Local developments

22/P3021 82-86 Bushey Road

The RPWBRA is not opposed to this development but feel that there are ways in which it could be substantially improved.  

At the open meeting, residents raised several issues with us:

i) It was felt that it would be good to have some residential development on the site.  This would be best placed at the rear, facing onto Bodnant Gardens.  

ii) Several people felt that the proposal would result in increased congestion on Bushey Road (A298), possibly with tailbacks onto the A3.  

iii) Residents in Bodnant Gardens will be facing large grey monolithic walls so we  have suggested that they could have varied textures, colours or have green walls.  

The RPWBRA's Letter to the Merton Planning Officer may be read here.

Meadowview Road - Complaint to LBM


Members and visitors to this website are probably aware that the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities  was considering whether to refer the planning application submitted by Bellway, to build 107 homes on the "LESSA" sports field, to the Planning Inspectorate. This application (22/P2351) was approved by the Merton Planning Committee in September 2022.

We regret to report that the Secretary of State has declined to refer the application to the Planning Inspectorate and, consequently, last year's approval by Merton's Planning Committee now stands.

The RPWBRA had previously indicated that it wished to complain to Merton about the process leading up to Merton's decision. However, Merton wished to defer reviewing our association's complaint until after the Secretary of State's decision. As that time has now come, the RPWBRA has now submitted the complaint, which may be read here.


208-212 Burlington Road, 22/P3479

January 2023   There is a new planning application, 22/P3479, that has been submitted to build a block of flats on the site of the car service and repair premises in Burlington Road, near Shannon Corner. It is very similar to the previous application made in 2020, albeit this time for 6 storeys high, rather than the previous seven. Our Association has submitted an objection, as follows:

Application reference number: 22/P3479

My name: Jerry Cuthbert on behalf of the Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents’ Association (RPWBRA)

RPWBRA address:  Residents’ Pavilion, 129 Grand Drive, SW20 9LY

Planning application description: 208 - 212 Burlington Road New Malden KT3 4NP

Demolition of existing buildings and construction of part four and part six storey building to create 16 new homes with ground floor commercial unit (use class e), together with parking, refuse storage, landscaping and associated works.

Our comments:

On behalf of the Committee of Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents Association (RPWBRA), I submit this OBJECTION to the above Planning application. 


At present, the Application Site is an Auto Repair and MOT facility, set back from the Burlington Road frontage. All the buildings on site would be demolished. 

The basic scheme is to construct a block of flats, stepping from four up to six storeys in height, with a commercial unit, together with interior car parking and other utility spaces at ground floor level.  The location is described by Merton Council as a “scattered employment site” and is mainly a mix of light industrial and some retail use. Whatever the need for more homes, the application site is not one which could be deemed desirable for residential development. 

The southern end of Burlington Road is NOT a normal residential area. A new six story building would hardly fit the local scene which is mainly of 2 or 3 storeys. The location is well known to have very poor air quality, with heavy traffic crawling along, often queuing all the way to the level crossing at West Barnes Lane. Also, the site is in a Flood Zone and Shannon Corner nearby suffers from flash flooding. 

The location is not well served by public transport and the two railway stations are well beyond convenient walking distance. 

The area is supposed to be an employment location. Whilst the applicant has incorporated commercial space at ground floor level, it is not clear what this might be. We observe that, with the decline of the high street, there are many similar spaces in the Merton that are unoccupied. It is highly likely therefore that current employment numbers would be retained. 

Additionally, there is a large electricity Sub Station next-door and the A3, with its noise and air pollution is close by. 

Taking into consideration all the above we object to the proposals based on conflict with the relevant Planning Guidance as quoted.

Merton Sites and Policies Plan, July 2014 (SPP) and

Merton LDF Core Planning Strategy July 2011 (CPS) 


The building would fail to relate positively and appropriately to the scale, density, proportions and height to development in the nearby area and would fail to protect nearby resident (in particular, in Barnard Gardens) from visual intrusion in conflict with Policies DM D 1 and DM D 2

SPP and Policy 14 CPS. 

This is illustrated in the Applicant’s Design and Access Statement, on pages 50 and 51. 

Additionally, some nearby buildings will suffer significant loss of daylight. In particular, the Applicant’s Daylight Report shows that 214 Burlington Road would suffer average loss of 22% in Vertical Sky Component (VSC) and, similarly, 32 Barnard Gardens a 10% loss. (Applicant’s Daylight Report, page 16) 


The application site is within the fluvial flood zone and therefore at risk of flooding. The whole of the area around Shannon Corner is one of the lowest points of West Barnes Ward in terms of height above sea level. Shannon Corner suffered flash flooding as recently as 25 July 2021. 

As a scheme for residential use, under the Planning Guidance regulations, there is a requirement for the applicant to apply a Sequential Test (to find an alternative site NOT in a flood zone) There is no evidence of this having been done. 

We submit that the site is clearly unsuitable for housing development and, consequently, is in conflict with Policy CS 16 CPS and Policy DM F   SPP. 


In terms of land use designation, the site is classified as a Scattered Employment Location.  The applicant has suggested that the ground floor of the block would be a commercial unit. However, there is no evidence of what type of shop this would be or whether (as seems very probable) employment numbers would be protected let alone increased. 

We submit that the proposal  would conflict with Policy DM E 3 SPP.  


