Richmond Council has expressed regret that the Secretary of State for Housing has decided not to ‘call in’ the planning application for the redevelopment of the Homebase site on Manor Road, Richmond.

The council’s Planning Committee resolved to refuse the original application in July 2019.

However, after an intervention from London Mayor Sadiq Khan, permission for the Homebase site redevelopment granted in October 2020.

The scheme was then referred to housing secretary Robert Jenrick.

Sarah Olney, MP for Richmond Park, wrote to Mr Jenrick in September 2020 requesting he call in the application.

She argued the proposal was of regional significance and the scheme would have a detrimental impact on the surrounding area.

The Secretary of State issued a holding direction to allow him time to consider the request.

However, Mr Jenrick confirmed in January 2021 the application will not be called in.

Therefore, approval stands, and the development can go-ahead.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: The 1.8-hectacre site will provide 453 homes in Richmond.The 1.8-hectacre site will provide 453 homes in Richmond.

The 1.8-hectare ‘urban-village’ will include 453 apartments and penthouses plus retail, community and office spaces.

Of these homes, the developer says 173 will be affordable.

However, Richmond Council has slammed the project, saying it fails to deliver enough affordable homes, the design and scale are visually intrusive, and it will have an impact on surrounding properties.

Cllr Julia Neden-Watts, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sport Committee for Richmond Council said:

“The Council is extremely disappointed that, in declining to call in the Homebase application, the Secretary of State is clearing the way for the scheme to go-ahead.

“This decision has given the Greater London Authority the power to approve the redevelopment plans, which are now even more overbearing that the original application turned down by Richmond’s Planning Committee.

“In this case, contrary to the Government’s commitment to giving more power to local Councils to make their own decisions, this decision is being made by the Mayor of London and against what this Council would have wanted in refusing the original application.

“The Mayor believes that this development would have a significant impact on the implementation of the London Plan policies on housing and affordable housing. This Council stands by our original decision that the development will have a detrimental effect on the site and surrounding area and is in conflict with Richmond’s Local Plan.

The Council is currently negotiating the Section 106 Legal Agreement with the Greater London Authority and the applicants to ensure affordable housing is maximised.