Local Liberal Democrats have attacked the Government Planning Inspectorate for its decision to allow an overbearing development on part of the Tesco car park.
Last year Merton councillors rejected plans to build a development including two fifteen-story blocks of flats next to New Malden Tesco last year, after outrage from hundreds of residents.
Despite over 500 responses against the development, and Liberal Democrat councillors presenting evidence as to why it should not go ahead in this form, the Government is now giving it the green light.
At the time the Liberal Democrats called for a new planning brief for the site to prevent similar applications being pushed through in the future. The brief would set out appropriate building heights for the area, and should include assessments on the impact on local schools, GP surgeries and other services that would result from building flats on the site.
The decision from the Planning Inspector this week shows that local residents aren't planning protected by Conservative Government’s planning laws.
Eloise Bailey and Hina Bokhari, Liberal Democrat Councillors for West Barnes, reacted to the decision.
Cllr Bokhari said: “We have represented residents' objections throughout this process because of the height of the buildings.
"We fear that West Barnes will never be the same again. With more developments and less local participation. The developers now have all the power.”
Cllr Bailey said: "We were inundated with letters from residents about the development. Now they feel completely ignored. The Government's planning laws mean people's views are not considered".
References and notes to editors
Reference on the Government Planning Inspectorate Website: APP/T5720/W/20/3250440