The Secretary of State has dismissed Meyer Homes’ planning appeal for their proposed plans for 705 homes on Former Government Offices site in Tolworth.
In the decision letter, the Secretary of State agreed with the recent decision of the Council not to defend the original reasons for refusal. However, the Secretary of State and the Appeal Inspector believed that the legal agreement provided by Meyer Homes, which accompanied the scheme and contained obligations directly related to the development to make it acceptable in planning terms, did not provide sufficient guarantee that they would be able to deliver the necessary wider community benefits, including affordable housing and the works to the Tolworth roundabout. As a result he concluded the development as a whole was unacceptable in that it would fail to comply with the thrust of the development plan policy and the national planning policy framework.
On the decision, Cllr Kevin Davis, Leader of Kingston Council, said:
“We welcome the Secretary of State’s support of our planning committee’s decision to withdraw from defending the original reasons for refusal. The appeal makes clear that the reasons for refusal were not strong but goes on to consider that the commitment of Meyer Homes to infrastructure improvements were not sufficiently guaranteed by the agreement submitted by Meyer Homes as part of the scheme. It’s essential that any development on this site delivers results for residents, both in terms of housing but also infrastructure, including investing in affordable homes, schools and roads, especially Tolworth roundabout.
“The Council will always look to ensure the best interests of our residents are met when considering any large-scale developments in our Royal Borough.”
Meyer Homes submitted revised plans for 950 homes on the Former Government Offices site in December 2016. This proposal is due to be considered by the Council’s Development Control Committee in the future.