Residents staged a protest after the council failed to consult them over an 18-month road closure this month.

The closure was set to make way for the development of a Travel Lodge on Hartfield Road.

Merton Council approved the plans for the 177-bed hotel, with retail units, near the junction with Graham Road in March 2019.

However, residents were unaware that a road closure was taking place until they 'randomly' saw a sign on September 6, 2020.

The sign failed to notify residents on the duration of the closure.

In a bid to get some answers, residents contacted Dundonald Lib Dems who prompted the council for a reopening date.

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On September 10, residents staged a protest to express their frustration over the "major disruption".

A spokesperson for Graham Road, Kate Turner said: "As residents of Graham Road we are absolutely shocked that we can be treated like this.

"Our road is scheduled to be closed for 18 months so that the Travelodge building contractors can build their site office and toilet block in the middle of our road.

This is a blatant misuse of public land."

Anthony Fairclough, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dundonald Ward, said: “This is an awful start to the major building works and people are angry and disappointed.

It's not acceptable that Graham Road residents weren't even told about the plans to close their road for 18 months - much less given the opportunity to discuss their concerns with the council.

"Even at this late stage, we're hopeful that the Council will revise these proposals to reduce the impact on people's lives.”

Wimbledon Times contacted Merton Council on September 14.

On September 17, a council spokesperson said: "We would like to apologise for not giving residents in Graham Road enough advance notice prior to the temporary closure of the northern junction of Graham Road and Hartfield Road.

The council plans to re-open the road this week to allow time for the Council and the developer to pause and reflect on the feedback we have received.

"This will allow time to consider if there are any viable alternative traffic management arrangements to enable the construction of the Hartfield Road development whilst prioritising road safety and to ensure that disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.

"We will update residents of any changes."