Tag Archives: regeneration

Last day to respond to Ravensbury Regen plans! See our newsletter attached.

Don’t forget that today is your last day to respond to the Merton regen proposals. No matter what your opinion might be, we would encourage you to respond to the overall design as it will change Ravensbury forever if it goes through unchallenged.

The scale of the development is immense for the area and it appears that there will not be any more social housing provision than there currently is. Ravensbury Estate is next to the River Wandle so all these extra buildings and paving areas will serve to further compromise our area in the middle of a flood zone. Plenty of trees also will be removed both inside the regen area and outside.

Hengelo Gardens and Ravensbury Grove will significantly change if these proposals go unchallenged.

The 4 storey blocks of flats proposed along Ravensbury Grove will significantly change the character of Ravensbury so please write into: planning.representations@merton.gov.uk  – Quote Ref 17/P1718

Good luck!

Ravensbury Residents Association

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Circle’s Ravensbury events: this Tuesday & Thursday

Tuesday and Thursday is Circle’s consultation event showing their latest version of the Ravensbury masterplan. It hasn’t looked good at the Highpath & Eastfields meetings with Circle opting for more density ie: floorspace and profit.

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Circle look like they’ve been given as much support as feasibly possible by Stephen Alambritis (leader of Merton Council & our Ravensbury ward councillor) as well as Merton Council’s Labour Cabinet (plus most all party councillors on the planning committee for that matter). Circle seem very happy to push on rather than off.

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Merton Council receive some kind of “clawback” funds from this development so it seems to be a win-win for Circle Housing & Merton Council to pally up as closely as possible. The details of this arrangement are hidden in the Stock Transfer Agreement that both of those parties signed up to. This is a commercially sensitive document so we can’t find out what the exact terms are.

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On Wednesday evening at Merton Council they’ll most likely be voting through the Regen in their full council meeting, so we are hoping to attend that and report back. Our RA meeting will have to be postponed though.

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Ravensbury Court refurb has been cancelled – Paul Quinn said there was a majority against the plans so he won’t go ahead with it. We don’t know the exact details yet though as they could still decide to do whatever they like as has been the case up until now. The majority was based on 25 homes being surveyed in Ravensbury Court, with 11 against the plans, 9 in favour, 3 neither agree/disagree, 2 don’t know. That’s 25 out of 59 homes, so 42% surveyed.

CHMP sponsored poll to ascertain residents appetite for Ravensbury regen
CHMP sponsored poll to ascertain residents appetite for Ravensbury regen – note some residents said they felt obliged to say yes to regen

RRA

Merton Labour cabinet discuss Merton regen local plan #merton #regen #2016

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Last night, Merton’s Labour cabinet met as per normal, however the timeline for submitting the draft estates local plan to the Secretary of State was on the agenda. This is the document that residents responded to previously.

We noted that there’s a few choice words involved in the recommendations, such as decisions to delegate authority to the cabinet member for regen. This effectively avoids them needing to convene another cabinet meeting and openly discuss the agenda. More opaque behaviour from Merton Council headed by our ward councillor Stephen Alambritis.

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The Draft Estates Plan is now at version 3 or stage 3, just prior to the submission to the Secretary of State. The reference to actual building heights has been removed. This might be because the council could be seen as promoting heights when there wasn’t support for it, or because it was too much trouble actually stating heights relative to the negative reaction from the general public. In addition, Circle obviously wants to maximise the total floor space in the new development and will follow the planning guidelines to maximise their position when designing the new development. Those running the council might also be oblivious to the need to restrain building heights and density in Ravensbury: the recent planning permission granted for Ravensbury Garages seems to fit that assumption. Possibly they just don’t care that much because it’s not their home, community or environment. Who knows.

The council made no mention of the poor method of consultation by CHMP or the stress created by this for the existing residents.

Despite his promises, our Ravensbury ward councillor Stephen Alambritis hasn’t really held much of a candle to this regen process, and it still appears to be going ahead in its initial form despite Ravensbury residents being against it.

This is all despite him saying it wouldn’t go ahead if residents opposed it. Go figure. In fact Stephen has come across as being firmly in the CHMP camp, pictured shaking hands with their CEO, always avoiding criticising the company and seemingly anti resident when it comes to listening and working on our behalf. Guess that’s what happens when someone thinks they are Lord over all that they survey.

