The Apostles Residents Association aims to protect and enhance the local environment and promote the interests of the local community.
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To become a member, please contact your road rep. The fee is £4 per annum and £2 for pensioners and those out of work. If you would like to pay your subscription by bank transfer, please transfer to: Apostles Residents Association, account no 02383523, sort code 30-99-66 and put your address as the reference.
After you have joined, please click here to sign up to receive emails from us.
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS HELP
The Apostles Residents Association is setting up a support network in each street. This means there will be help for anyone who needs it (e.g. emergency shopping, picking up medicines, a chat on the phone). You should have received a note through your door. If you need further information, please contact your road rep.
Flat Conversions in Apostles’ Houses
One of the key objectives in setting up our association some 30 years ago was to prevent developers from converting our small homes into two flats. We believe that our roads would be devastated if they became small bedsits and that it would remove the availability of family homes in our streets. We have therefore worked with the London Borough of Merton to ensure that Planning Guidance prevented such conversions. Whilst a few conversions took place awhile ago, we had thought the Planning Guidance protected us. However, for complicated planning reasons involving national and London wide governments, we discovered recently that the regulations were not as water tight as we had understood. So we were horrified to discover in January 2020 that the Planning Committee approved a flat conversion at 36 Aston Road. The permission granted represents a precedent, and we fear that other applications will follow.
Our homes are popular with developers for conversion. On a financial basis, there is a good return if you purchase a property, convert it into two flats, then sell them. And, as we know, we live in an attractive area with very good public transport, shops and other facilities.
Just in the past week or so (March 2020) a further application has gone to committee to convert 91 Dorien Road (Planning ref: 20/P0795) into two flats.
Following the granting of the planning permission for Aston Road in January, Peter Fischer (from the association) and I have met with Cllr Anthony Fairclough and an officer from LB Merton to discuss our concerns and to look at ways forward. As a result of the meeting, the association intends to make a submission to the Council outlining our reasons why we believe our small houses should not be converted into flats. If accepted, the Council will include this into their planning regulations.
We will keep you informed of any developments. Meanwhile please let me know if you hear of any planning applications for flat conversions in your street.
Apostles Residents Association. 19 March 2020
THE NEW RAYNES PARK TO NEW MALDEN WALKING AND CYCLING ROUTE
The new walking and cycling route was opened on 13 July 2019. It is really delightful and will be useful for many people. It feels like a country path! Try it out! You can always walk one way and get the train back. From Raynes Park the path is accessed via Taunton Avenue (at the back end of Waitrose).
ARA Survey Results: Take a look - it makes interesting reading:
PARKING CHARGE INCREASES
Merton Council has now confirmed it is going ahead with plans to increase the annual cost of our Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) charges from £65 to £110 - with an additional charge for diesel car users. The cost of visitors' permits is planned to rise from £1.50 for half day to £3 and from £2.50 for a day to £4.
Their rationale is that they wish to cut down the use of private cars for health and environmental reasons and that they think they will achieve this by raising the charges.
Our view has been that there will be little or no reduction in car use as a result of the increases and that we think they are offering the 'health and environment' argument as a smokescreen for what is an additional tax.
Even if their rationale were correct, we believe this to be a totally unfair tax. The only people who will pay are those living in CPZ areas. If you have your own driveway, you will not be charged. If you do not live in a CPZ area you won't be charged.
There was extensive consultation before CPZs were introduced. We were told at the time that the annual charge was to cover the Council's cost of running the scheme. There was never any mention of the Council using this as a means of taxing us.
The increases will come in to effect some time in the New Year. It may be worth purchasing some visitor permits in advance of the price increase.
BUSHEY ROAD DEVELOPMENT GETS GO-AHEAD
Merton Council Council Planning Committee voted on Thursday 15 November 2018 to approve the plans for the development of the Car Show Rooms at the end of Edna Road on Bushey Road. This will result in the provision of 34 flats. Chris Larkman and Jim Walton from the Apostles Residents Association spoke in opposition to the plans. We argued that the size of the development was out of character with the terraced houses of the 'Apostle' roads, pointing out that in other roads additional terraced houses had been added to the ends of the roads. We suggested this would be an acceptable way to increase the number of dwellings in the area. We also argued that, if the flats were to be approved, any access should be from Bushey Road, claiming that access from Edna Road would cause traffic problems in Edna Road. The Planning Committee claimed that with only 3 parking spaces allocated to the flats, this would not be the case. We're not altogether surprised by the outcome. The local authority is under pressure to provide an increased number of units of accommodation, and they claim to have negotiated some adjustments (though minor) to the original plans.
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?
1 October 2018 update: Yet again the plans have been put back. This time for a further review of the costings. This means that the promised consultation will now take place some time in 2019!
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.
BIKE EVENT - RAYNES PARK - SUNDAY 4 AUGUST 2019.
The event is always a great success and Raynes Park comes alive.