The Apostles Residents Association aims to protect and enhance the local environment and promote the interests of the local community.
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THIS IS THE LETTER OF OBJECTION SENT BY THE ARA TO MERTON COUNCIL IN RELATION TO THE PROPOSED RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT ON THE CAR SHOWROOMS AT THE BUSHEY ROAD END OF EDNA ROAD.
APOSTLES RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
Tel: 020 8542 0612 25 Bronson Road
Mobile: 07950 642550 West Wimbledon
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org London SW20 8DZ
8 August 2018
The Director of Planning
Merton Civic Centre
Dear Sir/Madam, 18/P2619.(DEMOLITION OF EXISTING BUILDINGS AND ERECTION OF A PART THREE, PART FOUR STOREY RESIDENTIAL BUILDING COMPRISING 34 SELF-CONTAINED FLATS (3 X STUDIO, 14 X 1 BED & 17 X 2 BED).) 32-34 Bushey Road, London SW20 8BP
I am writing to you to make our objections to the above planning application. This follows a recent meeting held by our association with members living close to the proposed development. 50 people came to the meeting and from this we have set out below their concerns and the reasons for those concerns.
We object to the proposal to change the site from its current use to housing for the following reasons:
1. Loss of employment land.
There was a unanimous preference for the site to remain in employment use rather than be given over to housing.
In the last five years or so almost all the employment land within and immediately adjacent to the Apostles area has been granted permission for redevelopment with housing. Most of those sites had been included in the LDF Sites and Policies plans for redevelopment potential for housing despite ARA objections at the time. We note that the site at 32-34 Bushey Road was notincluded in that list of sites.
Employment land provides workers who use local shops and services during the day when much of the local population is at work. Loss of employment land has resulted in an erosion of local shops and services serving Apostles residents as the number of people working in the area has inevitably declined.
It continues to be our view that loss of employment land to housing means that the council's sustainability policies are flawed as those people occupying new housing will inevitably be travelling elsewhere for work as Raynes Park increasingly becomes a dormitory suburb.
2. Impairment of public amenity for existing and new residents.
Before the turn of the century much of the Apostles was identified as an area of public open space and children's play area deprivation. Nothing has changed. Despite the potential addition to date of c.200 households in permissions granted in the last few years to the c.1300 households that exist in the Apostles area, no consideration has been given by the council to addressing the lack of accessible pubic open space, contrary to council policies on protecting or enhancing the amenity of Merton residents.
3. Drainage and flooding concerns in Edna Road.
We are concerned that the onsite preliminary drainage design is not consistent with the existing flood alleviation problems in the Edna Road area as noted by residents. We have concerns as to the long term attenuation capability of the permeable block paving with underlying geo-cellular storagerecommended in the SuDS report, given that it has a high risk of blocking and causing further problems and damage, particularly if the regular level of required maintenance indicated in the SuDS report fails to be undertaken under future management/ownership of the proposed development. Given the high water table identified in the report, assurances are required to demonstrate that adequate flood alleviation and protectionfor existing properties and residentsis allowed for in the attenuation capacity of the design. This would apply whatever redevelopment proposals might be brought forward for this site.
4.Traffic & access issues
We object to any vehicular access to this site being allowed off the end of Edna Road, whether for this or any other development proposal for the site that might be brought forward. All such access (including construction access) should continue to be from Bushey Road itself.
It is a fact that, because of the lack of nearby public open space, children play in our cul de sac streets, on their bicycles or kicking a ball around. That ‘amenity', already compromised by the increasing intensity of delivery vans brought about by online shopping, would at a stroke face an increase of c.30% in vehicle movements on Edna Road. In our view that is unacceptable, particularly as an access to the site from Bushey Road already exists.
5. Further concerns
Should the Planning Committee disagree with our reasoning at 1.above, and be of a view to grant a change in status, our objections at 2, 3 and 4 above still apply.
In addition we have the following additional objections to the specific proposals in this application.
5a. Height & Proximity
There is nothing greater than three storeys in the vicinity of the site, which is in an area that has a PTAL rating of only 3 and there is no justification for intensification on this particular site. It should be remembered that the Apostles area already has a density of 40 to 50 dwellings per hectare due to the dense Edwardian terraced housing that makes up the twelve streets.
More than three storeys of development is therefore unacceptable. Whilst we do not think pre-application planning guidance should have encouraged any consideration of four storeys, we note that the comment was that a fourth storey should be considerably smaller in extent than the floors below. That is clearly not the case and that alone in our view is grounds for refusing the application as it stands.
