Planning Permission Granted for Hotel in Morden

Merton’s Planning Applications Committee (PAC) granted planning permission, subject to conditions, for a new hotel with  seven storeys on Crown Lane at the junction with Windermere Avenue.  Despite strong representations from MPWRA and many local residents, in writing beforehand, and verbally at the meeting by your councillors and MPWRA committee members, the application was approved with 9 PAC members in favour and only one against.

We had two main reasons for objection.  First was the obvious effect of the height and mass towering over the two storey houses on Windermere and Grasmere Avenues. The closest house goes from 6 hours of direct sunlight in the garden per day to 2 hours – OK because 2 hours meets regulations !

The officers’ report recommended approval citing the benefits of regeneration,  and  national and  local  policies, set out in Merton’s new Local Plan,  requiring optimum use of sites,

The other main concern was  the  impact on the existing wind tunnel. Notwithstanding lived experience otherwise, the specialist engineer, commissioned by the applicant, advised that computer modelling showed no increased risks. Their analysis is based on industry-wide standards using climate data from Heathrow and London City Airports. “Modelling” can’t take actual gusts into account it seems!

PAC members from the Political parties all voted for approval and there are technical reasons why we can’t appeal against a PAC decision, but the approval is subject to conditions which will require further planning approvals and we will be monitoring them.

Please see poster above for details of our meeting on 7th May where there will be discussion of the implications of this decision.

Hubert Child, Chair MPWRA


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