Chairman's Blog - July 2018


We remind everyone that traffic will not be able to come down Grand Drive northbound from July 23rd until December. This is because of work to replace the gas mains, which is being done in two phases. 

Two exhibitions were held by SGN (formerly Southern Gas Network) to set out the diversions that are being proposed. We urged them to set out diversion signs from miles around, since this will be absolutely necessary.

We fear that despite the advance publicity most motorists will be taken by surprise, and that there will be traffic chaos for weeks to come. It seems certain that Hillcross Avenue, Cannon Hill Lane, Martin Way and Bushey Road will bear the brunt of carrying the extra traffic, and that these roads will be clogged up for the whole day. 

The plans did not include the new routing needed for the 163 bus, but we have now heard from Transport for London, which may be read here. More about SGN's plans may be read here.


On top of this, there will be a weekend of further road closures for the now annual cycle race around London. This will be on the weekend of 28th and 29th July. The cycle route is from Kingston Hill, along Coombe Lane and Worple Road, up Wimbledon Hill, and along Parkside. There will only be very limited crossing points, yet to be announced, for cars and pedestrians. More details may be read here, 


There is a strip of woodland of about half an acre that runs behind the maisonettes in Cannon Hill Lane and next to the All England Club tennis ground in Grand Drive. It is an enclosed site, with no vehicular access.  It was bought some years ago and the new owner proceeded to knock down a number of trees protected by tree preservation orders, until he was stopped by the council, and then prosecuted. There still remain on the site 11 trees with such orders. 

The owner decided to sell the land by auction, with a guide price of £20,000-£25,000, and obtained the price of £51,000. It appears that the then would be buyer did not complete, and so it has been put up for auction again through a different set of auctioneers.  

What was unknown to us until we saw the legal pack with the first auction is that the land is not only land locked, but also has a covenant over it restricting its use to a plant nursery. It appears unlikely that this covenant can be broken without a very difficult application to the Lands Tribunal. So probably it will remain as open space, incapable of development for house building. 

We await to see if anyone buys the land, and for what purpose. 

John Elvidge

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