Author Archives: mitchamcricketgreen

SUEZ legacy for Benedict Wharf found wanting

The scale of SUEZ’s redevelopment plans for Benedict Wharf has emerged in an outline planning application for 600 homes that will transform the site.

SUEZ has put great store in its commitment to leave the site with a positive legacy when it moves its waste operations to a yet-to-be-permitted site in Beddington Lane.

In reality another developer will buy the land from SUEZ once it has secured outline planning permission and what gets built may not live up to the standards SUEZ espouses.

We are working hard to lock in as many commitments as possible to ensure the legacy is a positive one.

The Benedict Wharf development is the largest proposal in the area for a generation. We have warmly welcomed the change of use from industrial to residential development and support Merton Council’s emerging Local Plan which makes new provision to increase the capacity of other industrial sites in the borough.

We are asking the Mayor of London to back this change of use for a site currently allocated as Strategic Industrial Land.

It makes sense to local people; removes lorries, odours and disruption from managing waste in a residential area, and Merton Councils plans mean there is no overall loss of the industrial land available.

We have worked hard to secure effective community engagement in the development of the scheme.

Despite our efforts resulting in some additional events we have in the end been left to respond to what SUEZ is proposing rather than collaborate over what should be developed.

The approach might best be summarised as a “Goldilocks’ consultation” over false choices – with feedback usually invited on three options where the first is stated as not being viable or compliant with externally driven housing targets and the third is presented as major overdevelopment of the site.

Unsurprisingly, the outline planning application has emerged from the second option.

SUEZ has even refused point blank to share details of a scheme based more around houses and streets than blocks and flats despite speaking about it at a Community Liaison Group meeting.

Our hopes for the development are that it will become a natural extension of Mitcham and be of a quality that leads to public demands for the new neighbourhood to be included in the Conservation Area within a decade.

This would be a fitting legacy of the kind SUEZ says that it wants.

Unfortunately this quality is not achieved by the outline application.

It largely comprises pavilion and other blocks of flats of moderate design quality which are excessively high, lack local character and will cause significant visual intrusion.

The plans are further undermined by official assessments of the impact of eight storey blocks on London Road Playing Fields that fly in the face of reality.

As a photo-montage provided as part of the planning application shows, it is not credible to associate the self-evident visual impact of the scheme with a written assessment that the scheme will have a “moderate & beneficial impact” and “not appear overly dominant”. It won’t and it will.

The application includes other photo montages from other viewpoints, many of which show the excessively tall blocks as damaging and intrusive (See below).

We have identified opportunities to create new pedestrian and cycling routes through the site linking Mitcham to Ravensbury Park, the Wandle, Morden Hall Park and Morden (including through the Phipps Bridge green spaces) and to provide direct access to London Road through Baron and Fenning Courts.

We welcome their inclusion in the proposals but there is no confidence in their delivery.

We are also asking for a rethink of plans to put a cycle route down the residential stretch of Church Path and build new shops alongside existing homes. This stretch of Church Path is much loved for the distinct character of low rise terraced houses fronting almost directly onto the road. Cycling infrastructure, delivery vans and the clutter of signage and street markings can never be sensitive enough not to damage this character. We are asking instead for the cycle route and new shops to help transform the sea of tarmac that is currently Hallowfield Way which the development should repurpose as a much narrower, residential street.

The plans are very weak on the investment in local green spaces and community facilities that will be needed.

The success of the scheme depends on the new residents being able to enjoy London Road Playing Fields and community resources such as Mitcham Parish Centre and they need to benefit from both direct investment and an endowment for their future. Surrounding green spaces need management plans prepared to benefit both people and wildlife and the scheme needs to improve public transport, including the 200 bus.

Everyone with an interest in the scheme is encouraged to feed in comments. You can do this by letter, email or online and access the application (reference number 19/P2383) here.

Read our full representation on this planning applicaiton – Benedict Wharf – outline application – July 19

Community on the Green 2019 thank you for coming to our 50th birthday party!

Thank you to everyone who came along and made our 50th birthday party such fun!

The Deputy Mayor of Merton cut our birthday cake and made a lovely speech.

We enjoyed a cask of Wandle Ale donated by Sambrook’s Brewery –  Thank you to them!

We had a special walk celebrating some of the 50 things people have helped us identify that make the Conservation Area special to us. We’re tweeting these throughout the year – @MitchamCrktGrn #CricketGreenat50

There was cricket on the green courtesy of Mitcham Cricket Club’s ladies team.

We remembered with pride that we are Englands Fourth Favourite Conservation Area.

And best of all – lots of local people came to enjoy the sunshine, the cake, the ale, and the company.


Mitcham Heritage Day – Saturday 14th September 2019

10.00am to 4.30pm Saturday 14 September 2019

Enjoy a day of experiences, visits, tours, exhibitions, and more at Mitcham Heritage Day, and discover just some of the great heritage our area has to offer.

Everything is free.

