Proposal for exclusive development is set for discussion by Merton Councillors
By Tara O'Connor, Local Democracy Reporter
Concerns have been raised that badger setts will be disturbed if a play area is extended in Wimbledon Hill.
It’s because of a proposal to expand the existing play area at the former Atkinson Morley Hospital.
It forms part of a high-end development known as Wimbledon Hill Park by created by Berkeley Homes.
This included the redevelopment and refurbishment of the Atkinson Morley and Wolfson Neurorehabilitation Centre, which is currently being constructed (see picture above).
Now Berkeley Homes wants to extend an existing 100 sqm play space to the south.
The 128 sqm extension would be to offer a dedicated space for younger children and babies.
In a planning application the developer states that the playground would be ‘natural in character’ and use timber to fit in with woodland surroundings.
But a report set to be considered by Merton Council’s planning committee on Thursday (April 25) said there have been concerns raised about the potential disturbance of badger setts.
A letter signed by 18 residents of the Wimbledon Hill Park development raises concerns with the plans, but adds that they understand that a play area is important.
The letter said: “The application fails to identify an active badger sett within 5m of the proposed location.
“There is evidence that they forage in the play space proposed area and the application risks disturbing this tranquil, wildlife friendly part of the estate. There are also active bat and bird boxes in neighbouring trees.”
The plans are recommended for approval with the condition that a full survey of badger setts would need to take place before construction.
April 22, 2019