Local developments

Rainbow Ind Est - June 2018

Members may recall that a few years ago Workspace 12 Ltd. the owners of the greater part of the Rainbow site – which sits just to the south of Raynes Park Station – submitted two planning applications. 

The first of these 14/P4287 was for the demolition of the existing industrial buildings and the construction of more than 200 flats and 9 terraced houses.  

The other application, 14/P4288, was to provide a so-called ‘Kiss and Ride’ facility, incorporating a roundabout, near the entrance.   In simple words, this is an arrangement for cars to come off Approach Road and either drop off or collect people from the station.  It was never intended to provide actual parking spaces within the entrance, only a very short-term waiting bay. 

Given that Rainbow has been in industrial use for some decades, it is almost certain that there will be some – quite possibly quite a lot – of contamination in the soil.   Consequently, approval of the first application was accompanied by two important Conditions amongst quite a long list of others. 

These were, in short, to investigate the degree of contamination and submit an ‘action plan’ for dealing with this problem. 


I should explain that Conditions, which in the main are of two types, are normally attached to large applications in order either to take whatever action is required to bring the ‘application site’ up to a condition suitable for development (highly relevant in this case), or to ‘mitigate’ (reduce the severity) of the downside consequences of the new development.  For example, if a housing development resulted in the total loss of a piece of land (whether open space or whatever) which had been in regular use as a play area for local children, there would probably be a Condition which required the developer to provide a suitable replacement within the new housing scheme. 

Rolfe Judd, the Agent acting for Workspace has submitted an application 18/P0997 with a proposed ‘Outline Remediation Strategy’ for dealing with the contamination issue.  In the main, this appears to be reports prepared by two specialist companies (Cundalls and Entec UK Ltd.) in November 2016.  To be frank, this is hardly a leap forward to redevelopment of this site, but it is a start.   Merton Council’s Planning Department will consider whether they can ‘Discharge’ Conditions 13 and 14, meaning whether the requirements of the Condition have been adequately satisfied. 

David Freeman

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