Regular visitors to our web site will know of the ongoing saga surrounding the Cricketers pub on London Road.
Now it has reached a very important phase. This is a long post but please read it right to the end – it’s important!
The pub, built in the 1950s and replacing an earlier pub, was acquired by a developer which has put in no fewer than three planning applications to demolish and build flats on the site.
The first was turned down by Merton and then turned down at appeal. The second was turned down by Merton last Spring. A third application came in during the Summer.
The developer has lodged an appeal on the second application, a design it called modern but which to our eyes is no different to thousands of other blocks of flats to be seen all over the country. The building is too large and too poorly designed for this sensitive site.
Now the developer has also appealed the third application, even though this has not been in front of Merton’s planning committee yet.
The third design is, in the words of the developer, an ‘idiosyncratic design’ based on ‘fake history’. It is version of what a Victorian pub might look like if it were turned into a block of flats.
Part of our objection to this proposal is that with so much real history on Cricket Green, this fake history would look like what it is – a confection with no real meaning. It would undermine and overpower the Vestry Hall , a real Victorian building, and the fire station, built in the 1920s. Both are locally listed.
We’re not against development, or against a modern design. What we want to see is a development which does the Cricket Green and its setting justice. We want something of high quality which makes the 21st century’s first important contribution to the buildings on Cricket Green.
What can you do?
There are two things you can do at this stage that would really help.
First, you can send in your views on the ‘modern’ design electronically via the Planning Inspectorate website
A plan of the scheme can be viewed here.
To submit your views to the Planning Inspectorate go here.
And then please submit them again here.
It is important to do this twice as there are actually two applications being appealed. One relates to the planning consent for the new building and the other to the conservation area consent to demolish the existing building.
The Planning Inspector will be influenced by the views of local people so it is important to make your voice heard if you can. The deadline for objections was 20 November, but no harm can be done if you submit your views after that date – if you are quick.
It will make a real impact if the Inspectorate receive a flurry of emails and letters so please do support us if you possibly can.
The main issues raised by MCGC&H are that the proposals will significantly damage the character of the conservation area because they:
- overwhelm the site and compete with the listed Vestry Hall and locally listed fire station
- remove an important community use
- present a supposedly contemporary, three colour, design that feels both mundane and already dated
- introduce a major new source of light pollution into the muted and sensitively lit nightscape of Cricket Green
- prevent the whole island site being considered together
Second you can watch this web site for further updates.
A date has not yet been set for the Planning Inspector’s informal hearing – but we will post information here about it as soon as we get it.
We’ll also keep you up to date with information about the second ‘fake history’ application, including letting you know when we learn it is due to go before Merton’s Planning Committee and any information we get about the appeal.