The long awaited plans for the future of Benedict Wharf have started to emerge.
This is the largest brownfield site in Mitcham and it will become available for development once SUEZ moves its waste facility to a new site on Beddington Lane.
We have previously welcomed the move and the plans to re-use the site for housing. Something in the order of 500-800 homes are planned.
The site has huge potential, including to strengthen links between Mitcham and Morden. It is a little known fact that Mitcham Parish Church is closer to Morden Hall Park than Merton Civic Centre but Benedict Wharf is a major psychological and physical barrier.
The plans revealed by SUEZ at a recent public exhibition are a step in the right direction but miss out on some of the key opportunities for improving access and lack the detail required for us to be confident of the proposals.
There are widespread concerns that the site might be developed for 10 storey blocks of flats looming over the area – including over London Road Playing Fields.
We have asked SUEZ to rethink and provide homes based on houses and streets. We are also keen to see a mix of developers involved, including the potential for custom-build housing and community land trusts.
It is disappointing that SUEZ is limiting community engagement to just one more public exhibition in 2019 and we have asked it to rethink its approach and not rush to a planning application in the Spring.
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