The latest controversial plan to redevelop the Cricketers for flats was unanimously rejected once again by Merton Council’s Planning Applications Committee on 23rd May. The councillors should take a bow. Once again they have stood up for high design standards and rejected their own officers advice to grant permission.
The Cricketers site has seen at least six different developments in the last six years – the latest plans are at the bottom right at the bottom of the screen.
This is a unique island site in the heart of Mitcham Cricket Green Conservation Area opposite the oldest cricket ground in the world and alongside the wonderful Vestry Hall. It demands the highest quality of development and this was not achieved by the latest proposals.
Merton Council’s Design Review Panel reviewed the plans and could not be clearer. It gave them a Red rating – exactly the same as it had given earlier proposals. Among many criticisms the Panel identifies that the proposals do “not bear any relationship to the form of Vestry Hall” and concluded that there is “a considerable amount of further work needed to make the building of the quality it should be in this prominent location.”
The plans were not of the outstanding quality required to meet the legal need to “preserve or enhance” the Conservation Area – the revised design was lazy, derivative and lacks any distinction. The decision by councillors has wider implications for other parts of Merton faced by insensitive development applications. Merton councillors have shown their mettle and demanded better.
We wait to see if the developers go to appeal.