Local developments

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

 

21/P2668 - Proposals for 38 Crossway

Update September 2021

This proposed development is now the subject of Planning Application 21/P2668.

Two residents have submitted comments on the application and copied them to our Association, as follows: 

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,

 

Previously ...

On 9 July 2021, we received the following email and attachment from the planning consultant working on the proposals for 38 Crossway.

 

 The planning application will be submitted on Monday. I’ve attached the site layout plan showing 7 residential houses which would be three storeys in height, with the top storey being within a pitched roof.

 

I’m under no illusions that everyone who raised objections will consider that this addresses every one of their concerns. However, we consider this a good proposal at the Site, and it is reduced in extent from what was previously shown to neighbours.

Regards

Chris Heather, Senior Consultant, Axis

 

Bellway's Plans to build houses on Meadowview Sports Ground

Updated 5 March 2021

Planning Application 20/P3237 to build 89 homes on the former LESSA Sports Ground in Meadowview Road.

The application was formally registered 16th November 2020. Before the 9th December 2020 deadline, our Residents Association, together with 203 residents filed 200 objections to the Planning Department; only 3 representations were in favour.  The Residents’ Association explained why the field should be kept for sport; 83% of residents agreed.  The other main concerns are increased traffic congestion (74%) and flooding (72%). 

Both the Environment Agency and the borough’s Flood Risk Officer have objected because of flooding concerns, although Thames Water has not. 

As well as objections to the development, there have also been several clubs showing interest in using the field for its original sporting purpose. Bellway Homes have not made it easy for clubs to rent this land and it has only been the planning application which has drawn attention to the site.

We are now awaiting a Planning Application Committee date to see if permission will be refused or granted. 

As an association, we are continuing to press for all the relevant and latest information concerning this major planning proposal which will affect so many residents. We will update you via our website and the Nextdoor app.   Michael Marks

Previously on 23 February 2021 - Sport England decides to Object to Bellway's Planning Application

This Association has now received a copy of an email from Sport England sent to Merton's Planning Dept, setting out its reasons for making a formal objection to this planning application (ref: 20/P3237). We sincerely hope this is this first step towards securing a new future for this playing field. Sport England's email may be read by clicking on this link  Email from Sport England to Merton 20/P3237

Previously on 12 February 2021 - Application 20/P3237 - Sport England

Bellway has now submitted its planning application, Ref 20/P3237, which can be seen on Merton's Planning Explorer.

We have been very concerned recently because Merton Council has stopped publishing on its Planning Explorer most letters of objection to applications submitted by members of the public. However, we have now obtained copies of all the objections (formally called "Representations").

Our new committee member, Mary-Jane Jeanes, has been reading them all and discovered that Sport England, a statutory consultee for this application, had raised no objection to the loss of this sports field. 

We  therefore wrote to Sport England reminding them of all the details. Our letter may be read here. We urged Sport England to reconsider its position. As reported above, Sport England has now submitted a formal objection to this planning application. 

 

Previously: November 2020

Both our Chairman, John Elvidge, and Vice-Chairman, David Freeman have submitted letters of objection, which may be read by following these links:

Chairman's Objection to Bellway's Application 20/P3237

Vice-Chairman's Objection to Bellway's Application 20/P3237

Our MP, Stephen Hammond has also submitted an objection.

 

We urge our members to also submit objections to Merton's Planning Department, which can be done by email. The deadline is 9 December 2020

 

 

Previously ...( 24 August 2020)

We have just learned that Bellway Homes have indicated that they intend to deliver a letter to local residents on Tuesday 25th August setting out their intention to build some 90 units of accommodation on the Sports Ground in Meadowview Road, Grand Drive (Formerly the "LESSA" Sports Ground).

More details of Bellway's plans can be seen here and here . 

Nowhere in their letter do they explain that they have owned this land since 2010, having bought it following a public inquiry, in which the Planning Inspector held that there should be permission only to build the 44 homes now on the site, and on the clear basis that the rest of the land should be retained for sporting use. Five tennis courts were also provided for the Raynes Park Tennis Club.

Nowhere in the letter do Bellway set out the Council’s planning policy for the site. The proposed policy is that “Sporting or community use of the whole site will have to be demonstrated as undeliverable before any other use can be considered”.  It is designated as Open Space. It is officially noted that “the site may have opportunities for whole site sports use. Use of the site for sports use or other uses compatible with the designated open space should be actively demonstrated prior to any alternatives being taken forward”.  

The decision letter from the Inspectorate approved the continued use of the sports field for football and rugby. The decision also makes reference to the laying out of pitches and a pavilion. The Inspector appears to have swayed by a proposal by King’s College School that they wished to use the sports field for its junior pupils.  In the event, KCS did not take up this option.

However, the decision stated that, in that case, the ground had to be made available to any other School or a Sports Club. The Residents’ Association suggested to Bellway on a number of occasions another junior school which would be interested in taking up a lease, as well as a sports club, but nothing resulted from our approaches. 

So far as we are aware, they have not attempted in any way in the past ten years to bring the ground to the attention of other schools or sports clubs.  They ought to demonstrate this very clearly before planning permission for housing should even be considered.

We would normally have called a public meeting to discuss these proposals, but, sadly, Covid 19 prevents this.

We hope that if residents are contacted by Bellway, they will say to them firmly that the site should be used for sports, and particularly for junior sports.  It is so important that this message gets through to Merton’s planners now. 

If a planning application is made, then we would urge individual residents to oppose it in the strongest terms, and hold Bellway to the conditions on which they bought the land.

And, if anyone reading this knows of a School or sporting club which needs a good sports ground of 2.8 hectares, do, please, get in touch with us urgently at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

John Elvidge, Chairman, 24th August 2020

Wyke Road, Application 20/P0945

 

 

Residents and members may already be aware that planning approval has recently been granted for two blocks of flats on the narrow strip of land next to the railway embankment, in Wyke Road, opposite Langham Court. This is despite the fact that this area of Wyke Road has designation as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).

However, Network Rail has a general covenant over all land within 1.5m of the boundary with its railway land. This prevents buildings being erected in this strip and gives Network Rail rights of access over it. 

There is concern locally that the footprint of the proposed buildings in Wyke Road would breach this covenant. Following some correspondence between various parties concerned over this potential breach, James Sachon of Network Rail emailed Stephen Hammond MP and Councillor Adam Bush, as follows:

 

Date:      9 February 2021

Subject: Re: Wyke Road Planning Application 20/P0945             

Further to my email on Monday, I wanted to provide you with an update on our position. 

We have today written to the developer to formally refuse their request to amend or release the restrictive covenants. If the developer chooses to build to the existing planning permission, then it will be in breach of the restrictive covenant and they will be exposed to legal remedies. 

We are still happy to have a meeting tomorrow if you feel appropriate, but our position on this remains very clear that we will not allow the developer to amend the restrictive covenants which the current planning permission breaches. 

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Kind regards, 

James

Tesco/Redrow Appeal Upheld - 29 June 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update August 2021 - Planning Permission Granted

 

Redrow Wins Its Planning Appeal for 456 Flats in Tesco’s Car Park 

It is with much disappointment that, on the 29 June, we received the decision from the Planning Inspectorate. The Inspectorate has decided in favour of Redrow’s Planning Appeal. 

This decision reverses Merton’s original Planning Committee decision to refuse planning and now means that Redrow has been granted planning permission to build 456 flats in Tesco’s carpark, in blocks up to 15 storeys high. 

We understand that Redrow does not intend to carry out the development itself but plans to sell the site on to another party but, of course the planning permission, which has now been granted, will pass on to the new owner. 

The London Borough of Merton, our Association and many local people and organisations went to a huge effort to prevent this development going ahead but sadly we’ll all now have to live with the adverse consequences for our community.

We would like to thank the 500+ local people who submitted letters of objection and especially Councillors Eloise Bailey and Hina Bokhari, the directors of Champion’s Timber, Andrew Hogarth who is the Deputy Head of Raynes Park High School and local residents, Nick West and Matt Wingrove, all of whom went the extra mile by speaking at the public inquiry.

 

The Planning Inspector's decision may be read here. 

Previously in January 2021

The online public inquiry was concluded on Wednesday, 13th January. Members will probably be aware that Redrow launched an appeal against Merton’s decision to refuse planning permission for its proposed development in Tesco’s car park to build 456 flats in towers up to 15 storeys high. 

Our Association was a “Rule 6 Party” at the inquiry, which meant our team was present throughout and able to participate in the proceedings.The public inquiry was organised by the Planning Inspectorate and took place online, running for a total of 11 days, starting on 8 December 2020 and concluding on 13 January 2021, with a break over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. 

