Local developments

AELTC - Grand Drive - March 2024

Residents in the Grand Drive cottages continue to experience excessive inconvenience from extra traffic, parking, noise and intrusive lighting associated with the AELTC development. Mary-Jane Jeanes has been looking at the various plans and agreements and we are liaising with one of our members who lives on this stretch of Grand Drive.


More LESSA News - March 2024

Planning Conditions

We have been forwarded to following extract from an email to Cllr John Oliver, which he received from the LBM Planning Department, concerning the “LESSA” Site, Meadowview Road. 

“ ……. pre-commencement conditions remain outstanding, so at this point the development cannot lawfully commence. Critically, pre-commencement conditions requiring the submission of a Working Method Statement, Construction Logistics Plan & Demolition and Construction Environmental Management Plan have not yet been discharged (they have been submitted but changes to the documents are required following review by the Council’s Highway Officer). The list of actions included in the letter includes some substantial works which appear to be more than site preparation, such as road formation and retaining wall formation (and possibly other items on the list also). I have, today, asked the consultant dealing with the condition discharge applications to clarify why this letter has been sent, given that pre-commencement conditions remain outstanding. I have advised that no development pursuant to the implementation of the permission be commenced until the conditions are discharged. I have also asked whether any works have commenced, as today was the date that the letter states works will start. 

If it is identified that there is a breach of planning control, then the planning department can consider how to progress in terms of planning enforcement.”



On a separate matter, we are aware that some items of archaeological interest have been found during the preliminary dig on the LESSA site and that the findings have been sent to Bellway. Our Chairman, John Elvidge, is pursuing this matter.


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.


Housing and Planning Guidance

We draw attention to the speech by the Prime Minister on 6th March regarding the “housing crises” and the provision of “affordable “housing. The Government is concerned about both the shortage and cost of housing. It appears that developers are permitted to aim for a “suitable return “(i.e. profit) of 20% but often claim that they cannot achieve this AND at the same time deliver the proportion of social subsidised housing - either for sale or rent - which Councils want. 

The Government is suggesting that the ‘viability assessment ‘(through which developers can submit that they can only achieve a 20% profit on a scheme by reducing the proportion of social housing required by Councils) should be made public except in exceptional circumstances. Also, there is a proposal to urge developers to aim for a profit margin of about 6% when building social housing with the aim that this would guarantee an ‘end-sale ‘at a known value. It appears that the Government is keen to increase housing supply by encouraging developers to build more blocks of flats and convert and build on top of existing shops and offices provided that the final scheme is not higher than buildings in the immediate vicinity. In short, to build upwards. 

The ‘permitted development ‘provisions (which originated in 2013 and currently extend to 2019) may also be amended to permit ‘upwards ‘extensions provided the extension is “consistent with the prevailing height and form of neighbouring properties”. 

The Mayor of London (the Greater London Authority) is currently consulting on revisions to the London Plan (the GLA Planning Guidance document). One of the recommendations is that London Councils should seek an “affordable” housing contribution of at least 35% but for large schemes, e.g. on former industrial sites, they should aim for a 50% contribution. Such a high figure would probably meet with strong opposition by developers who would argue that they could not make a reasonable profit AND provide half the housing for ‘social’ needs. 

David Freeman - May 2018


Merton's Builders' Code of Practice



With all the building work taking place in the Borough, Members should be aware of the code of practice governing the control of noise and pollution that must be followed by builders and the action residents make take for their infringement. The Code of Practice may be downloaded here.


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