Chairman's Blog - October 2019

Public Meeting about "Tesco Site" Development

 The public meeting we held on 10th September at the Holy Cross Church Hall was packed. Over 200 residents came, all very concerned about the effect of the Redrow planning applications at 265 Burlington Road, and the Tesco Extra car park site.

This is a proposal for a truly massive development.

The points of objection made at the meeting were numerous, and we stressed that it was not too late for individual objections to be made. These carry great weight with the planning committee which make the decisions.  The objections could be on a single basis, or for multiple reasons, can be in layman’s terms, and do not have to cite planning guidance. But objectors needed to give their names and addresses, with the post code.  

We were told that some 350 such objections have been made so far. 

You can read the objection made by this Residents’ Association, here, which is just one of many objections submitted. 

Everyone is objecting to the height of the tower blocks, one of 15 storeys, which are utterly out of keeping with the surrounding housing and would dominate the landscape.

At our meeting it was explained that there was the real possibility that, if this application is approved, even higher and more blocks could be built on the site of the Tesco store itself, which would be knocked down.  

 The 456 units of accommodation would swamp the local health services and schools, with woefully inadequate funding being given in the area to cope with the sudden influx of new residents of all ages.  

Only 220 car parking spaces are to be provided, which is bound to lead to more cars being parked on the surrounding roads, and the inevitably of paid-for car parking zones being introduced.  

There was concern about renewed flooding in the area.

The proposals would markedly increase the carbon footprint of the borough, which the Council has promised to reduce by 2030.

The tower blocks would lead to a wind tunnel effect, given the increase in high winds in recent years, such as is evident if you try and go walk past the Civic Centre in a wind. This is 14 stories high. 

There would be traffic chaos in Burlington Road, and at the West Barnes level crossing, where there is already gridlock for much of the day.

We do not expect an early decision, since the Mayor of London must examine the applications  owing to the number of units of accommodation being proposed.


Car Parking Charges in Raynes Park

The Council has been forced to review its decision to impose swingeing parking charges in Raynes Park of £3 an hour from this autumn. This will prevent its resurgence as a local shopping centre. Over 3,000 residents protested during the consultation, and, for once, the Council was compelled to reconsider.   

However, despite having another consultation, the Council has decided to ignore the views of  local residents and  APPROVE the car parking charges in full. 

The strong suspicion remains that this is simply a tax raising measure.  The Council’s case is that the income from parking charges will  only be spent on parking and transport projects, including mending potholes, resurfacing borough roads, and new cycling schemes; but we believe that it is being done simply to boost the Council’s coffers for their general spending. The proposed charges were highest in Wimbledon Town Centre, where they will rise to £4. 50 an hour.    The Council also claims that the decision was taken in the interests of cutting down car use and so improving air quality. But they have produced no evidence that this is so.  

John Elvidge


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