The MBCG is very disappointed with both the process and outcome of the LBRuT Planning Committee Meeting which took place on 29 January, and we will take a number of actions to advance our commitment to seeing a sustainable development on the former brewery site in Mortlake.
The applications before the Planning Committee represent the largest development in the borough and one of the largest in London. Two years in submission and generating over one thousand objections, its significance on the local community and entire borough cannot be underestimated.
In our view, the process used to decide these applications was seriously flawed. A chaotic and overly lengthy meeting disallowed the use of visuals and supplementary documents for objectors but allowed both for supporters. This restricted a fair and evidenced-based discussion of the issues and impacts that this development will bring to the community. Moreover, we believe that consideration of the three separate planning applications was prejudicial – each application was presented as a standalone project when in fact the three are highly integrated.
We find the Committee’s decision to reject Application C (widening of Chalkers Corner) and to approve Applications A and B (mixed housing development and secondary school) to be unsatisfactory on a number of levels:
- It is inconclusive, and leaves our community in a suspended state with further review and uncertainty
- It is likely to be unworkable from a technical, environmental and potentially legal perspective
- It gives undue advantage to the developer with little compensatory gain to the local community
- It makes the development’s emphasis on cars even more likely to compromise the health and safety of our community
- It does not comply with the borough’s stated policies of securing 50% affordable housing or the GLA ‘s target of 35%
- The housing and mixed-use development depends on a school which is neither required nor fit for purpose on the Mortlake site and is in fact opposed by the three local secondary schools
- The combination of tree felling, green space removal and increased traffic will negatively impact an already compromised air quality, and contradicts the Council’s recently agreed Climate Change Strategy
- It ignores all evidence on the safety of the level crossing at Sheen Lane
The MBCG is committed to the following actions in response to our concerns:
- We are seeking legal advice on the planning process
- Given the likelihood of the process proceeding to consideration by the GLA, we are engaging with the Mayor and his planning team
- We will continue to challenge LBRuT and the developers. We will continue to campaign on the development’s focus on cars and the inherent threats to community health and safety that this introduces
- the improvement of air quality in our community and the Council’s accountability to air quality through its Air Quality Action Plan
- the unproven viability of the proposed secondary school
- demonstration of a sustainable transport plan
- protection and enhancement of green space
We will consult further with local residents on next steps, implementing our campaign through public meetings, engagement with other aligned organisations, social media, and online. We welcome your support and participation.