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Fears City Hall affordable homes policy could swing Tolworth Toby Jug redevelopment plan

Politicians and residents have blasted a developer for announcing it wants to increase the number of homes planned for the Toby Jug site in Tolworth.

Meyer Bergman, which bought the land from Tesco a year ago, announced this week that it will apply to build even more than 705 homes on the site – the amount previously rejected by Kingston Council. Opponents fear that London Mayor Sadiq Khan will overrule a rejection this time around if the application meets his criteria for affordable housing.

City Hall has the power to ‘call in’ applications if they are considered to be of “potential strategic importance” to London.

The Mayor’s office declined to comment. In July, councillors rejected an outline application to build 705 homes for being too dense, and because of its potential adverse effects on traffic.

Tesco had tried to build on the site for more than a decade, but was met by fierce protests from residents. Ex-Tolworth councillor Vicki Harris, now chairman of the Hook Rise Residents’ Association, said she was “pretty certain” the plans would be passed following City Hall approval.

Four major construction projects are planned or ongoing within a small radius in Tolworth: the Tolworth Tower regeneration, a new Holiday Inn near the train station and Lidl’s UK headquarters, as well as Meyer Bergman’s proposal. Residents can view details of the proposals at a public exhibition at St George’s Church, in Hamilton Avenue, on Saturday, October 15 from 10am to 4pm.

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