Members of the Mortlake community have spoken out following the approval of development at the Stag Brewery site, describing the process as “seriously flawed”.

In a packed meeting of Richmond Council’s planning committee at the end of January, councillors voted in favour of constructing up to 633 residential units and a news secondary sixth form at the site off Lower Richmond Road.

But a third application for the site, which would have seen a reconfigured traffic layout at nearby Chalkers Corner, was thrown out as it was deemed “unnecessary” by the committee.

Concerns were expressed about the loss of mature trees, air quality, and pollution levels that could result from the new layout.

However, members of the Mortlake Brewery Community Group (MBCG) raised concerns over the decision because they deemed it as being inconclusive and would leave the Mortlake community in an extended state of uncertainty.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Mortlake resident and MBCG member Francine Bates said: "The MBCG is very disappointed with both the process and outcome of the Richmond Planning Committee Meeting, and we will take a number of actions to advance our commitment to seeing a sustainable development on the former brewery site in Mortlake.

"In our view, the process used to decide these applications was seriously flawed.

"A chaotic and overly lengthy meeting disallowed the use of visuals and supplementary documents for objectors but allowed both for supporters.

"This restricted a fair and evidenced-based discussion of the issues and impacts that this development will bring to the community.

"Moreover, we believe that consideration of the three separate planning applications was prejudicial – each application was presented as a standalone project when in fact the three are highly integrated."

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

MBCG further explained that the decision to reject the traffic amendments to Chalkers Corner could compromise the health and safety of the Mortlake community, and make the traffic situation significantly worse.

A Richmond Council spokeswoman responded: “The Planning Committee considered the impact of the proposed development on the local road network.

“Members concluded that with appropriate mitigation measures secured on the two main applications on the Stag Brewery site, the Chalker’s Corner works were not necessary.

“In addition, the negative impacts of the proposed works at Chalker’s Corner outweighed the benefits, in particular, the impact on air quality, trees and the living environment for nearby residents alongside the loss of other open land of townscape importance.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

“The Committee thereby resolved the application should be refused. It should be recognised that the legal agreement does also secure other works to the highway to mitigate the impact of the scheme, including improvements to public transport and cycling provision to seek to encourage current and future residents, pupils and visitors to use alternatives to travel by car.”

The Council also defended the format of the planning meeting, stating it had followed the usual format and procedure for meetings and permitted “many more people than would usually be allowed to speak”.

It highlighted consultation work carried out in advance of the meeting and stated that all comments and information lodged in response had been taken into account.

The MBCG said that it would continue to challenge the development by campaigning against the increase in traffic, as well as in favour of the protection of green space, and safeguarding air quality.