Green Light For 'Controversial' Stag Brewery Development

663 new homes will impact local traffic and commuters on already crowded trains

image: The Stag Brewery Redevelopment Exhibition, Squire & Partners

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Controversial plans to redevelop the Stag Brewery site in Mortlake, including hundreds of new flats, a hotel, secondary school and even a ‘care village’, have been approved by Richmond Council, subject to further conditions.

The site was famous for the brewing of Budweiser beer, but this ceased in 2015, and there has been heated debate over what should be done with the site ever since.

Guy Duckworth from Dartmouth Capital, which provides development management services for the developer, Reselton, said the approval was a “positive step for the future of the site”.

Although he added that Section 106 terms will have to be discussed and resolved with planning officers after councillors rejected the first application to make changes to the Chalker’s Corner traffic junction.

image: The Stag Brewery Redevelopment Exhibition, Squire & Partners

The application was split into three sections, focussing on the residential housing and commercial space, the secondary school, and the changes that would need to be made to the road layout to mitigate extra traffic to the site.

While councillors broadly supported the new housing and secondary school, most objected to the new road layout.

Councillor Martin Elengorn said he rejected the assumption that one sixth of the children at the secondary school would be driven to the site, requiring more road space.

After some deliberation, councillors agreed to reject the reconfiguration of Chalkers Corner traffic junction, saying that the mitigation plans were not necessary for traffic purposes.

They also expressed concerns about the loss of mature trees, air quality and pollution levels and the ‘unneighbourly’ encroachment of the new lane on residents at Chertsey Court.

However, because the rest of the application was dependent on the approval of changes to the traffic junction, this means that heads will have to be renegotiated with the developer, Reselton, and planning officers at a later date.

Officers added that the Mayor of London is likely to call-in the decision anyway as many parts did not fit in with the London plan.

Some residents feared these changes presented “more uncertainty.”

Nevertheless, Mr Duckworth said he was “delighted that the community have supported the development”.

“The future of the brewery is bright at last,” he said.

Clare Delmar from the Mortlake Brewery Community Group seemed fairly perplexed with the result, but insisted the group “always wanted to contribute to a community plan”.

One of her main concerns had been about the development’s focus on cars, which councillors sought to rectify.

There were 100 submissions from members of the public to speak at this week’s planning committee [January 29] and seven councillors also provided comments.

image: LDR Sian Bayley

Most of the complaints were about housing density and the lack of affordable housing, increased levels of traffic and pollution in the area, and concerns that there was no need for a secondary school.

Michael Squire, representing the architects for the scheme, insisted they had followed the brief given to them by the council and had made significant amendments in response to resident and councillor concerns.

He reiterated that “the site is going to be developed”, and will not continue to be an empty brewery site.

He said to refuse the application would be “a massive loss of opportunity”.

The plan includes 633 residential units on the site, of which a maximum of 138 (17 per cent) will be affordable.

There is also a plan for a ‘care village’ for up to 150 units, as well as a secondary school and sixth form for 1,200 pupils.

Sian Bayley - Local Democracy Reporter

January 31, 2020

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