We have now sent our detailed response to the Council’s draft Local Plan.
We consider that the objects set out in the draft need to be re-ordered so that top priority is given to Climate Change, followed by Energy, Sustainability & the Environment, then Greening of the Borough, and finally Growth/development. Development must not be at the cost of losing the character, heritage and distinctiveness of Merton and development should only be accepted if it first meets Climate Change & Sustainability Policies and relates well to local character.
We think the plan needs to change its whole approach, away from explaining how the Council will re-act to proposals from developers, to being more pro-active, particularly in order to achieve the transformation of both buildings and transport required to combat Climate Change.
The currently imposed target of over 13,000 new homes in the next 15 years means that an average of 500 new homes will need to be built per square kilometre in the Borough. Without any clear indication of how this is to be achieved on the ground, this is clearly a target that needs to be reassessed. Building of housing should have priority over the building of office blocks.
We need to see a far greater emphasis on achieving safe and pleasant pedestrian zones and a proper working network of safe cycleways. Through traffic and speeding should have no place in local neighbourhoods.
The protection of all open space and nature should be paramount and making space for arts and culture would provide a welcome boost to both personal well-being and the local economy.
A sound and secure energy supply will be essential in the development of infrastructure and should be made robust and resilient in the face of climate change.
You can read our response in full here.