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Residents furious that ‘absolutely dreadful’ Alton Estate plans would see trees 'destroyed'

Residents furious that ‘absolutely dreadful’ Alton Estate plans would see trees 'destroyed'

Residents have voiced their concerns over plans to build 1,100 homes over a ten year span on the site of Roehampton's Alton Estate.

John Horrocks lives in Roehampton High Street and loves the look of the town.

But he was disappointed when the plans were submitted, as it would result in many trees being chopped down.

"I think it will be dreadful," he said.

"It will be the destruction of all the green tree cover."

In 2016, Redrow plc was chosen by Wandsworth Council as a development partner to replace the post-war council housing on the 31-acre site.

As well as new homes, the proposal includes an 'Urban Quarter' which will feature a new village square and multi-purpose community building to host the new Roehampton Library, a health centre, spaces to rehouse the Base Youth Club and a new community hall.

While the plans include new trees being planted, Mr Horrocks doesn't want to see the area reduced to a concrete jungle in the meantime.

"The plans have been drawn by someone who seems to have no interest in the look of Roehampton," he added.

"What I’m hoping for is that the council will tell Redrow that they’ve got to revise their plans so that the tree destruction doesn't go ahead."

Paskar Owor agrees.

He has lived in Roehampton for ten years after moving from Uganda and said the area would be unrecognisable without the greenery.

"The appearance of Roehampton could change completely," he said.

"The place looks beautiful now. People come to relax because it is a unique area. That shouldn't have to change."

But if comments made earlier this year by council leader Ravi Govindia are any indication, there is a good chance the plans get approved.

Residents furious that ‘absolutely dreadful’ Alton Estate plans would see trees 'destroyed'
A CGI of the proposed designs

“Alton regeneration will deliver more than new homes, it will re-energise Roehampton and provide state of the art community facilities that will benefit the Roehampton community and wider Wandsworth," he said in June.

“I am delighted to be working with Redrow in partnership to deliver this long-awaited transformation. This partnership is another demonstration of our commitment to building more homes across the borough and providing better housing choice for Wandsworth people."

The plans have also caught the eye of London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Last week he penned a letter to the council, urging it to raise "serious concerns" about the plans.

The concerns weren't about the trees though, rather the letter referenced affordable housing.

"I am disappointed by the lack of clarity your officers have been able to provide to my team on the re-provision of social rented housing," part of the letter read.

"I was also concerned to hear from my team that the consultation process appears to have been seriously deficient, with the last consultation event on the wider plans having taken place nearly a year ago, and there having been no specific consultation on the submitted proposals at all."

He added that he was disappointed the council had not bid for any of his affordable homes funding to help boost the level of affordable housing.

Of the 1,103 new homes, Redrow said that 256 of them will be new and replacement affordable homes.

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