Chairman's Blog - Sept 2019


We are holding a PUBLIC MEETING to discuss the development applications at 265 Burlington Road and the Tesco Extra car park site, made by Redrow.   

This will be held at 7.30 pm at Holy Cross Church Hall, Adela Avenue, Motspur Park, KT3 6HT

  • on Tuesday 10 September 2019 and will be a meeting for local residents only, Redrow have not been invited.

 Please note that this REPLACES the Open Meeting planned for the Pavilion on that date.


Although the address of the development may seem far away from many of our residents, the visual effect of overlooking on roads such as Westway and Linkway will be overwhelming, since the proposal includes seven tower blocks of flats up to 15 storeys high. 

We have been alerted to these proposals previously. However, since January we have not heard anymore from the developers until they recently lodged their planning application.  Therefore, this is the first opportunity we have had to place the actual applications before our Members.  

The developers may have hoped - by choosing this date - to minimize the number of objections that are bound to be made, as many people will have been away on holiday during this period. 

Planning Applications 

The statutory 21-day period for objecting to their first planning application, P/A 19/P2387 officially runs out on 24th August.  (The Council's Planning Website now states 30 August ) However, we have been assured by the planning officers that representations made after this date will be taken fully into account by the planning committee when it comes to consider the applications.  

Given the size and scale of the development, this is not likely to be, until September or October at the earliest. In addition, the application is so large that it will have to be considered by the Mayor of London, who can approve or refuse it, or leave the determination entirely to Merton. 

It is worth repeating that the planning committee of the Council is required to be fully independent of any political pressures and must judge proposals only on their planning merits. 

We are calling this public meeting so that all residents can understand what is being proposed, and to express their views to the Council.  

Members are encouraged to make their own individual representations. We are also preparing an objection on behalf of the Residents’ Association. 

We have hand delivered a colour flyer to all residents in the roads most affected in the West Barnes area, showing the visual impact.  

We should stress that the planning committee tends to pay much more attention to individual letters of objection from residents, which do not simply repeat the words of others. These should therefore contain the name and address of the person objecting, and the effect on them personally. 


The plans are to build no less than 456 new flats, in blocks between 7 and 15 storeys high. They will be a mix of 1,2, and 3-bedroom flats but mainly 2-bedroom flats.  The lower blocks will front Burlington Road. This is completely out of keeping with the character of local housing, which is mostly inter-war two storey suburban housing.  It is noteworthy that at the first public exhibition of the plans last September, the highest storey was 11, but, despite public objections, this was increased to 14 storeys by last November, and is now 15. This is also despite the pre-application discussions that Redrow have been having with the Council’s planning department.   

Some 35% of these flats will be “affordable” housing, but these are to be contained in separate blocks, managed by a housing association, from those that will be available to buy outright or under a shared ownership scheme.  This is a practice that is known to lead to increased social problems.  

There are only 220 vehicle spaces provided, which will inevitably mean that residents of the new development and their visitors will try to park in the surrounding streets. This will again, inevitably, mean that residents’ parking permits will in time be called for in these streets.

The plans would reduce the number of car spaces for those shopping at Tesco’s, since it will take up almost a quarter of their site, and perhaps reduce the viability of this store. 

The access to the development will be off Burlington Road, and there is no clear idea how this will impact the already confused traffic movement at the West Barnes level crossing. 

Although the developers are bound to pay a community levy charge to the Council, there is no guarantee that this will be used in the immediate local area.  It is very doubtful that there will be a sufficient increase in the number of local school spaces, GP practices, and hospital care to cope with such many new residents.  The community levy charge does not begin to pay for the infrastructure needed, and so the cost will mean an increase in the rates. 

There is a separate but linked planning application: P/A 19/P2578. This proposes to demolish the building at 247 Burlington Road and construct a temporary road for the Tesco car park for a 2-year period, providing both vehicle, pedestrian, and cycle access. Access by vehicles, particularly by those turning right, would interrupt the traffic flow from West Barnes level crossing to Shannon Corner, and would be opposite the entrance to Cavendish Avenue.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our meeting. We urge all of you to consider the proposals very carefully, and, if you object, to send in your objections as soon as possible.  You could do so by letter or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. quoting the application number and your name and address. 

John Elvidge

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