What you might find interesting is the money involved:

The value of property in Merton is around the £800 per square foot, or more.
The build cost these days is around £100 per square foot.
So that leaves: £800-£100 = £700 per square foot to cover profit, contingency, demolition and professional fees.

On the average new build house, of 93m2, that’s roughly £650k in their pocket in the broadest terms, back of a fag packet type calculations.

There’s no VAT to be paid due to the new build versus refurb.

Not a bad earner if you’ve been practically given the housing stock in the first place?

Ravensbury Residents Association

Local Plan for Merton regen on agenda at Merton Council’s Cabinet meeting tonight!

At 7pm tonight (Monday, 18th January 2016), the Merton regen plans are on the Cabinet meeting agenda. This is held in rooms C D E in the Civic Centre, Morden.

Item 8 is about the public consultation of the Local Plan Stage 2, and already has these recommendations:

Recommendations:
That Cabinet:
1. Notes the results of Circle Housing Merton Priory (CHMP) Board and the decision of
Circle Housing Board to proceed.
2. Approves six weeks of public consultation on the Draft Estates Local Plan (including
proposals to include opportunities of development around St Marks Academy set
out in Appendix A of this report ) and Sustainability Appraisal and associated
revisions to the Policies Map from February 2016 – March 2016, noting that the
consultation will provide residents input into setting the parameters which the
council would require any submitted regeneration proposals for the three estates to
adhere to.
3. Approve the associated update to the project plan (Merton’s Local Development
Scheme) to reflect preparation of the proposed draft Estates Regeneration Local
Plan and the revised timetable for preparation of this Plan as set out in this report.
4. Delegate approval to Director of Environment and Regeneration [Chris Lee] in consultation with
relevant Cabinet members to approve changes to the consultation documents and
the start of consultation and the timetable option to proceed with following this
current consultation stage.
5. Delegate conclusion of negotiation with CHMP on financial viability matters to the
Director of Corporate Services and Director of Environment and Regeneration [Councillor Andrew Judge] in
consultation with relevant Cabinet members; with any subsequent amendments to
the Stock Transfer Agreement to be brought back to Cabinet & Full Council.
6. Delegate approval to the Director of Community & Housing in consultation with the
relevant Cabinet Member, to finalise a revised delivery timetable for the
implementation of the decent homes programme on the High Path, Eastfields and
Ravensbury Estates.

Here’s the link to tonight’s meeting agenda…

http://democracy.merton.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=146&MId=2280

Here’s the link to the supporting documents:http://democracy.merton.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=4435#mgDocuments

This looks like a very important meeting that has had quite a few man hours spent on its preparation, so it’s a shame our councillors neglected to keep us fully informed of these matters… Very busy people perhaps?

It does appear as if the decision for regen has been made already though, with relegation of existing residents, and their views taken for granted.

Getting resident replies to this consultation is very important for everyone in Merton as a whole.

Ravensbury Residents Association RRA

Letter from Circle about homes on the Ravensbury garages site

On Friday 15th January 2016, many residents received a letter from Circle Housing regarding their desire to start building on the garages site at the end of Ravensbury Grove. This is despite Merton Council saying at the end of 2015 that they would not dispose of the site until the council’s own full consultation has been completed.

Circle’s Consultation dates:
Saturday, 23rd January 2016 – 11am to 3pm – Design & Layout of the new homes
Tuesday, 26th January 2016 – 4pm to 7pm – Construction Process

The Tuesday meeting will provide an update on their phasing plan if they manage to get planning permission from Merton Council in the summer of 2016

As far as planning permission goes, Circle do not need to actually own a site to apply for planning permission on it. Going ahead with their own consultation somewhat muddies the waters and seems to be designed to maintain momentum of the scheme despite a significant percentage of objections from the Ravensbury residents. The past consultation meetings have been paper thin in their integrity with residents sidelined and their opinions relegated.

Residents expected Merton Council’s councillors to properly represent them, as they had promised in the past, but many feel let down by what seems to be an unwillingness to join the debate with them.

Throughout this consultation, the residents input has been cherry picked to suit the financial return that Circle wish to get from full density development. The designs that Circle have proposed are not in keeping with the current character of Ravensbury and suit a brownfield development such as the Sita site in Benedict Road, Mitcham. We hope that Merton Council apply stringent regulations to moderate the planned heights and densities in order to get the best outcome for current residents.