Merton invests to enhance Raynes Park

Merton Council has launched an £80,000 programme of initiatives to steer both public and private investment into Raynes Park and help improve the appearance of the area, making it a more vibrant place for shopping and safer for pedestrians.

Residents and local businesses all had a say in how the newly enhanced local centre should look during the council’s extensive public consultation in 2007. Plans for the future of the area are therefore being guided by the priorities of the local community in Raynes Park.

Plans contained in the new Raynes Park Enhancement Plan cover improved routes for pedestrians and cyclists as well as for car users and those who take public transport. The programme of initiatives also includes traffic studies and the potential introduction of new crossing points at Coombe Lane, Durham Road and Worple Road as well as improving public spaces. Improvements to the pavement areas in Raynes Park include new paving, benches, rubbish bins and street lighting as well as the removal of unnecessary road signs.

Alongside the overall improvements to Raynes Park, a brand new Waitrose supermarket, café and public piazza have been given the go-ahead. The development will also include 97 apartments on Coombe Lane and West Barnes Lane. In addition to providing the public piazza, the developer, St James Homes, will make available additional investment to improve the area between the Waitrose development and Raynes Park Station, which will supplement Merton Council’s £80,000 contribution.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for finance and regeneration Councillor Diane Neil Mills said: ‘We are continually striving to make Merton a more pleasant place to live and work. This includes enhancing areas of the borough like Raynes Park and, especially during this time of economic uncertainty, ensuring it is an attractive shopping centre for both locals and visitors.

‘The Raynes Park Enhancement Plan will be guiding both public and private investment into a programme of improvements to make sure the needs of residents and local businesses in the area are being met. We will also be continually consulting with residents through the Raynes Park Community Forum both before and during the works.’

More information about the plan is available at Raynes Park Library and online at http://www.merton.gov.uk/raynespark. The Raynes Park Local Centre Enhancement Plan will co-ordinate investment into the area until 2011 when the London Borough of Merton’s new Local Development Framework (LDF) will take over and guide the development work.

Ends

Notes to editors

Consultations on the future of Raynes Park were carried out during two separate events held at Raynes Park library – one aimed at community groups and the other at local businesses.

The money for some of the actions laid out in the enhancement plan has already been allocated and others are likely to be funded in future bids from known sources.

Existing council resources will be used where possible. The council has a capital budget for street scene improvements and legal requirements attached to planning permissions (for example Section 106 agreements) will also be used to fund improvements in and around Raynes Park.