Local developments

Tesco Site - 265 Burlington Road

UPDATE JULY 2019 - The Planning Application for this development has now been submitted (19/P2387)

Anyone who wishes to raise objections or make comments (called "representations") to the Planning Authority about this proposed development, is advised to do so by the revised date of 30 August 2019. This can be done using Merton's Planning Portal at:

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

The application number is 19/P2387

For our members to have an idea how large this development will be when viewed from our local roads, we are preparing some images, which may be viewed on this link: Images for 19/P2387

The application details may be downloaded from the Planning Explorer website.

Please note that the deadline for comments from the public (called "representations") has been extended to 30 August 2019

However, even if you miss the 30 August deadline, please still make your submissions.

Due to the very tight timescale for representations, Councillor Eloise Bailey has sought some clarification about dates from the Planning Dept, with the following response;

 “Dear Councillor Bailey, 

 

Thank you for your email. The statutory time period for notification for a planning application is 21 days. Therefore, for this application the representation date is currently shown as 14th August 2019. To unilaterally alter this statutory period would be seen as unreasonable behaviour on behalf of the Local Planning Authority and would not be consistent with how planning applications are processed. 

That being said, whilst the formal representation period could not reasonably be altered, representations will continue to be taken into account until such time as the application is determined. Therefore, comments received after the 14th August [This has since been revised to 30 August - Ed] will still be considered, up until the point of the committee meeting, which is likely to be September or even October. 

In addition, I note that the newspaper advert for this application has not yet been published, it is due to be published today, which would mean that the representation date would need to be 16th august at the very earliest. [This has since been revised to 30 August - Ed]

I hope that provides some assurance that comments will be taken into account throughout the process. Merton has carried out a wide ranging consultation exercise on this application, well in excess of the statutory requirements (i.e. we have consulted a wide area around the site). 

In terms of a change of date on the website, I am not aware of this and I can’t think why it would have said 24thAugust, as that is well over 21 days away. I will ask the leader of the admin team, Matthew Davidson, if he can provide any insight into this matter. 

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss the matter further or any other aspect of the application.”

 

FURTHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Redevelopment of 265 Burlington Road and Tesco Extra car park  

In the October 2018, we set out the basic details of a proposed large residential development scheme on a part of the Tesco car park site alongside Burlington Road. This was based on information provided at a Consultation Exhibition on 18th September mounted by BECG (Built Environment Communications Group) who are acting as agents for the housebuilder Redrow Homes PLC. (Follow this link to see Redrow's summary of their proposals https://burlingtonroad.com/proposals/ ) 

BECG held a second consultation, again at the Holy Cross Church hall, Motspur Park, on 13th November last year but this time with slightly amended proposals.  

The Scheme 

As at early December 2018, the outline proposals envisage using the Eastern side of the Tesco car park (1.21 Hectares) which would be just under one quarter of the whole Tesco site area.  

We therefore anticipate that the Planning Application from Redrow, when submitted, will aim to provide 446 flats in seven blocks ranging from 14 storey on the side furthest from Burlington Road down to 7 storey on the side closer to Burlington Road.  

  • The units would be made up as follows:
  • 90 one bed flats (approx. 20% of the total);
  • 290 two bed flats (64 %); and 66 three bed flats (16 %)  

"Affordable " Housing  

Taken overall it is claimed that 35% of the flats would pass the test of being regarded as "affordable" i.e. they would be social or subsidised housing either for sale or rental at no more than 80% of the prevailing market-rate costs and prices.  

It is quite often the case that developers tend (for obvious reasons) to offer the cheaper (mainly one bed) units to meet the social proportion. Currently, we are not aware how this will work out in practice, but the Planning Application will probably clarify this point.  

Car Parking  

The proposals include up to 220 car parking spaces and the current thinking is that these would be at the base of the flats i.e. as an ' undercroft ' scheme. It is claimed that 575 car spaces will remain available for the Tesco store shoppers.  

Site Access  

One change to the original proposals is to provide up to 475 sq. meters. of commercial space at ground floor level in the blocks fronting Burlington Road.  What type of business would be housed in these units is not known at present, but presumably Tesco would NOT want any competition quite so near their store!  

Also, the earlier proposal was that the existing short access road leading from Burlington Road to the Tesco store would become THE vehicular access road for the residents of the new flats, but no longer for vehicle access to the Tesco store, although pedestrian access from Burlington Road was to be maintained.  

This idea appears to have changed so that vehicle access from Burlington Road would be available for BOTH the new residents and shoppers going to Tesco. In short for Tesco shoppers no change to the present (unofficial) arrangement. At first sight this strikes us as far from being an ideal arrangement, given the single proposed vehicle access, the volume of traffic in Burlington Road even now, and the proximity of the level crossing, Surely the congestion would become even worse? However, it is still ‘early days.  

High Rise Development  

Anybody familiar with this part of West Barnes will know that it is characterised by inter-war mostly two-storey suburban housing, apart from Raynes Park High School to the North. We leave you to contemplate what it would be like for those residents having to live in the shadow of blocks of flats up to 14-storeys in height.  

There is currently great concern about possible flats at this sort of height along Wimbledon Broadway; but is at least that area has a Town Centre designation. Tesco car park certainly has not!  

The Local Plan 

 Merton Council now has a New Local Plan out for consultation. This may be seen here.  At present, this document is only a draft, and it is hoped that this will replace two other Planning Guidance documents sometime during 2020. Within this bulky document are Site Proposals for many areas of the borough including several for Raynes Park.  

One of these is site RP3 (page 158) named as Burlington Road -Tesco. The map provided (which is intended to show the area potentially suitable for development) shows the ENTIRE Tesco site, store, car parking, petrol station, redundant offices in the NE corner: all 5.2 hectares of it.  However, the proposals from Redrow relate only to a quarter of the site alongside Burlington Road.  

On the face of it, there is an anomaly here. The Council preference appears to be redevelopment of the whole of the site. but the proposals from Redrow - so far – are for only a part of it.  

Greater London Authority - Office of the Mayor 

We should just mention that because of the large number of housing units involved, the Planning Application - when it is submitted - will have to be considered by the Mayor of London in the first instance. The Mayor and his planning staff have the option either to a) approve or refuse the application or b) leave the determination process entirely to Merton Council. This added layer can sometimes hold up the process of considering the application.  

The Local Press 

 It is possible - but not certain - that by early January a Planning Application will have been submitted. At that stage there is a strong chance Redrow will seek some publicity in the local press, quite apart from a notice in a local newspaper, under a heading, such as, “Merton Council Town and Country Planning Act.”  Once the application has been formally submitted to Merton’s Planners, the Association, and most importantly, individual members of the community can make their comments to the Planning Officers and Ward Councillors regarding these proposals.  

DAVID FREEMAN, December 2018

 

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