The future of Merton is mapped out until 2011, as the council has finalised a Plan setting out the future land use and transport policies for the whole borough.
The council has recently ‘adopted’ its revised Unitary Development Plan (UDP). The Plan is a major document that outlines proposals for new town centre facilities, protects open spaces and identifies sites where major developments are proposed. The UDP also affects everyone undertaking new building in the Borough.
As the Plan looks ahead to 2011 it had to consider London’s growing population. From 1991 to 2001 Merton’s population rose by almost 20,000 and further rises are expected. Therefore the Plan balances the need for new housing with the need to provide jobs and facilities for residents.
The growth is also placing pressure to build on open space and employment land that the Council is seeking to protect. To meet these needs the Plan includes new Government advice for more sustainable forms of development, such as a mix of uses and higher density developments near town centres where less car parking is needed.
Merton Council is also the first in the country to adopt a policy that expects all larger non-residential developments to provide10 per cent of their energy requirements from renewable sources such as solar power. The Plan also sets out guidelines for design to ensure that new development is built to a good standard. The Plan gives priority to improvements for cycling and pedestrians and seeks to support improved public transport.
Councillor Russell Makin, Merton Council’s cabinet member for transport and planning, said: “I am delighted that Merton Council is at the forefront of planning in London and we now have an up to date planning framework. This Plan will enable the council to resist unwanted developments and to protect the facilities and open areas that residents have indicated they value.”
More details about the Plan can be obtained from Merton Council. It will not be published until the New Year but copies of the latest documents are available at Merton Link, Merton Civic Centre and in local libraries.