Initial plans for a massive redevelopment on the site of the Colliers Wood tower have been revealed.

Speculative proposals for a major building project by Merton Council, in partnership with a housing association, are outlined in an exchange of letters revealed by an opposition councillor this month.

They show the cashstrapped council has appealed to the Mayor of London’s office for financial help to buy the tower - which the borough values at six times less than figure given by its current owners.

In a letter to Deputy Mayor Ian Clement sent on March 26, council leader David Williams said: “If we could bring the owner to a value for the site that is realistic, then it would be possible to construct a project in partnership with Notting Hill Housing Association that would deliver housing, retail, parking and a new library at this major site.”

The letter states the site’s owners currently value the Tower at £10 to £12m - but the council’s valuation is just £2m.

It goes on to ask the Mayor’s office to consider financially supporting the bid to buy the tower. It reads: “There is a risk that any investment in this equity will not be recovered and that is not a risk which this authority can incur, given the scale of our financial challenges.”

The letter also claims a “preliminary investigation” has shown the site could be bought and redeveloped despite the recession.

"It reads: “Somewhat to our surprise, this project actually has potential in the current market.”

Mr Clement’s response was to suggest further meetings between bodies involved in the potential redevelopment.

He wrote: “Although I cannot commit to anything at this stage, as a first step, I am happy to facilitate a round table discussion between Greater London Authority officers and the London Development Authority and [government body] the Homes and Communities Agency.”

The letters were published on the internet after a Freedom of Information request by Labour councillor Richard Williams.

Coun Williams later said the “frank exchange” showed how seriously the council was taking efforts to regenerate the area.

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