The Mitcham Society has published a helpful position statement on Merton Council’s proposals for driving a bus lane across Fair Green.
This is available here.
We are pleased to support it.
It is important that the value of Fair Green – which is part of a network of common land and open spaces that includes Cricket Green – is properly recognised.
The Mitcham Society also reports a survey showing that over 80% of traders and shops in the town centre oppose the bus lane proposals. You’ll find a report on this at the Local Guardian newspaper web site here.
We are keen to see other options to a bus lane being put forward by Merton Council when it consults on the next phase of the “Rediscover Mitcham” project in the next few weeks.
It is possible to increase the number of people visiting Mitcham without building a new road through its heart.
Merton councillors recently gave the green light to develop detailed designs for a new road across Fair Green for buses as part of the investment plans for Mitcham town centre.
This followed an earlier rejection of the bus lane idea by the council’s own Street Management Advisory Committee.
There will be further public consultation in the spring and we will be campaigning for a less damaging alternative. We believe there should be consultation on an option which improves the location of the existing bus stops and makes it easier to cross the road junctions and to get to and from London Road and Fair Green. These simple measures could bring many more people into the centre at much less financial and environmental cost.
Mitcham town centre already has a lot going for it. It is proving more resilient to recession than many and has only a handful of empty shops and an unusual concentration of successful banks and financial services.
We believe the key to its success lies in working with the community, local businesses and the market to boost local pride; manage the market stalls, shop fronts and green spaces; and promote more activities and events which bring people in. This is much more likely to be successful than a new road carving across Fair Green. The success of the Valentine’s Day event is just the beginning.
Fair Green is central to all this – it is the ace in Mitcham’s pack. This is not just another open space in a town centre but a unique fragment of common land that connects Mitcham to its past and to its surroundings. It may be bruised and battered and a little frayed around the edges but in Fair Green, Mitcham has something truly important. Let’s not kid ourselves its value will be realised by carving it in two and then adding some token patches of green space to its edges in compensation.
These are exciting times for Mitcham – let’s hope we can agree the best approach for its future.
More than 50 local people came along to our Tune In To Cricket Green event on 7th March in the Vestry Hall.
This was jointly organised by Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage and Merton Council.
There was lots of lively discussion about what people like about the area and what they want to change.
We talked about a number of key potential development sites including the Fire Station (which will become vacant when the Fire Brigade decamp for new facilities near Mitcham tram stop), the Cricketers Pub (subject of three planning applications for flats all turned down on appeal), Worsfold House and surrounding open space, the Canons area, the Wilson Hospital and Birches Close.
Local people expressed strong views about what they did – and did not – want to happen in and around Cricket Green. Ideas ranged from new hotels, an arts centre, housing and efforts to tackle lorries and other traffic. There was strong appreciation for the historic character and open spaces of this much loved area.
All three Cricket Green Ward Councillors took part in the event, as did key staff from the futureMerton team. Cabinet member Andrew Judge also attended.
There will be a full write up of this event available soon. We’ll publish it here, so watch this space. There are some photos here. This will be used to help Merton Council understand how the local community wants to see Cricket Green change in the future.
We would like to thank futureMerton for its support in helping to run this event.
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