Coun Andrew Judge, Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration (Labour, Abbey ward)
In response to your article ('Developer's appeal may revive Morden Tavern deal') and, specifically to the comment made by the St Helier Pub Group, we have a highly professional team of dedicated planning officers who work to maintain Merton as a vibrant borough both for residents and businesses through a common sense approach to planning.
In all matters regarding the Morden Tavern, both the Local Government Ombudsman and the Audit Commission found the council had acted entirely properly and complied with its strict planning policy, procedure and government legislation.
Merton's planning policies protect pubs that are economically viable, where there is realistic demand from an occupier.
So far there has been no evidence to demonstrate a realistic commercial interest in the pub, but if it exists, I maintain that we would certainly take it into consideration in future decision making.
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