Chairman's Blog - April 2020

AGM and Subscription Collection both Postponed! 

Please note that we have had to POSTPONE the Annual General Meeting of the Residents’ Association as a result the government restrictions of meetings during the outbreak of Coronavirus.  It was due to be held on Tuesday 14th April. 

This is a pity because we were due to hear from Leonie Cooper, the Merton and Wandsworth London Assembly Member, and also from the local police. 

We are postponing the AGM until a date in October, when we hope that the pandemic will be well and truly over.  We will let our members know of the new date and the venue when it is finalised, through the Guide and on our website.  

In the meantime, we can confirm that the annual subscription for the Association will continue to be held at £3 for the year 2020/2021. However, the usual collection of members’ subscriptions by our Road Stewards at this time of year is also postponed. 

Planning Brief Needed for the Tesco Site. 

Redrow put in their planning application to build 456 flats on the Tesco Extra car park and Burlington Road after extensive discussions with Merton’s planning officers. We, as the local community, were not included! 

Despite huge local opposition to the scheme, Merton’s planning officers recommended it for approval. Fortunately, the Planning Applications Committee (PAC) refused the application for the good reasons put forward by residents. 

At the time of writing, we are still waiting to hear whether the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will override Merton’s PAC and - notwithstanding the enormous local opposition to the scheme - decide to allow the development to go ahead. 

The Residents’ Association believes that this is entirely the wrong way to deal with such massive development proposals, and that it should be for the Council, through its Councillors, who by listening to their voters, decide what should happen to any site that needs redevelopment.  Each Council draws up its own local plan and this should be what determines what interested developers can build, thus ensuring that no major changes can be go ahead by default. 

It is obvious that the area in Burlington Road needs to be redeveloped. There can be no objection to some housing on the site, providing it is relatively low rise, and includes some play facilities, and greenery. We would suggest that the housing should be a mixture of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom flats with the emphasis on the latter, given the need for family accommodation.  The number of new residents should be such that the local schools and GP services can cope. Ideally there should be a medical practice included in the plans. 

Under the current Merton Plan, the whole of the Tesco site could be redeveloped, with flats built over a new Tesco store, like those above Waitrose store in Raynes Park. 

These are our thoughts, but what are YOURS? Please let us know what YOU would like to see included on the “Tesco site”, by contacting either the Residents’ Association at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or to any of our three West Barnes Ward Councillors: 

Cllr Eloise Bailey           This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cllr Hina Bokhari            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Cllr Carl Quilliam            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Local Hospital Provision 

The NHS has set out its preferred option for future hospital provision in this area. The aim is to bring together specialist services for seriously ill patients in a new hospital, to be built in Sutton - next to the Marsden - including A & E services and critical surgery.   This would also be the maternity hospital and have overnight services for children. 

The intention is to remove these facilities from both St Helier and Epsom hospitals, but to retain 24-hour urgent Treatment Centres there.  There is, naturally, concern over whether this will mean delays in ambulances getting to a single more central site.   However, these proposals mean that 85% of the services we all use would remain at St Helier, and the promise is to spend at least £80 million on improving the buildings at both St. Helier and in Epsom Hospitals. 

John Elvidge, Chairman

Join us on:


Share this page: