Chairman's Blog - June 2014


We will be having an Open Meeting in the West Barnes Library on 10th June starting at 7.30 pm. Everyone is very welcome to come, and raise any issues of concern to them. 

We have this meeting once a year nearer to Motspur Park. It helps, particularly, those members who find it difficult to get to our normal meeting place at the Residents’ Pavilion in Grand Drive. 

We hope that as many as possible of the newly elected (or re-elected) Councillors will be able to come, so that they can hear for themselves the issues that concern you, as local residents. Our area covers the West Barnes ward, and parts of the Raynes Park, Cannon Hill, and Lower Morden wards. (Click here for map).


We are told that this new free school intends to open its doors for 60 primary age pupils this September, using the former Trinitarian Bible Society buildings at the junction of Dorset Road and Morden Road, SW19. 

We think the time scale is ambitious, given the need for planning consent, but perhaps the Council will rush it through, given the urgent need for extra primary school places in this area. 

The siting of the school is a matter for the government agency to determine. It will be a disappointment to the many parents who wanted it closer to the areas of greatest need in Motspur Park, Raynes Park, and West Wimbledon. 

However, we are unclear as we go to press whether the proposed site is intended only as a temporary measure, or is to be its permanent home. 


The application by the All England Lawn Tennis Club to install all weather courts on these fields off Grand Drive has been rejected by the planning committee. The Club’s intention was to use the new courts, which included a covered dome on some of them, for their charitable tennis scheme for juniors in the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth. 

We had welcomed this scheme as a vast improvement on the previous schemes proposed for the grounds, which involved extensive housing, and which local residents and we had successfully opposed. 

The rejection was something of a surprise, and it may be connected to the recent amendment to the proposal to extend the “temporary” use of the domes from 5 years to 10. 

The AELTC may well appeal, given their urgent need to start on the 5 year programme to put a roof on No 1 court, as soon as the Championships end this July. Click here for more details.


We have put in the letters section the correspondence we have been having with the Council’s officers over the failure to proceed with the provision of a sports ground on the LESSA site, off Grand Drive This was a condition set by the planning inspector when he permitted the development of part of the site for housing. 

As you will see, we found the response of the officers, as well as that of the developers, Bellway, to be highly unsatisfactory.  We will continue to pursue this until the fields are used as intended for junior sport, whether in a school or a club, with public access. 


Our affiliated organisation, the Friends of Cannon Hill Common, has again organised and planted flower bulbs on the Common, together with the Council.  Residents will remember the wonderful display last year near Cannon Hill Lane. This year over 1600 bulbs have been planted, both near Cannon Hill Lane, and also fronting Parkway. 

They have also been planted on the site of the old pavilion, with the help of the 5th Morden cub scouts from St John Fisher Church. The scouts had asked for poppies to be included to pay tribute to all those involved in World War 1, which is a lovely idea. 

Anyone who walks on the Common should join the Friends. The annual fee is minimal. Details of how to join them can be obtained from the Secretary. Her details are given on the inside cover of The Guide. 

The Friends also organise walks led by experts to look at the trees on the Common and the bats that live there. There are also Open afternoons in the Nature Reserve.

John Elvidge 

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