Bellway makes third attempt to build housing on Meadowview Road site
Bellway has submitted plans for the LESSA in Raynes Park for a third time. Picture: Bellway
September 15, 2022
Plans for more than 100 new homes on an old Raynes Park sports ground have been lodged for the third time. The last application was rejected by Merton Council in June after it received more than 260 public objections.
Bellway wants to build 107 new homes, 44 of which would be classed as affordable, on the former London Electricity Sports and Social Association (LESSA) in Raynes Park.
The land, in Meadowview Road, was a private ground for the use of company employees and closed down in 2000. Since then, it has been shut to the public.
Part of the land makes up a flood plain and in response to previous plans, council officers said any development would increase the risk of flooding. Councillors on the planning committee voted to reject the application as they didn’t think the loss of open space outweighed the benefits of the scheme.
In the most recent application, the developer has provided an extra football pitch and “additional financial contributions”. The development would be made up of a mix of houses and flats and include a play area, two tennis courts and an outdoor gym.
The application reads, “The development has been planned positively in order to embody high quality and inclusive design, following a considered appraisal of the identity of Raynes Park and the site’s setting, and will provide a neighbourhood which responds to the keeping with the new residential development opposite, as well as the surrounding 20th-century housing.
“The proposed scheme is a sustainably located development within an existing residential area. The emerging plans have been informed through discussions with officers at London Borough of Merton and through consultation with members of the public.”
John Elvidge, chairman of the Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents’ Association, said he believes the land could be used by a local sports club or school. He submitted a 19-page objection to the planning application on behalf of the group.
He wrote, “The present application does not begin to address the reason for refusal of the previous application. It does not differ materially in regard to the site itself, except for the addition of a small area of sports provision in the flood plain. It contains the same number of dwellings on a smaller, therefore denser ground plan.”
Sport England also objected to the latest application saying local sports clubs had shown interest in using the ground.
The plans were submitted to Merton Council in August and are expected to go to the planning committee on Thursday, 22 September.
Tara O'Connor - Local Democracy Reporter