Local developments

Bushey Road - Proposed 30 mph

We have been notified that the council intends to change the Bushey Road speed limit (from the Martin Way intersection to the Grand Drive traffic lights) to 30mph. The limit was originally 40mph and this was considered too high. Despite a 2019 proposal to reduce it to 30mph, the limit was lowered to 20mph. 

However, having consulted residents and other organisations – with the statutory consultation period due to end on 5th August - the council intends to impose a 30mph limit on the stretch, as there are no residential houses lining the road and it will join the rest of the  Bushey Road in having a 30mph limit. 

There are crossings at either end of the stretch, and some residents in the Apostles area would like to see a further crossing installed midway. Safety issues are paramount, and the council has no intention of altering any other 20mph limits. 

Michael Marks

Bellway application to Build on LESSA Sportsground

The application by Bellway Homes to build 107 units of accommodation, including flats, on the former LESSA sports ground in Meadowview Road, off Grand Drive, was refused by the Planning Committee on 16th June.

Previously ...

Astonishingly, in view of the history of the ground, and all the representations made, the Council’s website states that it will come before the Committee with a recommendation from the Planning Officers that the scheme be approved.

The vast majority of local residents have been incensed by this application, and will wish to attend the Committee in order to demonstrate to the Committee the need to refuse the application, despite the recommendation.  When the Redrow application to build 456 flats near Tesco’s came before the Committee with a similar recommendation for development, the Committee then was persuaded by the arguments and refused that application.

We have set out the reasons why this application ought to be refused at length before in The Guide, and in previous leaflets to concerned householders.  In brief Bellway bought the sports ground, and were permitted to build the 44 houses and flats which now make up Meadowview Road, on the clear understanding that the rest of the ground would be used for junior sports. That was in 2009/10. The residents in Meadowview Road bought their properties on this basis.

Since then, Bellway has cynically refused to entertain any idea of allowing sporting use of the ground, simply fencing it off, and awaiting its opportunity to make more profit from its purchase.

Merton’s local plan for the site states that: “Sporting or community use of the whole site will have to be demonstrated as undeliverable before any other uses can be considered.”   There is a joint proposal by two local cricket clubs, and a junior school, which are very keen to use the whole ground for sports.  This proposal is fully funded, but has been dismissed out of hand by Bellway.

Sport England in its comments on 11.3.22 objected to the application in strong terms. It also stated that should the Council be minded to grant planning permission for the development, it had to be referred to the Secretary of State. The England and Wales Cricket Board, and the Rugby Football Union are similarly opposed.

The comments of Sport England can be read on the Council’s Planning Explorer, under reference number 21/P4063. This also contains the detailed objection to the application put in by our Residents’ Association. Unfortunately, the very many individual letters of objection cannot be viewed on line. Although we have repeatedly asked the Council to arrange for this.

It is not clear at the moment on what grounds the Planning Officers are recommending approval, given the huge weight of arguments for refusal.  When we know this better, which is not likely to be until just before the date of the meeting, we shall, of course, attempt to let local people know. 

John Elvidge

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

SW1P 4DR

New Application 21/P4063 for 107 Dwellings at Meadowview Road

Update 12 February 2022

Bellway Homes has submitted a new planning application for the sports field at Meadowview Road:

Application 21/P4063 is now on Merton's Planning Explorer, along with all the supporting documents. The application is for:

Redevelopment of part of former LESSA sports ground, involving the erection of 107 dwellings, including affordable housing, associated landscaping, equipped children’s play area, multi-use games area, outdoor gym area and associated infrastructure, including flood mitigation, vehicular access and parking, plus the erection of 2 all-weather tennis courts with floodlighting, storage compound and parking.”

For more details, search for 21/P4063 at:

https://planning.merton.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorerAA/GeneralSearch.aspx

Input the Application Number: 21/P4063 in the top box and then click "Search" at the bottom of the page.

Then on the next page, click on the Application Number link 21/P4063 on the left

Then on the next page click "View Related Documents".

Comments, objections etc should be submitted to LBM Planning Dept. For your objection to be validate, you must state your name and address.

Please send your comments in writing to:

LBM Planning Department, Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the application number,21/P4063, for the attention  the Case Officer, Tim Lipscomb and stating your name and address. The official closing date is now 16 February 2022.

Request from Michael Marks: please send a copy of your comments or objections to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or marked for his attention care of: The Residents’ Pavilion, 129 Grand Drive, SW20 9LY as it is helpful to have this information.

A big “thank you” to all our members and fellow residents who have submitted objections so far, especially those who have copied us in at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  .

You can read the Association’s own submission here.

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: 

https://www.merton.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning/local-plan/newlocalplan 

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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