Developer wants to increase number of flats on the site to over 100
A visualisation of the development submitted with the planning application
Local residents fear traffic could get worse under plans to build more homes on the former site of Barnes Hospital in Richmond. The change would see 26 more apartments and taller blocks on the site, which has been the subject of controversial redevelopment plans for several years.
A three-part phased development was approved in September 2020 to bring a health hub, special needs school and new homes to the site on South Worple Way, after the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust deemed the hospital surplus to requirements. This included permission for 80 homes to be built across three two and three-storey blocks on the western half of the site.
Star Land Realty UK, with the help of development managers LS Estates, bought the residential plot from the NHS Trust in March 2019. The developers now want to increase the number of new-build apartments from 80 to 106, plus three refurbished units, across one three-storey and two four-storey blocks. Twenty-four of the homes would be affordable.
Almost 200 cycle storage and 50 parking spaces, including 11 disabled spaces, are planned for the homes. There would be a car park for residents under two of the blocks. A statement submitted with the plans says the changes have been made to “fully optimise the site and secure the delivery of high quality dwellings and affordable housing in line with the aims of national, regional and local policy and guidance”.
A transport statement adds, “A review of personal injury incident records for the local road network has not indicated any pattern of incidents or inherent road safety issues in the local vicinity of the site.”
An overview of the development submitted with the application
But residents are concerned more homes will add to congestion and endanger pedestrians on South Worple Way – a narrow road next to a railway level crossing which would be used to access the development. One local said, “South Worple Way is already a dangerous road to drive or walk down – cars drive incredibly fast in order to avoid the congestion at the level crossing.
“The site is in between two primary schools and children’s’ lives will be put at risk. The infrastructure does not exist to accommodate the development. There is already considerable congestion on this very narrow single lane. Pollution will also significantly increase.”
Another resident said, “The White Hart Lane and South Worple Way junction is already precarious being both narrow and right next to the railway crossing, which causes a lot of problems and queues with traffic trying to turn right into South Worple Way from White Hart Lane resulting in cars getting stuck on the level crossing.
“The road junction is not big enough, resulting in larger vehicles having to mount the pavement which is dangerous for the many pedestrians, including young families with buggies, children on bike or scooters etc, living in the area.”
Another objector suggested a care home or units suitable for local elderly people would be “more appropriate”. The resident added, “These narrow streets cannot cope with any more demand on on-street parking or extra traffic, nor all the delivery vehicles and construction vehicles that approving this development would generate.”
Richmond Council is expected to make a decision on the plans soon. LS Estates and Avison Young, the agent for the application, have been contacted for comment.
Charlotte Lillywhite - Local Democracy Reporter
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April 20, 2022