John Elvidge, our Chairman, took on the role as our advocate, putting his legal experience to good use, with Jerry Cuthbert looking after all the day-to-day administration and documentation that being a Rule 6 Party entails. They were ably supported by David Freeman who has a wealth of experience in planning matters. The Planning Inspector has yet to make her site visit, write her report and make her decision; so it’s still a case of “watch this space”. 

It’s been a very intense experience for those involved and has consumed large amounts of their time. Fortunately, as we’ve been through several periods of lockdown since the appeal started, our team has had the free time available! 

Throughout the planning process for this development, your Association has worked hard in representing the views of its members and giving its support to local residents, schools and businesses in our joint endeavours to achieve what is best for our community. 

During the inquiry we have reminded the Inspector that we’re not against new homes being built in Tesco’s car park but that any development should be architecturally integrated with the local townscape, contribute positively to the public realm and should include public facilities, such as a health centre, for example. Let us hope for a positive outcome from the inquiry and that the appeal is refused.

The sessions were live streamed on YouTube and recorded by the Planning Inspectorate.

All the inquiry documents are available on Merton's website at https://www.merton.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning/planning-permission/burlington-road-public-inquiry

As our Association is a "Rule 6" party to the inquiry, you may read our Proof of Evidence here .

 

Daily Reports on the Inquiry (8 December 2020 - 13 January 2021)

On the first day (8 December 2020), we had the opening statements from representatives for Redrow and London Borough of Merton, with John Elvidge speaking for our Association.  Also Councillor Hina Bokhari, Steve Lister (Champion’s Chairman), Andrew Hogarth (Deputy-Head RPHS), Matt Wingrove (resident) and Nick West (resident) all spoke eloquently urging refusal.

On Day 2 (9 December 2020), we heard the highways evidence submitted by Merton’s expert witness. This centred around an assessment of the degree to which the site is served by public transport, the accessibility of Motspur Park Station, whether 220 car parking spaces would be adequate for 456 flats and the possibility of increased street parking in the vicinity.

Day 3 (10 December 2020). Today, we heard further from Redrow's expert witness on transport. Much of his evidence today concerned his methodology for predicting the likely level of car ownership within the proposed development. Our members are obviously concerned over the possibility of overspill car parking into the residential streets of West Barnes. If this did happen, the solution being mooted would be the imposition of a new CPZ on residents in West Barnes.

So there is the possibility that residents near to the Tesco site might have to bear all the costs and inconvenience of a CPZ in their streets, so that Redrow only have to provide 48% parking capacity per dwelling for the new residents.

Day 4 (11 December 2020). The first session was to allow third parties to raise any matters that might be added to the Planning Conditions. These Conditions are to be agreed in principle between Merton and LBM in advance, on the basis that, IF the appeal were to be granted, they would be already agreed.

After this, our chairman, John Elvidge, then cross-examined Redrow's expert transport witness about the evidence he gave the day before.

In the afternoon, we started the "Character and Appearance" debate, with LBM's expert witness presenting his evidence.

Later, the Inspector chaired the concluding discussion on Conditions and the S106 Agreement.

Day 5 (15 December 2020) Today, Merton's expert witness for urban design and townscape matters, explained the reasons behind the Planning Committee's reasons for refusal. He was then cross-examined by Redrow's counsel. Later in the day, Redrow's expert witness presented the reasons why Redrow is appealing against Merton's refusal on these matters.

The balance between the pros and cons of Redrow's proposed architectural and urban designs and their impact on Merton's townscape and the local area are likely to be a key issues in the Inspector making her decision. 

Day 6 (16 December). The day started with Redrow's expert witness being cross-examination by Merton's advocate. Despite Merton's policy paper that says that tall buildings are "Inappropriate" at this location, much of the debate centred around whether breaching this policy is justified in order to meet housing need. There were also questions raised over the quality of the architectural design, including the criticisms raised by Merton's Design Review Panel at the pre-application stage.

In the afternoon, the witness was further cross-examined by John Elvidge, particularly about why the Design Review Panel had not been asked to reconsider Redrow's revised design, after its first "Red" assessment.

