; and made representations on the plans for a greater housing density on the Atkinson Morley site on Copse Hill, which will bring even more traffic to that area. 

    We have objected strongly to the introduction of a “diesel levy” of an extra £90 this April on residents with diesel cars living in Parking Controlled Zones, which will increase to £150 over three years and raise Merton an extra £861,000.  This gives no opportunity for people to have time to change their cars, which may, in fact, do little mileage. 

    We have also presented detailed objections to the initial proposals of the Boundary Commission to divide up the Parliamentary seat of Wimbledon, which would mean that the London Borough of Merton had no less than 5 MP’s to represent them. 

    We also commented strongly that the Council needed to make further provision for the ever-increasing cost of social care for the elderly and the disabled. 

    But it is fair to say that the major day to day work of the Association is now focused on the Pavilion in Grand Drive, which has been an enormous success since it was re-furbished and opened.  It is a success both in terms of the number of groups now using it, which include yoga and faith meetings, as well as children’s and family parties, and the satisfaction of those users.  It is also a success in the growing income it is bringing into the Association funds. 

    Foremost among these groups is the Pavilion Social Club which was founded in March 2014, and meets every Thursday afternoon with 30 - 40 people attending every week.  It has had some excellent speakers, including the Trading Standards Officer, legal advice on setting up Powers of Attorney, how to keep fit, and manicure and pedicure demonstrations. It also organises some outside visits, and has raised over £150 for charity.  Its success is due to the driving commitment and energy of its two founding organisers, Andrea Hannan and Jill Truman, who create an enveloping warmth and excitement for all. 

    The Pavilion itself is managed by a small group of people who look after the building and its grounds, take the bookings, and open and close the building. The Chair of this group is Jerry Cuthbert, and all of the members of this group deserve a mention and our huge thanks tonight. They are David Freeman, John Townsend, Linda Fitch, Moira Deveson, Howard Phillips, and Tina and Chris Lorimer. 

    We continue to play a full part in the wider meetings of the Raynes Park Association and of the Raynes Park Forum, and I would like to thank our representatives on these bodies, Jerry Cuthbert and Jill Truman for their contribution to these community discussions. 

    I should also mention the valuable help given by all our local councillors, but particularly those from the West Barnes Ward, who attend all our committee meetings.  

    Next year it looks likely that we will be busy not only with sending out our views on the CrossRail 2 proposals, but also on the plans for local hospital provision in this area, about which we are hearing at this meeting. 

    The next calendar year will be 2018. As we were founded as an Association in 1928 we will be 90 years old. We will have to think of some way of celebrating this long tradition of service to the local community.    

    John Elvidge , 5th April 2017

     

  • Chairman's Blog - April 2018

    HOUSEBUILDING TARGETS IN MERTON

    The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has set new annual housebuilding targets for Merton, which are one of the largest increases in London. He expects the number of new homes to be built every year in the borough to increase from 411 to 1,328,  i.e. 13,280 over the next ten years. 65 per cent of these will need to be “affordable”. 

    He states that London needs to build 66,000 new homes every year to meet the growing need.

    Merton Council’s local plan wants more land to be released for new housing, with more blocks of flats, and increased density.

    In my view, we have done more than our fair share in this area in the last ten years to increase the number of homes.  We have had major developments of flats on the site of St Catherine’s School off Grand Drive. Further down Grand Drive  more flats and townhouses were built on the former sports fields of LESSA and Sun Alliance.  More flats were built in the Waitrose development in the heart of Raynes Park.

    These hundreds of new dwellings were built with minimal contributions by the developers to the cost of the infrastructure necessary to serve these new residents, despite the increased demand on future population growth,  on the health service, schooling, and road traffic. 

     More were due to be built on the Rainbow Industrial site next to Raynes Park station, but this area now appears to be earmarked as a necessary part of the CrossRail II proposals.

    While everyone can agree on the need for more starter homes for younger people, what is depressing is that all the emphasis from the authorities is on building on green areas ( which is much easier and more profitable for the developers)  and not in identifying and using the many brownfield sites that exist everywhere. Nor is any housing authority putting emphasis on converting vacant properties over shops, or turning redundant shops into housing.

     STREET CLEANING

    A resident of Cannon Hill Lane complained to me that her road has not been swept, she believes, since Veolia took over the contract of street cleaning and rubbish collection last April. She also pointed to a large pile of rubbish on the verge which has not been removed despite complaints from her to the Council, and complaints by the local councillors.  Everywhere one sees uncollected litter and rubbish bins that are overflowing.

    It is for the Council to specify to the contractors the frequency with which they must sweep the streets, and empty the bins, and to ensure that this happens. It is clear that they have failed to do so. 

    The Council’s present intention is to move in October this year from weekly to fortnightly collections of landfill rubbish and recycling. The problem of littering will be bound to get even worse. 

     Residents can themselves help by ensuring that items in the recycling bins are weighted down with bottles or heavier items, so that they cannot blow into the street.

    AGM

    The Annual General Meeting of the Association is being held at Raynes Park Library on Wednesday 11th April starting at 7.30. Do come along and have your say on the area and how you think we can help improve it. 

    We will also have the opportunity to hear from Ruth Whitehead on the work of the Paddock Horticultural Society, on the edge of Cannon Hill Common, which is one of the great success stories in the Borough.

    There’s also the chance to chat over a glass or two of wine, and some nibbles. Do come along. You will be made very welcome. 

    John Elvidge 

  • GRAND DRIVE MAJOR CLOSURES FOR 2018

    GRAND DRIVE CLOSED TO NORTHBOUND TRAFFIC FOR 2018 (updated 26/06/2018)

    3 APRIL 2018 – MID MAY 2018 (Completed - Road Re-opened)

    23 JULY 2018 – MID DECEMBER 2018

     

    More Details:

    To enable replacement of gas mains, by SGN (formerly Southern Gas Networks), parts of Grand Drive will be closed completely to north-bound traffic in stages, starting on 3 April 2018 and lasting until December 2018. 

    Stage 1 – Northern end, from Bushey Road up to the railway bridge in Raynes Park. - Work Now Complete.

    Stage 2 – From the Beverley Roundabout northwards to Bushey Road

                     Open for southbound traffic only from 23 July to December 2018. 

                     Thus, Grand Drive will be closed to northbound traffic along its length from 23 July to December 2018. 

    Latest Information 6 June 2018

    As a result of the drop-in sessions that SGN have provided, we now have a better understanding of the proposed road closure for Grand Drive. 

    From 23 July 2018, Grand Drive will be closed to northbound traffic from the Beverley Roundabout all the way to the junction with Bushey Road. This closure will run for 20 weeks. 

    However, southbound traffic from the junction with Bushey Road to the Beverley Roundabout, will continue to be able to use Grand Drive. 

    Access to local streets 

    All the side turnings along Grand Drive will continue to be open but traffic entering Grand Drive from the side streets will have to turn south. Similarly, access into the side streets from Grand Drive will only be possible for southbound traffic. 

    Diverted Traffic 

    A diversion for local traffic wanting to travel north along Grand Drive from the Beverley roundabout to Bushey Road will be signposted, via Hillcross Avenue, Martin Way and Bushey Road. Traffic from further south will be diverted along the A24 (London Road), via Morden and then Martin Way. (See Drawing 1086.05-1A, below).