Using the planning system to realise Merton’s potential


  • Our proposal to limit building heights in Wimbledon town centre & close the loophole that allowed Council to give permission for the overbearing St George’s House East development was voted down by Labour - while the Conservatives abstained.
  • After leading the challenge to the YMCA’s previous plans, we supported the current redevelopment, which includes 121 low-rent flats for young people, after the developer listened to the community’s concerns.
  • Lib Dems in Parliament have fought the Conservative scheme to allow developers to add 2 extra storeys to blocks of flats across Merton without needing planning permission or any requirement for affordable housing.
  • Supported Plan Wimbledon, the residents’ group formed to influence local planning decisions through a "neighbourhood plan" - now seeking to help it build links with local businesses.
  • Proposed restoring the publication of residents’ comments about planning applications online.


  • Adopt a new approach to planning by bringing the community, local businesses, social housing providers and commercial developers together to discuss competing priorities and necessary compromises.
  • We won't scrap the Local Plan (local planning rules), which would create a developers’ free-for-all, but instead amend and add to it to reflect the community’s priorities on issues like building heights, etc.
  • Develop local planning rules to embrace new ways of living and working, such as encouraging communal working areas in new developments.
  • Ensure planning enforcement is properly resourced to deal with ‘cowboy’ developers and ensure planning rules are followed.
  • Put more emphasis on waste storage and collection solutions before planning permission granted.