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Businessman applies to tarmac over 'green corridor' with car park in New Malden
The owner of a piece of scrubland has incurred the anger of residents in attempting to tarmac over a piece of scrubland currently designated as a "green corridor".
The 0.53 acre site at the end of Rookwood Avenue, New Malden, was owned by the Royal Borough of Kingston before it was sold at auction for a reported £131,000 in July 2013.
Merton Council had intended to purchase the land based on a starting price of £20,000 with hopes of transforming it into a community space or allotments.
Buyer Farman Tayebi has since submitted a planning application to use the land as a "private car park store" to extend his existing car dealership on Burlington Road by tarmacing over the green space and securing it with a metal fence.
Residents have long used the path across the land to the footbridge over the Beverly Brook to Blagdon Road which the new owner has said he does intend to maintain.
However Mr Tayebi has already chopped down a number of trees on the site and was recently seen attempting to put down a large amount of aggregate despite not yet gaining planning permission and in contravention of a restrictive covenant to protect the land.
The land is subject to a covenant which means it cannot be built on or be used for anything other than open space or recreation.
Work on the site has since been halted after council officers stepped in after being alerted by concerned councillors.
Conservative Councillor Gilli Lewis-Lavender who represents the ward, said she was "horrified" to learn the owner had arrived at the site with a large lorry load of aggregate and deposited it onto the piece of scrubland.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Mary-Jane Jeanes, of West Barnes ward said the land is used as a foraging ground for bats and many species of birds and that she agreed with the majority of Rookwood Avenue residents who want the land to be a "green corridor".
Councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration said: "Since hearing reports of the land owners working on the piece of land at Rookwood Avenue, council officers have been down to the site to manage the situation.
"It was made quite clear to the owners that they did not have permission for the work they were doing and that they should stop immediately which they have done .
"The land owner has since been informed that if they continue to work without permission we will take enforcement action."
See the application for yourself on Merton Council's website.
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