The site is not well served by the local bus network and is beyond reasonable walking distance of both Raynes Park and Motspur Park Railway Stations. In consequence the site is deemed as having a low Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) rating of between 2 and 3, on a scale from 1 the poorest to 6 b at the best. 

We submit that the scheme would be in conflict with Policy DM D 2 SPP. 


The London Borough of Merton has declared a climate change emergency and has published its Climate Strategy and Action Plan. It is therefore very disappointing to note that the applicant is unable to come up with a carbon neutral design. We note that the applicant proposes 30-year carbon emissions totalling 342 tonnes of CO2. This it seeks to offset by means of a £35,302 payment, in recognition of its failure to achieve a carbon neutral design. 


In the light of earlier applications in the area it has been clearly established that the application site has very poor air quality. This arises from the heavy traffic on the A3, around Shannon Corner and along Burlington Road. We submit that this is not a suitable location for families to live and the proposals conflict with the broad aims of Policy DM D 2 of the Sites and Policies Plan. 


This policy states that “All development s need to be designed in order to respect, reinforce and enhance the local character of  the area in which it is located. 

We submit this application fails this test. 

On behalf of the RP&WBRA for all the reasons outlined above I urge the Planning Applications Committee to REFUSE this application. 

Jerry Cuthbert, Committee Member,

On behalf of Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents’ Association



Step Free Access - Raynes Park Stn?

Report by Michael Marks (August 2022)


A bid is being made to Network Rail and South Western Railway to secure step free access to platforms 3 & 4 at Raynes Park Station. 


Due to the layout of the existing platforms, it is not easy to have a lift in the south entrance to the station up to the platforms. It is proposed to have a level access down the right of the existing ramp past the gate and have a lift which will have a stop on platform 2 and continue up to a new walkway over the railway and a lift down into the waiting room on platforms 3 & 4. 


This idea is a bit cumbersome but for financial and logistical reasons it is the best solution. In common with the other local residents’ associations, we will be supporting this proposition. We will not hear if it is approved until Spring 2023 and it will not be built until 2029. 


Over the years, many residents have contacted us about the difficult situation at Raynes Park and whilst we were delighted to hear that Motspur Park station had been included in the latest plans for improvement, we have shared these concerns about the steep ramps to platforms 1 & 2,  the dangerous gaps between the trains and platforms at certain points, and the “stairs only“ access to platforms 3 & 4.


Residents, send your views to: 

Railways For All Team,

Department for Transport

Great Minster House

33 Horseferry Road


Design Panel Reviews LESSA Proposals


20/P3237 Bellway's Application for Former LESSA Sports Ground in Meadowview Road 


At short notice, our committee members, Clare Townsend and Michael Marks, managed to connect to Merton's Design Review Panel’s Zoom meeting, which included a section on Bellway's planning application for the Land at Meadowview Road (Former LESSA Sports Ground). 


This was a meeting to discuss the design and layout of the buildings prior to the planning application being considered by the LBM Planning Committee. The developer’s architect put forward his latest version, which was for over 100 units, an increase on the original plan, as Merton Council said that the space should be more intensely filled. 


The outcome from the Review Panel was a clear “NO”. They wanted a better design and layout of buildings, more communal areas, equal access to open spaces and a single road with less parking. 


There was also some concern that the affordable section was of a gloomy design, out of kilter with the other dwellings. The architect will redesign the plans for this site and represent them. 


An important fact was made clear by David Patterson – the land is clay so water will not soak away, so all plans for flood water must be of storage and positive discharge. 


So, is it back to the drawing board for Bellway?



Merton's Draft Local Plan

In July 2021, the London Borough of Merton published its Draft Local Plan (DLP) for review and comment by the public. The various chapters and appendices of Merton’s DLP can be read or downloaded from Merton’s website at: 


Once adopted, the Local Plan will form the basis upon which future planning applications will be judged by Merton’s Planning Committee and Department. 

The RPWBRA committee therefore made its own submission to Merton, comprising various comments, observations and recommendations. 

A significant part of our area lies in a flood plain, as borne out by the flash flooding during the several heavy rain storms we’ve experience in the last two years, most recently in July 2021.

In our comments to Merton we therefore stressed  that we expect Merton’s Local Plan to robustly promote and defend the following urban planning principles: 

  • Preservation of green spaces,
  • Use of sustainable urban drainage,
  • Proper maintenance of existing drainage, water courses and infrastructure,
  •  Preventing the loss of porous ground surfaces caused by all forms of development, across the complete spectrum, from minor private works to major developments.
  • Control of storm water run-off,
  • Protection of the natural environment,
  • Encouraging the planting of trees and vegetation,
  • The drive to Net-Zero Carbon. 

Once Merton has finished preparing and consulting on a local plan, it must be submitted to the Secretary of State who will appoint a Planning Inspector to carry out an independent examination. 

The Inspector will consider the evidence provided by Merton to support the plan and any representations which have been put forward by local people and other interested parties. Usually, the examination will include hearing sessions which are held in public. 

At the end of the examination the Inspector will send a report to Merton recommending whether or not they can adopt the plan. In most cases the report will recommend some changes that are necessary to allow the plan to be adopted.. 

This whole process is expected to be completed by Spring 2020.

This Association's submission may be read here


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