Diary of a Sutton Councillor

People-Power sees off Wallington McDonalds

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Our Planning Department has been advised that McDonalds will not be seeking to appeal the refusal of planning permission for the two-storey drive through proposed for Stafford Road in Wallington.

Whilst we cannot completely relax until the deadline for the appeal of 23rd April has passed, we can acknowledge this victory for people-power. It felt like local residents were battling against the odds facing off a corporate giant and an officer recommendation for planning approval. However the hard work of local people and sheer determination to persuade the planning committee of the detrimental effect this oversized development would have both on those living close to it, and on Wallington itself, has paid off in buckets with the unanimous refusal of the application by councillors on the committee, and now with McDonalds showing no desire to appeal that decision.

Councillor Colin Hall and myself, and Tom Brake MP are very proud to have worked alongside residents helping them to achieve this success. The number of people who took round petitions and got them signed, designed leaflets and posters, posed for pictures, and most important of all attended the Development Control Committee meeting was inspiring. It was also fantastic to see a core group of  people, previously unknown to each other, who came together to work for this common cause and co-ordinate efforts, and I must particularly mention Alan Fitter, Andrea Rivers, Karin Jashapara, Robert Landeryou and Malcolm Flegg.

The other good news is that we understand that the landowners still want to develop the site, but possibly with a residential/retail mixed unit much more in keeping with the area and acceptable to local residents. Colin & I have asked for early talks with the land-owners so we can help them bring forward a development that will enhance Wallington, rather than blight it. We will also be encouraging the developers to talk to local people to get their backing for a good scheme on this site.

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March 17, 2014 - Posted by | Information | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Are you saying that without the campaign, the committee would have voted this proposal through? Aren’t most of the people on the committee your fellow Liberal Democrats?

    Comment by Neil Garratt | March 17, 2014 | Reply

    • The Development Control Committee is a quasi-legal body and applications have to be decided on planning grounds only. The area where the committee has decision-making powers is where the opinions of planning officers are a matter of judgement. In this case the arguments made by residents and the volume of backing to those arguments was indeed key to getting members to refuse this application. On applications where little or no objections are raised, Development Control members will understandably assume that there are minimal negative impacts of a development and are therefore more likely to grant permission. That is why this was such a victory for the power of the community.

      Comment by jaynemccoy | March 17, 2014 | Reply


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