Plans for 2,800 homes across three neighbourhoods in Merton have moved a step closer after gaining approval from planners.

Clarion Housing Group’s £1 billion investment to transform three estates gained approval from Merton’s Planning Committee, last night.

The plans will deliver homes across Eastfields and Ravensbury in Mitcham and High Path in Wimbledon along with 9,000sqm of retail, leisure, office, and work and community space.

Clarion says that all of their existing residents will be rehoused in homes of an appropriate size dealing with existing overcrowding.

They say more than 200 of the new homes are earmarked for existing resident homeowners in an innovative offer allowing them a new home at no additional cost on a full freehold or leasehold basis.

A further 1,800 homes are expected to be built to rent and buy.

Bob Beaumont, Director of Regeneration said: “Last night’s decision is a clear demonstration of estate regeneration’s ability to deliver positive change and a testament to our close working with residents and the Council.

“The benefits this regeneration will bring are far reaching and possible due to Clarion’s extensive capacity and expertise.”

Councillor Martin Whelton, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Housing said: “The £1.2 billion regeneration of High Path, Ravensbury and Eastfields will provide huge benefits to the residents there and to the wider community in Merton by bringing much needed new housing to these areas, improving the local environment and creating jobs.

“I am pleased to see that Clarion’s proposals have all been designed in consultation with existing residents.

“As a Council we are determined to work with housing providers to build more homes, whilst at the same time providing wider benefits without comprising the rights and needs of existing residents.”

Clarion say their decision to pursue the regeneration of the three neighbourhoods was driven by the standard of existing homes, levels of overcrowding and the findings of an independent residents’s survey.

Last night’s planning application is complemented by two previously approved sites at Ravensbury and at High Path.

Work on the first new homes on these will start later this year.

The regeneration of the three Estates will benefit from more than £15m of grant funding through the GLA’s Homes for Londoners 2016-2021 programme.

Clarion estimates the building work will create about 700 construction jobs per year in addition to training and apprenticeship opportunities and community infrastructure payments of almost £30million with £24.66 million direct to Merton.

The High Path will include the demolition of a children’s play area, the Old Lamp Works building 74 garages in order to build 117 flats and 17 houses. New parks and other green spaces will be created.

Chair of the High Path Community Association, Cypren Edmunds who presented at last night’s meeting against the regeneration said: “As major stakeholders for this regeneration we are deeply concerned of the manner in which this is delivered.

“Specifically the consultations, the design, the infrastructure and the environmental issues regarding the landscape.

“Furthermore we are very concerned of the lack of assurances for affordable housing, as we are mindful that residents are anxious about this aspect of this project and feel that promises given on this matter need to be more robust.”

Councillor David Dean also addresses his concerns on the regeneration of Eastfields, Ravensbury and High Path and said: “The three estate regeneration is a huge project, great cast to get it so far and has many benefits but there is concerns about how many homes will actually be affordable.

“The national government are giving billions of pounds to build affordable homes but the High Path estate all additional homes will be 0% affordable.

“Which is completely unacceptable, I will be writing to the council to ensure it goes to Mayor of London and does get the funding to get proven affordable homes at the High Path estate.

“In terms of the Eastfields and Ravensbury estates a number of residents never felt listened to. There has not been enough work done about consultation and we need to make sure the outline plans are acceptable.”