A controversial proposal to install a concrete batching plant beside the popular Wandle Trail footpath has been thrown out by the Planning Inspectorate.

The Inspector ruled that the appearance of a concrete works on the site in Waterside Way “would be functional in the extreme and visually harsh”, leading to a “negative and unacceptable effect”.

Resident groups, which have spent more than two years fighting the plans put forward by Express Concrete, a subsidiary of the Cappagh Group, were overjoyed on hearing the scheme had been rejected on appeal.

Nicola Thompson of the Haydons Road North Community group said: “Champagne corks have been popping: we are delighted by this result.“

“Getting this polluting proposal rejected was a joint effort. Hundreds of residents and numerous resident groups agreed it was the wrong scheme in the wrong place, and that’s why we were united and unanimous in our objections.

“It is a particular relief to those of us who live locally, but it would have had knock-on effects for the whole area, generating up to 100 HGVs a day, including many vast concrete and aggregates trucks.

“We have argued all along that this is an inappropriate site for this kind of noisy, dusty, lorry-fed operation, so it is a relief that the Inspector has come to the same conclusion.

“It would have been perverse to approve a concrete batching plant on this site, close to Garfield Primary School, the Havelock Road allotments, and the new 600-flat development in Plough Lane, at the same time as Merton Council has declared a Climate Emergency and pledged to improve air quality.”