Prince George’s Playing Field given extra protection

Future plans for nature site will have to satisfy guidelines

Merton Council has ensured the future of Prince George’s Playing Field will be safeguarded after a special planning document was agreed.

Prince George’s Playing Field in Raynes Park is a large open space, of which part is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. Due to this and its location in a heavily populated area, any future development of the site has to be considered carefully.

To help with this, Merton has drawn up guidelines of what would be considered and what would not, and the improvements it would like to see: a draft planning framework.

The framework was agreed by Merton’s Executive Committee last month after extensive consultation was carried out and extra requirements were added to give the site even more protection.

Any future planning application would be judged against the framework that asks for a clearer cycle route, a new management plan for the nature conservation area, improved landscaping and boundary treatment, and limiting vehicular access to the new entrance off Bushey Road now.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Andrew Judge, said: “I’m very pleased we have got the strength of the Planning Framework behind us so we can look at future applications with it in mind and assess whether approval is justified, or not.

“It was a lengthy process and we listened to many people before it was approved.

“We had to deal with a late intervention from Wimbledon Football Club who lease the site and wanted the UDP to be adapted to allow houses to be built on the site. That request was not possible of course as it’s Metropolitan Open Land.”