Association News, May 2011



Members of the Committee were invited to the official opening of the new Waitrose store in Raynes Park, and taken on a tour of the building.   It is right to say that we were impressed, both by the design of the store, and by the range and quality of the provisions provided, including fresh fish and meat.   Everyone we have spoken to is delighted by the additional choice now available to local residents. The parking on the site has been leased to Merton Council, and has been fixed so as to deter commuter parking, since the fee rises very steeply after the first hour or so. This gives enough time to shop, and to get to the post office or other shops in the centre.

Even the design of the flats is striking, at least to my eye, but does not jar against the rest of the area.   The “townscape” is gradually being improved on the Coombe Lane side of the railway, with fresh pavement treatment, and the removal of advertisement hoardings.  It used to be dowdy in the extreme. The medical centre has been given permission, and the old Elf petrol site is being developed. 

By contrast the Grand Drive side still looks fairly neglected. It will continue to do so until a planning brief has been approved for the Rainbow Estate, and some provision made for dropping off and picking people up from the station. We understand that the Planning Department favours a continuation of light industrial and business use for that site, being the currently approved designation.  However, speaking personally, I do not believe that this would be sufficient to generate the transformation of the area, and more imaginative ideas are needed to link this extensive area of land to the rest of the town centre, and to bring it back into community use.



For the last few months, it has been impossible to get around the area owing to the extensive number of road works.  When the branch of Kingston Road was re-opened after months of work to put in a gas main, we all breathed a sigh of relief. But then we found within days that Approach Road to Grand Drive had been closed for a week to permit the removal of the traffic island at the junction with Bushey Road.  The jam on Kingston Road was amazing, and the traffic stretched stationary in both directions.  No sooner had that gone than we had Cannon Hill Lane closed for re-surfacing. Soon we will have further work to Coombe Lane for more gas main replacement.  I wonder why it is that when national resources are under great pressure, we spend so much money on replacing tarmac. As one who drives up and down Cannon Hill Lane daily, I could see no need for resurfacing at all.  The planning application now being considered for the Raynes Park Playing Fields proposes the road access off Cannon Hill Lane. That would mean digging up again the surface just improved! Is there no joined up thinking in government?



We had a well attended AGM, and it is good to know that there continue to be people in the area interested enough to come and debate how we can continue to maintain and improve our local environment. 

We had a review, by Sgt Graham Chapman of the West Barnes Safer Neighbourhood Team, of local crime statistics. He is extremely good at keeping in touch with the community, and we are very grateful for the work that he and his colleagues do in keeping the incidence of criminal activity here to a very low level.

We are always looking for people to come and join us on the Committee, and, in particular, at the moment, we need a volunteer to take over from Kate Price as our Advertising Manager.  She would be delighted to explain the task to anyone who may be interested. Her number is given at the back of the Guide.




We have yet again held the cost of subscribing to the Guide down to £2.50.  This has to be the best value ever for a magazine that keeps you informed as to local issues 12 times a year!  Our hard working Road Stewards will be coming round to collect your subscriptions shortly.


John Elvidge, May 2011

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