Council Accused of Running Down Clock on Toland Square Plans

Documents relating to the planning application not published

Residents at a recent emergency meeting with our councillors. Picture: Toni Greaves


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February 23, 2024

Residents opposed to the redevelopment plans on Toland Square in Roehampton are accusing Wandsworth Council of running down the clock on its planning application by not publishing details of the proposals.

The application (2024/0389) was registered on 5 February on the council’s planning portal but over two weeks later no documents associated with it have been posted online. Neither have any details been released to residents of the estate.

This has meant that it is not possible for people to review the designs and comment on them.

“It feels like they are purposefully running down the clock on this to push their plans through,” said spokesperson for the Save Toland Square group, Zara Tomkinson. “The day after the plans were filed we asked for a copy and we still haven’t received them.”

Furthermore, the council is treating the application as one which requires only an eight-week registration period. It is argued that this scheme, which includes a new three-story building taking up most of the available green space, and a replacement play structure and recreation centre relocated to between two existing blocks – is a major application and so should require a minimum of 13 weeks processing giving residents more time to make comments. Ms Tomkinson says this issue has been raised with the council, but no reply has been received.

Roehampton’s three councillors - Councillors Graeme Henderson, Matthew Tiller and Jenny Yates - attended an emergency meeting at Toland Square on 10 February in which residents outlined their concerns. The councillors said they would raise the issues highlighted to the person with responsibility for housing in the borough, Labour cabinet member for housing, Aydin Dikerdem. Since then, there has been no communication with residents on the matter according to the Save Toland Square group.

Ms Tomkinson says, “It’s been the same story this entire process. Our views are ignored, the plans are pushed forward, we complain, they promise to listen next time, the plans are pushed forward again, and we’re ignored again.”

Many residents of Toland Square have been strongly opposed to the plans since they were first proposed under the Conservative-run council and have continued to oppose them under the new Labour-run administration.

The centre of Toland Square which is surrounded by homes
The centre of Toland Square which is surrounded by homes

They say the proposal would see most of Toland’s Square actual square disappear, while the green space between two buildings, currently covered in daffodils, would be taken up with a replacement community centre, and the garages in the corner of the estate
replaced with a third building.

There are approximately 125 homes in Toland Square; a petition opposing the plans has already received over 900 signatures.

The council has previously defended the decision to proceed with the Toland Square scheme by pointing out that has a programme to build 1,000 council homes to help homeless families in the borough. The new homes will be offered to those wishing to move from over or undercrowded homes on the same estate.

A council said the reason the documents are not yet published is "because the application has not yet been fully submitted so is not yet 'live'.

"When everything has been finalised and the application has been fully submitted and becomes 'live' there will be a statutory period of consultation – but we are not yet at that point."

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