Day 7 (17 December) started with Redrow's expert witness completing his evidence. This was followed by a round-table discussion on flooding and carbon footprint. Both these concerns had been specifically raised by the Association. The rest of the day was taken up with Merton's expert witness explaining how the council developed its housing policy and planning within the framework of national and London policies and guidance.

Day 8 (18 December). The debate over the planning of homes in the borough, continued with Redrow's expert witness. The question of how Merton's plans and targets mesh in with those set for it by the GLA was considered in detail. He reviewed the timings of when various GLA plans are revised, updated, approved and reissued and considered how and when Merton's own planning should be updated to incorporate the changes that GLA's revisions cause.

Day 9 (11 January 2021). The Inquiry recommenced, after the break over the holiday period, with a review of the evidence of Merton's plan for the delivery of new homes for the next 10 years or so. The GLA's target for Merton has been to deliver 411 new homes each year. However, this is expected to be raised to a new average of 918 new homes each year, as and when the new London Plan is formally issued in 2021. Currently this revised plan is expected to be approved by the government in the next few months. Accordingly, Merton will need to ramp up its delivery at some point. The day's arguments centred around the reviewing the future "pipeline" of forthcoming developments, in order to gauge the effectiveness of Merton's plans to continue to provide new homes in the borough to meet GLA targets. It seems that whether or not Merton is deemed to have a robust plan for the future provision of new homes is likely to be an important aspect in the outcome of this inquiry.

Day 10 (12 January 2021). The day commenced with a round table discussion on when and how Merton will develop a revised plan to increase the supply of new homes, to meet the new GLA targets when they are approved and finalised. Merton's revised plan will need to mesh in with the GLA's new targets. The legal positions on whether all these various plans may be considered as still valid or "out of date" seem to be contested matters. At the moment, the GLA targets are in transition, as the new targets are not yet official but nevertheless anticipated soon. This is all to be judged with reference to the guidance set out in the National Planning Policy Framework

Later, the expert witnesses on town planning matters for Redrow and Merton presented their evidence and were cross-examined by the parties' advocates, including John Elvidge representing our Association. The appearance, height and massing of the proposed development were reviewed, including the concerns expressed by local people.

Day 11 (13 January 2021) This was the last day of the inquiry, with the advocates presenting their final submissions:

  • John Elvidge, our Chairman for RPWBRA. His Closing Submission may be read here.
  • Annabel Graham Paul, representing the London Borough of Merton
  • Paul Tucker QC and Constanze Bell, representing Redrow (the Appellant)

The Planning Inspector has yet to make her site inspection and, of course, prepare her conclusions and decision.

We do not yet know when this will all be concluded.

 

Previously on 7 November ...

We have now been advised by the Planning Inspectorate that the public inquiry for Redrow’s appeal against refusal of its planning application (Original Ref: 19/P2387) to build 456 flats in tower blocks up to 15 storeys high in Tesco’s car park at 265 Burlington Road will be a “virtual” inquiry to be held on-line. It is planned to start on, Tuesday, 8 December 2020 and take between 4 and 6 working days. 

If you were one of the 500+ people and organisations that made written representations to Merton Council at the time of the original planning application, which was refused by Merton’s Planning Committee, back in February 2020, then your representations will have already copied by Merton and issued to the Inspector, who be making the final decision for the appeal inquiry. 

As our Association is a "Rule 6" party to the inquiry our Proof of Evidence is here .

 

Previous Articles about this site and the proposed development:

265 Burlington Rd - Date Set for Public Inquiry Sept 20

20/P1253 - 265 Burlington Road

19/P2387 - 265 Burlington Road April 2020

Tesco Site - 265 Burlington Road April 2020

Tesco Site Development - Public Meeting

 

 

208-212 Burlington Road (20/P1688) - Withdrawn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Update - 26 January 2021

We are pleased to report that this inappropriate application has been withdrawn. In mid-January 2021, we noticed that this application had mysteriously disappeared from Merton's online Planning Explorer. After making enquiries with the Planning Department, we have now been told that this application has been withdrawn. Why this application was removed from Planning Explorer rather than having its status recorded as "Withdrawn", we do not know.

Previously ...

A planning application (20/P1688) has been submitted to build a 7 storey block of flats at 208-212 Burlington Road. This location is currently occupied by Shannon Corner car service centre, opposite Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Local residents are rightly very concerned about the plans for this far too large and inappropriate development, The RPWBRA has submitted an objection to this planning application, which may be read here .

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