The situation of providing several apartments where all the windows and balcony are shown with screens to prevent overlooking demonstrates that this is clearly a case of over-development with unacceptable proximity to existing residential development.
Whilst the recommended drainage solution in the SuDS report calls for tanks for rainwater harvesting from the building's roofs and balconies, the architect's drawings give no indication of where these would be accommodated around the base of the building. The SuDS report also refers to the need for a ‘retention basin’ in a location the architect refers to as an amenity area.
Whilst there are supposed to be restrictions on parking permits being made available to people in developments such as this with little or no parking provision, we have heard that residents in similar developments in the area have been able to obtain permits. Clearly Merton Council needs to demonstrate unequivocally that this is not the case and that there is a foolproof system that prevents such a situation arising.
Whilst we acknowledge that the London Plan and Council policies are geared to reducing car use and pollution levels, as ever, problems occur outside of CPZ hours, where the ‘free-for-all’ continues to create difficulties for all residents. As permissions already granted are built out this pressure will only get worse.
Whilst we feel that further parking surveys are required to test the results obtained by the applicant (one of the dates given was in the Easter holidays) we see no point in ourselves carrying out its own survey before the date for lodging comments on the application as we are now in the school summer holiday period.
5d. Emergency/occasional vehicle access
Although we oppose any access from Edna Road in any event we note that no vehicle manoeuvrability tracking is shown on the drawings to indicate whether a Fire Engine or removals van can access the site with the layout as currently designed. In our view the layout is sub standard.
5e. Amenity space.
Even if the aggregated area of amenity space technically meets minimum requirements (and the application appears silent on this), its fragmentation does not, in our view, provide an acceptable level of amenity for 34 apartments.
Given the number of 2 bedroom apartments, couples with young children can be expected to be resident in this building. Access for upper floor residents to the ‘amenity space’ on the Bushey Road frontage is convoluted and inconvenient and there is no explanation as to how 'communal' this space is intended to be. The paving layout shown appears to be an essential part of the drainage attenuation recommendations. The area will be noisy and at times affected by vehicle pollution. We question how practical as a ‘garden' for 34 apartments this space is and as consequence the appropriateness of this density of development on this site. The nearest public open space with a children’s play area in it (Joseph Hood recreation ground) is approximately an 800m walk from their proposed front doors and in a different direction to local shops.
Mr Chris Larkman
Apostles Residents Association
A car was broken into on the evening of 21 August (outside no 51, Bronson Road) but luckily nothing was in the car. It is thought the would-be thief used a universal electronic key to gain access and rifled through the entire car except the boot.
On Monday evening 20 August there was a burglary at 518 Kingston Road.
On 2 August at around 4am a group of youngsters with hoodies tried to take a bike that was outside a house. The owner heard the noise and scared them.
There was a break in and a burglary (beginning of July) in Gore Road on the high even numbers. Please be extra careful at this time of the year when it is easy to leave a door or window open for extra ventilation!
The trees in our street need extra love and care at this time, especially those newly planted. If you have one near you with a 'hose pipe' water receiver, please pour loads of water down!
ROAD CLOSURE - GAS WORKS
Grand Drive from Junction with Bushey Road. One-way southbound traffic only from 23 July for 20 weeks.
CONCERT AT ST SAVIOUR'S CHURCH, GRAND DRIVE
St Saviour's Church in Grand Drive will be hosting a concert by 'The Eden Stell Guitar Duo' (Mark Eden and Chris Stell) on Saturday 6th October 2018, 7pm reception for 7.30pm.
The programme will include works by Johannes Brahms, Mauro Giuliani, Domenico Scarlatti, Francis Poulenc, Federico Mompou and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
Tickets are £12 from Wendy Cannon (020 8397 0805) in advance, or at the door.
Residents on Vernon Avenue have recently found Japanese Knotweed growing in their gardens.
The RHS advise that Japanese Knotweed is a weed that spreads rapidly and can suppress all other plant growth. Eradication is difficult as it cannot be removed by hand or eradicated with chemicals. In appearance, in the summer, it produces dense stands of tall bamboo-like canes which can grow to approximately 2 metres tall. The canes have characteristic purple flecks, and produce branches from nodes along its length. Leaves are heart or shovel-shaped and up to 14cm (5½in) in length and borne alternately (in a zig zag pattern) along the stems.
Japanese Knotweed present on your property can cause problems when selling the property. As a seller, it is your responsibility check the garden for Japanese Knotweed (bearing in mind that it can die back in winter). The TA6 Property Enquiry form asks you to confirm whether your property is affected by Japanese knotweed and, if so, where it is and to provide a management plan for its eradication from a professional company. It can affect the value of a property given the difficulty in eradicating the weed and that it can take-over the garden.
