Redevelopment of Merton Vision site

MertonVision is a charity which was founded, in conjunction with the council, in 1965 to support and provide services to enable blind and partially sighted people in Merton to enjoy a full role in society.

They are currently located in the Guardian Centre, on the site of the old Alphea Middle School on the junction of Clarendon, Courtney and Fortescue Roads. When MertonVision bought the site from Merton Council a covenant was placed on the property. This states that if MertonVision wants to move they have to sell the site back to the Council for the same price they bought it, approximately £150,000. The building is now in a bad state of repairs; the central heating no longer works and windows need replacing amongst many other things.

For some time Colliers Wood has needed a bigger doctors surgery and this was going to be located above the recently built Library, an ideal location with easy access and good transport links. It is also why AP Chemist moved to their new location. Unfortunately, an agreement could not be made with the developer. Knowing MertonVisions predicament, Merton Council suggested their site was sold to a different developer in return for providing a new centre for MertonVision and the amalgamation of two existing GP surgeries (Colliers Wood High Street and Lavender Fields.)

The developer’s initial plans were for a three-storey facility completely out of keeping with the character and charm of the surrounding area. Colliers Wood Residents Association (CWRA) and local residents have fought hard for a design which is more sympathetic with the architecture and scale of the houses nearby that would still offer a community space as at present.

However, there are still grave concerns about this development and the impact it will have on the local community and residents.

  1. There is no public transport near the site, the closest bus stop is 0.3m away, reflected in the weak Transport for London’s Public Transport Accessibility Levels (PTAL) score for this site. Patients, many of whom are elderly and/or disabled, will have to walk a substantial distance to the surgery.
  1. The current plans put the surgery entrance at the furthest reach from the main access point creating a greater distance for patients to walk and causes the most disruption for residents. Original 2018 plans had a joint entrance on the corner of Courtney and Clarendon Road. The CWRA believe this is a far more suitable location.
  1. Onsite parking will not be available to patients so there are possible plans to reduce the amount of parking spaces available to local residents of the surrounding roads, with patient-only bays. The transport survey carried out states that there is ‘ample parking availability, immediately surrounding the site meaning that residents would be forced to park elsewhere’. CWRA do not feel that the transport survey was accurate in this detail. Residents of the immediately surrounding roads will know this to be the case. Please note that none of the survey was carried out after 5pm, when parking is busier.

Whilst the CWRA fully supports good development that is sympathetic with the character of our neighbourhood and that includes appropriate and much-needed community development, we feel it is vital that all residents are involved in the planning process and are aware of the proposals as they evolve.

We must also consider what would happen to the site if this application was not successful. 

Regardless, a planning application has been submitted and we encourage everyone to take a look by going to Merton Council’s Planning Application website click here The application number is 20/P3608

The consultation period runs from 24.11.20 until 23.12.20. We urge you to give your feedback to them by that date.

To comment on, or object to a current planning application, submit it by email to: and include the following details:

  • Planning application reference number – for MertonVision this is 20/P3608
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Planning application description
  • Your comments

Please note that comments submitted to the council cannot be treated as confidential and will be made available for public inspection without exception. For more information about commenting on a planning application click here

December 2020 – Colliers Wood Residents Association 

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