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Planning application for development on LESSA Sports Ground
Copy of a letter sent to local residents by Councillor Gilli Lewis-Lavender, January 2001
|Lessa Sports Ground, Grand Drive, Raynes Park, SW20
|Planning Application No: 00/P2413
You should by now have received details of an outline planning application by Barratt Homes Ltd. The notice from Mr. O Duyile is dated 18th December 2000, with formal objections to be sent to the Council by 8th January. However we understand that some residents affected by the proposals have only just received their copy.
The Proposal is to build 100 dwelling units (houses and flats) to a maximum of 450 habitable rooms, covering just under half the site. The plan shows 62 houses and 8 blocks of flats (two- and three-storey). The Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents' Association believes this amounts to much more than 100 dwelling units.
The plan shows the provision of a new publicly accessible local park with playing fields, which will provide the following facilities:
- informal grass open space
- one football pitch
- one cricket pitch
- a sports pavilion with two changing rooms and ancillary space and parking spaces
- a children's play area which will consist of about five pieces of equipment and a small games area for four- to eight-year-old children
- the retention of four tennis courts which could also provide for a kickabout area and five-a-side football.
In addition to these on-site recreation facilities, it proposed that there should be some off-site provision (planning gain) involving refurbishment at the Raynes Park Sports Ground in Taunton Avenue, and at the Joseph Hood Recreation Ground (including new floodlights).
The Residents` Association will, of course, be sending its own formal letters of objection to these proposals; however, they advise that residents should write individually. The following are some main points on which objections might be made:
Gilli Lewis-Lavender (Councillor for West Barnes Ward)
- The proposed housing development is far too large at 45% of the site. One hectare of the land at most should be used.
- A significant part of the proposed build is on the flood plain, and the whole development would have an adverse impact on absorbing capacity of the ground. This would result in an increased risk of flooding to nearby roads, in particular Westway, Greenway, Blenheim Road and Blenheim Close, Brook Close and Linkway, etc. Many houses in this area are already on the flood plain.
- The proposed density exceeds the guidelines of UDP Policy HP6. The maximum of 450 habitable rooms on two hectares is far too high. The nature of the surrounding area and the low level of public transport accessibility (measured mor, in terms of trains rather than buses) suggest a maximum of 150 habitable rooms per hectare; and Regional Planning Guidance 3 would indicate a maximum of 60 dwelling units all told.
- There are potential security implications to nearby housing, in particular Greenway, caused by the change from private enclosed open space to a public park.
- There are insufficient safeguards concerning the use of the pavilion.
- There would be increased risk of vandalism on a site very largely screened off from Grand Drive.
- The nature of the housing in the locality makes it unsuitable for a large development of flats, particularly if three-storey.
- The Environment Agency has not (as far as the Residents' Association is aware) been consulted. This is being checked.
- Has the Developer built into the costs the flood alleviation measures that the EA will insist on?
- There is a potential for traffic congestion at the entrance to the site (Grand Drive) at peak movement times.
- It is difficult to see how "affordable housing" for sale could be achieved at the prices likely to prevail. The location is clearly unsuitable for low cost housing.