Ideally, given the nature of the terraced housing along the Apostles, a co-ordinated approach to tackling the problem should be taken. If all those affected were to take action at the same time, it would assist in ensuring the eradication of the weed and would, hopefully, assist in reducing the cost of eradication.
If you have Japanese Knotweed in your garden or nearby please let us know - initally via your road rep - see Contact Page. We need to erradicate it completely!
CROSSRAIL2 - LATEST UPDATES
Whilst the Crossrail 2 project team continues to liaise with the Raynes Park community, in reality, not much new information has been forthcoming since the last round of consultation in 2015/16. As yet, we still have no real detail about how Raynes Park might be affected, apart from what might be implied from the broad brush information from over two years ago.
In 2017, Crossrail 2 prepared its strategic business case and submitted it to the Transport Secretary. While this showed that London could pay for half of the scheme over its life, the Mayor for London and Transport Secretary agreed to see how London might fund half of the scheme during construction.
This would seem to imply that London’s 50% share of the funding was partly predicated on income streams generated by the new railway and associated developments along its route.
In February 2018, it was announced that the government has called for an independent financial review to look at the project’s overall financial viability and whether or not the costs might be reduced. The review will be led by Mike Gerrard, former managing director of Thames Tideway Tunnel. What the outcome will be remains to be seen. However, it may affect the overall scope and its phasing.
Whilst this Independent Affordability Review is expected to issue an interim report and then a final report by the summer of 2018, the Department for Transport will then need time to review it and reach its own conclusions. Therefore, no further formal public consultation is anticipated until all this has been completed. This whole process is expected to take another year, putting back any further public consultation at least until early 2019.
Whilst this is news, in reality, it heralds further delays and continued uncertainty for the project.
Additionally, there are now political questions being raised over the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and also competing pleas for more transport funding in other parts of the country.
Against this background, TfL is now forecasting a £1bn operating deficit for 2018/19, although it does have plans to turn this around by 2021.
All these problems will make the Gordian Knot of funding the construction of Crossrail 2 harder to untangle.
(Our thanks to Jerry Cuthbert from the Raynes Park Association for this article.)
On 26 June 2018, members of the NetworkRail CrossRail 2 section met with community leaders in Raynes Park. It appears they will be consulting people in the Raynes Park area about options for the line west of Wimbledon Station later this year. At our meeting they had a discussion with us about the consequence of closing the two level crossings in West Barnes and Motspur Park. (Clearly these level crossings will no longer be compatible with the number of trains passing through.) What will they offer as an alternative?
HEATHROW AIRPORT PUBLIC CONSULTATION
There is a Heathrow Extension road-show travelling around London and the home counties, promoting the current public consultation. There are two concurrent consultations, both triggered by the planned third runway, “Airport Expansion” and “Airspace Principles”.
Whilst one might hold opinions about the third runway and its impacts, our primary conceren is Park and flight paths. Hence, this note focusses on the information provided for the Airspace Principles consultation. Information is available at www.heathrowconsultation.com. The consultation closes on 28 March 2018.
The public opinions being sought are to do with establishing airspace design principles. For example:
Because these are “design principles” rather than “design development”, it seems it is premature at this stage to expect information to be available about how flight paths might be affected by the third runway.
However, Heathrow Air Traffic Control takes over from NATS at 11,000 ft. So Heathrow is responsible for take-offs and landings and NATS for the incoming “stacks”.
Information is available on the Heathrow website on existing flight paths.
Arrivals stacks. The location of the four stacks is the responsibility of NATS, so although Heathrow controls the arrivals routes from the bottom of each stack, the routes are effectively determined by the NATS stacks.
Raynes Park is located just north of the confluence from the Ockham and Biggin stacks.
Westwards take-off routes. Raynes Park is not affected.
Eastwards take-off routes. Raynes Park is on the southern edge of the route to the southeast.
It appears therefore that, with the advent of the third runway, the impact of aircraft noise on Raynes Park might not change significantly, unless either:
(Our thanks to Jerry Cuthbert from the Raynes Park Association for this article.)
SOUTH OF THE SKEW ARCH
Take a look at the start of making this area look nice!
DUNDONALD CHURCH DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Dundonald Church, 577 Kingston Road, plans to knock down the present structure and replace it with a more permanent building comprising a church with residential units above. Go to their website for more information.
BIKE EVENT - RAYNES PARK - SUNDAY 29 JULY 2018.
The event is always a great success and Raynes Park comes alive. These photos are from the 2015 event.