Local developments

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

 

Heathrow Third Runway - March 2018

Heathrow Airport Third Runway - Public Consultation 

There has been a Heathrow Extension road-show travelling around London and the home counties, promoting the recent public consultation. There have been two concurrent consultations, both triggered by the planned third runway, “Airport Expansion” and “Airspace Principles”. Whilst our members are likely to hold a range of opinions about the third runway and its impacts, this article is limited to considering whether any potential changes to the existing flight paths, in and out of Heathrow may affect Raynes Park. Hence, the following focuses on the information concerning the Airspace Principles consultation. 

Much information is available at https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/ . The consultation closed on 28 March 2018. 

The public opinions being sought are to do with establishing airspace design principles. For example, 

  • ·         How take-off routes might be modified (e.g. over green space or urban areas)
  • ·         Options for the resulting noise impact being spread or concentrated.
  • ·         The effect alternative routes might have on emissions
  • ·         Making use of new aircraft and traffic control technology
  • ·         Night flights

Because these are “design principles” rather than “design development”, it seems premature at this stage to expect information to be available about how flight paths might be affected  by the third runway. 

However, the information states that Heathrow Air Traffic Control takes over from NATS (formerly National Air Traffic Services) at 11,000 ft. So Heathrow is responsible for take-offs and landings and NATS for the incoming “stacks”. 

There is information available on the Heathrow website on existing flight paths. This is summarised below, together with conclusions on the how third runway might affect Raynes Park. 

Arrivals stacks.

         There are four arrivals stacks which are the responsibility of NATS, two to the north of London and two to the south.  These have remained in the same locations since they were first started in the 1960’s. Although Heathrow controls the arrivals routes from the bottom of each stack, the landing routes into Heathrow are therefore determined by the location of the NATS stacks. 

          RPWBRA members have probably observed planes travelling in a northerly direction to the east of Raynes Park, before turning for their final approach to Heathrow. This is because Raynes Park is located just to the west of the point where the landing routes converge from the bottoms of the two southern stacks, located over Ockham and Biggin. 

Westwards take-off routes.

          The take-off corridors towards the west from Heathrow do not affect Raynes Park. 

Eastwards take-off routes.

          Raynes Park is on the southern edge of the eastward take-off corridor for planes heading towards destinations to the southeast. Wimbledon Village and Wimbledon Common are thus closer to this route than Raynes Park. 

          Heathrow publishes a calendar of when the Eastwards and Westwards corridors are scheduled to be used. 

Conclusions

With the advent of the third runway, the impact of aircraft noise on Raynes Park might not change significantly, unless either: 

·           The locations of the NATS stacks were to be altered in some way. (However, this is not the subject of the current consultation), or 

·           The Southeast take-off corridor was to be altered significantly. 

Jerry Cuthbert  19/03/2018

 

Merton's New Local Plan

Have Your Say (until 8th January 2018) 

Merton ise starting to ask for everybody’s views on Merton’s borough-wide Local Plan. If you are interested, please follow the link below to some short questionnaires:

 www.merton.gov.uk/newlocalplan 

This is the very first stage of a new Local Plan that by 2019 will replace Merton’s Core Planning Strategy and the Sites and Policies Plan. It will not replace Merton’s Estates Local Plan. 

Call for policy ideas and sites for allocation 

At this first stage, Merton is looking for people’s ideas that may help shape future planning policies. The London Borough of Merton would also like to hear from you if you know of any potential development sites for allocation:

 www.merton.gov.uk/newlocalplan 

Merton’s Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy 

Merton is also asking residents and others to submit projects for the neighbourhood proportion (15%) of the Community Infrastructure Levy. The questionnaire is available via the same link.

www.merton.gov.uk/newlocalplan  

The Council saya it is happy to receive responses via email or letter to this email address or the postal address below. However, if you would like to respond by email or letter for the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy fund, please take a look at the questionnaire (either within the survey or in the MS Word document uploaded on the same page of the website) as it sets out the council’s criteria for considering projects. 

Also, don’t hesitate to contact the Future Merton Team, at Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden SM4 5DX; Tel: 020 8545 3837; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,if you have any comments or questions.

 

Raynes Park Ehancements

The Raynes Park Association, of which our Residents' Association is a member, has launched a campaign to sort out the southern entrance to the "Scew Arch", which is currently a scruffy hodge podge of weed infested planters, rubbish bins, stumps of old street lamps and general urban detritus. Here's some idea of what it could be like.

rp - south

  Before                                                                              After 

Merton's Builders' Code of Practice

code002

 

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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