Homebase Manor Road: an update

Dear Resident,

Earlier this year I wrote to you about developer, Avanton's, application to build 385 homes on the Manor Road Homebase site in a dense development containing blocks that would rise to nine storeys and house over 1,300 people.  Over 700 objections were lodged against the plans and on July 3rd Richmond Council's Planning Committee refused the application on numerous grounds.

 

Following that refusal, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that he will now take the planning decision in the place of Richmond Council.  I expect him to overturn the Council's refusal principally because his officers have already indicated that they could support an even bigger development if it delivered more affordable housing towards the Mayor's London wide housing targets.

 

Providing more affordable housing across London is beyond reproach, but the Mayor seems to expect Richmond (and indeed other suburban boroughs) to deliver his targets by accepting egregious overdevelopment with the serious and permanent consequences that this means for the wider community.

 

If this overdevelopment and its repercussions for the appearance of Richmond and for living here worries you as much as it does me, please read more and lodge your objections to the Mayor via this link: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/planning-applications-and-decisions/public-hearings/homebase-manor-road-public-hearing

 

Or alternatively, email mayor@london.gov.uk and quote the GLA planning reference of 4795.

 

I will also be objecting.  Given that he is using a draft London plan that remains subject to approval I also propose to raise this with the Secretary of State who is responsible nationally for all planning applications.

 

SOME SUGGESTED OBJECTIONS

 

1. Excessive height and mass.  Nine storeys (plus extra height for equipment on the roof) is disproportionate and its bulk will dominate the area.  The proposed height already significantly exceeds the maximum permitted for this location under Richmond's Local Plan.

2. Harm to residential amenity.  The overbearing design of the buildings will be visually intrusive for anyone passing, but most especially for the residents neighbouring the site in Manor Road, Manor Grove, Marylebone Gardens, Manor Park and Calvert Court.

3. Inadequate transport.  The development will have very limited parking for a handful of disabled residents.  North Sheen railway station is not accessible and the site's ability to sustain a car free development is utterly reliant on maintaining the bus services to Manor Circus that the Mayor recently indicated would be dropped.  Even if residents cannot keep a car, there will still be guests, deliveries and tradespeople using vehicles and adding to the chronic congestion around Manor Road level crossing.

 

Do feel free to add your own concerns and highlight how this development affects you.  The Mayor will be holding a public hearing in due course at a date to be announced.

 

Best wishes,

 

Zac Goldsmith
MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston