Monthly Archives: June 2013

Why we are against bringing buses into Fair Green

We are in the middle of the second phase of the Rediscover Mitcham consultation.

Merton Council is asking people what they think of a whole raft of possible changes to the Fair Green area. A consultation document has been sent to all 22,000 homes in the CR4 postcode.

We welcome the activity we’ve seen so far to help regenerate Mitcham town centre. In particular we are very positive about efforts to reinvigorate the market and support shops and other local businesses that’s happening through the OneMitcham project. Visit OneMitcham on the web and on Facebook to learn more about what the project is doing.

However we have major concerns about one of central proposals that Merton Council seems very keen to push through as part of its plans.

The Council wants to build a road dedicated to buses (and usable by cyclists) through the centre of Fair Green. It says this will mean 5,000 to 6,000 extra pedestrian trips per day will be made into the Fair Green area.

We have done some research on these figures. Among the things we’ve discovered are:

  • The figures are in most cases four years old
  • The figures include both people boarding and leaving buses with more than half leaving Mitcham by bus. We wonder how much this  can really be claimed as ‘extra’ pedestrian trips

Please read our full report on the Mitcham Buses proposal.

We don’t doubt that Fair Green needs people visiting it in order to help it be more successful. But we think improving the range of shops and market stalls, and enhancing the open, car free aspect of Fair Green is the way forward.

We’ve heard plenty of people say Fair Green will be much less pleasant with a road through it, and very few have told us they want a bus street. Add to that the fact that we don’t think the figures stack up, and we can’t support the idea. 

We support the Mitcham Society’s campaign against the buses.

You might like to read a leaflet the Mitcham Society produced in April when the first Rediscover Mitcham consultation was taking place. In it the Mitcham Society  explains that the road would bring up to 90 buses an hour into the Fair Green and that its own survey of local businesses showed a massive 80 percent were against the idea.

You might like to go to the Council web site to see the Rediscover Mitcham consultation document and complete the survey so that your view gets counted.

Cricket Green Conservation Area boundary walk a great success

To celebrate Civic Day (22 June 2013), Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage organised a walk around the boundary of the Cricket Green Conservation Area.

Even a walk around the edge of the Conservation Area allowed us to look at a large number of fascinating things. For example in our 5 kilometer (3 mile) walk we saw:

  • Mitcham Garden Village. Built in the 1930s to house older people of Mitcham (locally listed)
  • The Wilson Hospital. Built 1928 and with a fabulous facade – and still functioning as a health centre with a GP surgery on site (locally listed)
  • The Parish Church. Built in the early 19th Century and replacing an earlier 13th Century church. (Grade II* listed)
  • The Vestry Hall. An imposing Victorian building on the site of the Mitcham stocks and lock-up. Once the centre of government for Mitcham. When Mitcham  became part of Merton the headquarters moved to Wimbledon for a short time, then to its current location in Morden (locally listed)
  • The Wandle Industrial Museum. A fascinating local museum that’s just celebrated its 30th year of operation.
  • Milestone. Marking out the distances to local landmarks, and now sadly largely illegible, this is being restored by Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage as one of our Heritage Lottery Funded projects (Grade II listed)
  • Cricket Green. We glimpsed a view of the Cricket Green – the place where cricket has been played longer than any other – more than 300 years!
  • Cold Blows. An ancient trackway whose name gives a clear indication of how it can feel on chilly, windy days.
  • Three Kings Pond and Three Kings Piece. This green is the site of the Mitcham Status Fair – a very historic fair indeed.

Lunch after the walk involved its own element of history as it took place in the Toby Carvery that looks over the News of the World sports ground. The Carvery occupies what was once one of the three Great Houses of Mitcham – the 18th Century Park Place.

In the photo below the happy walkers stand outside a World War II bomb shelter in Mitcham Garden Village.

Mitcham Cricket Green Ward boundary walk Civic Day June 2013 Mitcham Garden Village

What next for the Cricketers pub?

The future of the Cricketers pub remains in doubt following a planning application to convert the building into seven flats.

This follows a long and successful campaign to prevent demolition and large scale redevelopment of the site for private housing.

The Cricketers has been used as a public house for over 200 years and building was only permitted on this ancient green because it was for community use.

We are asking Merton Council to continue this centuries old tradition.  The future of the island site at the heart of our conservation area needs to be considered as a whole – with the Cricketers, Vestry Hall and Fire Station all supporting community life.

This is a point re-enforced in the Cricket Green Charter which we drew up earlier this year with local councillors and Merton Council.

Read our views on the latest planning application here and let Merton Council know what you think of the latest development proposals – email planning.representations@merton.gov.uk. You can find out about the application at Merton Council’s web site here.

Mitcham tram stop crossing has finally reopened

We’re celebrating the re-opening of the Mitcham tram crossing after a year long campaign.

The crossing was closed as part of works to dual the tram line last year.  It was never re-opened despite being a designated public right of way and the route has been blocked by ugly steel barriers ever since.

London Tramlink has a policy of reducing the number of crossings along its route and was intent on closing this one despite replacing the steps.

Our campaign to keep the crossing open was backed by local councillors and Merton Council and the groundswell of opposition has changed London Tramlink’s mind.

We are delighted that this important route in the local path network has been restored.

Mitcham tram crossing reopened May 2013