I am sure that all our members will be delighted to learn that Merton Council's Planning Committee met on the 17th October and voted by nine votes to one to reject the application by Barratt Homes Ltd to build 111 flats on the LESSA sportsground in Grand Drive, Raynes Park.
The packed meeting heard the residents' case put forward by David Freeman, Bob Simpson, West Barnes Councillors Gilli Lewis-Lavender and Angela Caldara and myself. A representative from Barratts spoke in reply to the residents' arguments, but to no avail. The application was discussed for one and a quarter hours prior to the emphatic rejection.
A very big thank you is due to David and Bob for the many many hours they have spent working on the campaign, and also to our ward councillors for backing us all the way and for their eloquent speeches at the meeting. However, this is not the end of the matter.
The ball is now in Barratts' court. They can either appeal against the Council's decision, submit a revised application or give up the idea altogether. Should they decide the latter, it will be our task to persuade and assist London Electricity to try and find a way of enabling the site to continue either as a sportsground or for some other use that requires little or no building development, albeit under new ownership.
Rest assured, if Barratts decide to appeal against the latest rejection, we shall continue to fight it.Martin Mitchell