453-home development 'is wrong for Richmond', says MP

By The Editor

20th Jan 2021 | Local News

I was disappointed to hear this week that the Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick MP, has decided not to 'call in' the Planning Application for the redevelopment of the Homebase site on Manor Road, Richmond.

Local residents will recall that Richmond Council's Planning Committee refused the original application, a mixed-use development, which included 385 homes in a four to nine storey development, in July 2019.

On July 29 the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, used his powers under The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to become the local planning authority for the application, taking it over from the Council. The scheme was subsequently amended to a four to eleven storey development, with an uplift in the number of new residential units to 453.

When the Mayor resolved to grant planning permission for the even larger scheme, I wrote to Mr Jenrick requesting the Government take over the role of planning authority from the Mayor on the grounds that the proposal is of regional significance and the detrimental impact the scheme would have on the site and surrounding area. The Secretary of State subsequently issued a holding direction to allow him time to consider the request.

On January 14, the Secretary of State informed us that he would not be calling in this decision.

In his letter he highlighted the Government's commitment to giving more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues.

However, he has done the very opposite in making this decision, by refusing to support the local authority's decision to refuse this application.

I firmly believe that local communities should have a say over local developments. This decision is wrong for Richmond, and I support Richmond Council in continuing to fight overdevelopment on this site.

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[H3] [i]Thanks very much to Sarah for contributing this piece for us.

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