Chairman's Blog - November 2014


A major development is being planned for the Rainbow Estate, which runs off the road leading from Raynes Park station on the Grand Drive side. 

The Council has already approved a planning brief for the site, which is currently run down and semi derelict.  It is surrounded by railway embankments on all sides. The land had been designated for light business use only, and we in the Association and many others have fought hard to retain this status, given the need for such employment locally. However, it appears that we have lost this battle, given the pressure on all local authorities to build more housing.  

The owners held an exhibition of their plans, at Raynes Park Library in September and a planning application can be expected shortly.  We shall scrutinise this very carefully to try and oppose it where necessary, and to ensure the best possible outcome for all local residents, given the size and complexity of the scheme. 

The main difficulty remains that the only access is along the single road that runs under the railway arch, and which is crossed on foot, thousands of time a day, by people coming to and from the station. The hazard of drivers coming into and out of the site and meeting pedestrians are obvious. 

Coupled with this hazard is the fact that car drivers need to drop off and pick up people using the station who are disabled or have heavy suitcases, or just to meet relations and friends: so called “Kiss and Ride”. This is not possible on the other side of the station due to the bus stands. 

The plans displayed intend to secure this by a small roundabout. However this would not appear to be practical, and allows little or no possibility to stop and wait. 

The plans propose some 220 units of housing, with two blocks of flats to be passed to a housing association for “affordable” housing. There will be some town houses, behind Firstway, and other 4 and 5 storey blocks for public purchase behind the Bushey Court flats.  All the blocks will have underground parking for a total of 135 cars. 

There will be some blocks for light industrial use at the beginning and the end of the site. 

It is proposed that the site be landscaped, with some green areas. 


In early October some 22 vehicles forced their way onto Cannon Hill Common, by removing some of the logs that had been placed there to prevent this happening, following previous such incursions. Fortunately the Council moved very quickly to apply for powers to remove them, and they were removed, moving off instead to Morden Park. Council officers then had to clear up the rubbish and detritus left, and did take away most of it. 

The idea of placing logs alongside Cannon Hill Lane was the outcome of a public meeting organised by the then Councillors for Cannon Hill ward. We understand that the present Councillors are proposing to hold a similar meeting. The main suggestion is to have larger logs, which could be sunk and imbedded into the ground and held down by immovable chains. This could be coupled with a small ditch.  Concreting the logs has also been suggested, but this may be unsightly. 

The problem of travellers moving at will from venue to venue is clearly not going to go away. 


South West Trains are proposing to ease congestion at rush hours by increasing the length of trains from 8 carriages to 10. This was agreed at a recent meeting held between the train operators, Network Rail, the MP for Wimbledon, and local representatives. This should come into operation sometime next year. 

The delay in implementation is that there are no platforms at Waterloo at the moment which can take longer trains! The redundant Eurostar platforms have first to be brought back into service, and, presumably, the track and signalling altered. 


In December we always have a meeting to which all members of the Association are warmly invited to come. It is followed by a convivial party at which lots of food and drink (including wine and mulled wine) is served.  This year the meeting and party is being held at the Residents’ Pavilion, 129 Grand Drive, on Tuesday 16th December, starting at 8 pm. Do come - all our members will be made very welcome. 

John Elvidge  



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