The proposed development of a new Health Centre on Merton Vision site, Clarendon Road, Colliers Wood.

There have been local discussions about relocating a new GP surgery in Colliers Wood for many years, including on the current Merton Vision site as a potential option to replace the existing Colliers Wood and Lavender Fields surgeries.  However, until the developer revealed initial plans for a health centre development on this site at a public consultation in November 2018, we were unaware of the magnitude of the planned medical development and the additional NHS services the CCG was planning to provide on the site.  The plans indicate a transformational primary care facility, which includes NHS administration offices and transferring of services from secondary to primary care to relieve pressure on St George’s Hospital.  The initial plans would demolish the existing Merton Vision buildings, remove street trees, erect a large bulky facility in a style completely out of keeping with the distinctive character of the Robinson Road/Boundary Road local area, and dramatically increase traffic on local roads that are currently closed to through traffic.   This has angered local residents, who have been shocked by the scale of the current proposals.  

We have since learned that the Merton CCG funding application documents underpinning the scheme contain inaccuracies and raise questions about the process of selecting this site for such a major project. These CCG/NHS funding documents also propose a medical facility very different from a proposal simply to relocate local GP practices, which had been the plan previously under discussion with local residents. Unsurprisingly, the developer’s initial proposal conflicts with many relevant local planning considerations for this site on a quiet residential road. Other sites that have been developed for similar health centres have been located on high streets with good public transport links.  However, the local planning aspect of this project is still at early stages and, to the best of our knowledge, no formal application has been submitted to Merton Council. We are confident that the initial development concept could not be approved by local planners, and we are fortunately working with our local Councillors and MP to ensure that, if the site is developed, it is done within the boundaries of guidelines set out by planning law. The CWRA fully supports good development that is sympathetic with the character of our neighbourhoods in Colliers Wood and ideally enhances them, including appropriate and much-needed community development.

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