These ensure development meets minimum standards, trees and open spaces are protected, noisy and intrusive activity prevented and listed buildings aren’t neglected.
The effectiveness of planning controls is only as good as the quality of their enforcement. This has long been a Cinderella of Merton Council and the official record shows that the number of outstanding enforcement actions on the books across the Borough is reaching 1,000. This doesn’t include the multitude of breaches that go unreported.
We are seriously concerned by the impact of weak enforcement on Cricket Green and are publishing our five year report. This tracks the success, or otherwise, of our formal requests to Merton Council for action since 2014 on issues such as:
- loss of trees due to failure to comply with planning permission for multi-use games area at The Canons
- the unauthorised use of Burn Bullock car park for car sales
- paving of front gardens without planning permission
- removal of the characteristic yellow tiles at the former Bull pub
- the proliferation of estate agent boards at Brook House and the Cricketers flats without permission
- the failure to implement requirements of listed building repair notice at Burn Bullock
- hoardings erected without permission around the fire station and straying onto others land
- unauthorised tree clearance, new entrance and other works at Blue Houses site
The record speaks for itself.
Only two of the fourteen issues raised have been resolved and even with these we were not notified of the action being taken.
Our representations have been frequently ignored even after writing five or six times and some responses have taken literally years to secure.
On this evidence it is clear Merton’s enforcement team is stretched too thinly and needs to be both better resourced and supported in taking a more assertive approach.
Read our Five Year Enforcement Report
We plan to maintain it and hope that future reports will paint a more positive picture.