Council Has Been "Shockingly Absent" From Early Crossrail 2 Debate

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

I am quite surprised that Merton Council has been shockingly absent from the early public discussion of Crossrail 2.

Whatever variant of the scheme is implemented, it’s going to affect the borough in a massive way. We might have expected the Council to work to help raise awareness amongst the public about the proposals. We might have expected them to offer a view on the plans, and how they could fit with their other ideas for Merton in the future. We might have expected some ideas on how they could support the borough’s residents and businesses during the construction process.

Instead, we heard very little until a letter was put together between councillors a couple of days before the consultation closed. That letter offers similar criticisms to the scheme that many others have offered. We saw in the Wimbledon Guardian last week leaked emails from the Labour party worrying that the issue was just going to be used to attack the Council.

With respect, that shouldn’t be the prime concern.

Merton Council needs strong, clear and appropriate planning policies and a vision in place to guide and manage the significant development that is going to follow this scheme. They need to deal with issues such as the height of any new buildings, the balance between residential and commercial, affordable housing, open space, accessibility, supporting vibrant (and independent?) businesses – so that those areas redeveloped don’t just become sterile, dead spaces.  

Anthony Fairclough

Merton Hall Road

SW19 3PZ

January 11, 2016