Tolworth Meyer Home
Statement on planning appeal
In July 2016 the council’s Development Control Committee refused an application for St George’s Gate in Tolworth for 705 units. The two reasons for refusal in the Committee’s judgement were based on a lack of evidence of the effect of the development on the Highways network, as well as concerns about the density and scale of the application. The developers decided to appeal the decision. They have also subsequently submitted, encouraged by the Mayor of London, for a planning application for this site of even greater density. This second application is currently working its way through the Council planning system.
In a meeting on Wednesday 1st February 2017 - which was exempt to the public due to the legal advice not being allowed to be in the public realm because of both live appeals and new applications that could be prejudiced - the Development Control Committee voted to withdraw both reasons for refusal. The council, in defending the Appeal, has sought independent legal advice from leading Counsel.
To have lost this appeal would have cost us a considerable sum of money and with huge cuts to our grants from central government (totalling a gap of nearly £40 million in 4 years) we cannot gamble with our resident's money when the clear advice is that we would lose the appeal.
This has clearly been a difficult decision for the committee. As with the original decision to refuse the application the committee was apparently split and did not vote on party lines.
The scheme that was considered is for outline planning permission only. The application, as it stands, is not one I would ever wish to see built. Fortunately, as an outline permission it means that it will not be built in that form without further planning applications. The Council will now be encouraging Meyer Homes to bring forward more detailed proposals that do more to satisfy the aspirations of the local community. We also ask that they no longer pursue the high density scheme that was encouraged by the Mayor and that they recently submitted.
As another issue, we are looking forward to shortly seeing a new scheme for Tolworth roundabout and the Hook area, that is being prepared by Transport for London after our intense lobbying. This scheme must mitigate against the increased traffic that this and other recent applications will create.