There are refreshments at many venues.

Below are just some of the things you can do. Full details are on the downloadable programme including the location of each venue and the timing of guided walks and other events.

  • Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Mitcham Cricket Green Conservations Area with the Golden Jubilee Guided Walk starting at 2.00 on the Cricket Green.
  • Mary Tate Cottages – new this year – the Mayor of Merton will unveil a new garden ornament to commemorate the 190th anniversary of the cottages.
  • Mitcham Golf Club – new this year – Exhibition about the history of the club, golfers dressed in historic and modern clothing, display of hickory clubs, access to locker rooms normally only open to members.
  • Melanie’s Walk – new this year – 3-4 miles guided walk around the green spaces of Mitcham, to include a visit to Mitcham Cricket Club and the Canons.
  • Mitcham Parish Church – bell chamber open (up a narrow spiral staircase), guided tours of churchyard, exhibition – From Green to Green an illustrated guide to sites of interest near Cricket Green and Fair Green, Mitcham, exhibition Memories of Mitcham a display combining images from the Merton Memories collection and extracts from the reminiscences of local people.
  • Mitcham Cricket Club – pavilion open for free access. Cricket match celebrating the Centenary of the Mitcham CC Match against the Australian Imperial Forces Touring Team, guided boundary walk covering cricketing history of the Green.
  • Mitcham Bowling Club – pavilion open, try your hand at bowling, support the club in a match in the afternoon.
  • Wandle Industrial Museum – waiving its entry fee. Special exhibition for Mitcham Heritage Day – Mitcham 25 linked with the 25th anniversary of Merton Heritage Service the display will highlight 25 aspects of Mitcham history.
  • The Former Three Kings Pub – three separate exhibitions. History of the building when was a pub. Mitcham History Notes exhibition of History Nuggets prepared for Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage. Old Mitchamians of Mitcham County Grammar school for boys exhibition with Old Boys present to talk about life in the school.
  • Cricket Green School – open for visitors to view the only remaining part of the Hall Place on which the school is built – its 14th Century arch.
  • Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church – open for visits plus timed guided tours of the church including a visit to the Grotto in the parish garden.
  • Canons House & Dovecote – learn about the Lottery funding which will restore the house and landscape over the next three years. Canons in View: an exhibition of photography and art by local primary children interpreting the area through art. Craft demonstrations and workshops throughout the day. Please note The Canons House will not be open.
  • Mitcham Methodist Church – open for visits plus a performance by the church choir.

Evening concert at Mitcham Parish Church – Wessex Vocal Consort celebrates “Hardy and Heritage” in English Choral Music – 7.00pm. Tickets £10.00 from the Parish Church, or 020 8646 0666. Full details and poster here.

Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage would like to thank all the volunteer participants for making this year’s Mitcham Heritage Day such a packed, vibrant and varied event.

For all the details Download the programme

Mitcham Heritage Day is part of Heritage Open Days and is an opening day event for this year’s Wandle Fortnight.



Want more? Download our self-guided audio tour and take a tour at your leisure

Special thanks to

  • Sarah Gould, Merton Council Heritage & Local Studies, for providing special exhibitions.
  • Mitcham Golf Club for financial support
  • M3 for financial support
  • Mitcham Parish Church for financial support
  • The Canons Parks for People project for financial support


The lessons from Worsfold House

Merton Council is a significant landowner in Cricket Green as well as being the local planning authority.

Its Cabinet will make a key decision tonight (July 15th 2019) on one of the Council’s most important sites – Worsfold House.

This is located alongside Church Path and next to Cricket Green School. It was formerly used by Merton Council as a satellite office and is now rented out to a range of local organisations, including important voluntary groups such as Merton Centre for Independent Living.

Out of the blue we have learned Worsfold House is to be sold to Clarion Housing to develop 60 homes.

These will be used to house residents of Eastfields Estate who have to leave as a result of the major regeneration plans.

The Eastfields plans have been in preparation for several years and this is the first time Worsfold House has been identified as being critical to their success. The report being considered by the Cabinet gives every impression that Worsfold House’s role in delivering these plans has been developed post hoc. It also fails to give any consideration to Worsfold House’s strategic importance to Cricket Green.

We agree this is a site suitable for new homes and included it in our representations on Merton’s new Local Plan.

It has the potential to open up a new route between Church Road and London Road Playing Fields and contribute to the wider changes now underway with the redevelopment of nearby Benedict Wharf. These proposals all go with the grain of what Merton Council supports through its planning policies but none of them feature in the decision making over the future of its own land.

Merton Council policies also look for good design and it says it encourages community engagement.

So often we face proposals from private sector developers which are poorly designed and already finalised as planning applications. Unsurprisingly this often means that people object to the plans.

With its own land Merton Council has the opportunity to raise the standard and require the new owners – in this case Clarion Homes – to collaborate with local people from the very beginning and meet demanding design standards.

We welcome the fact that Merton Council officers have told us they will “encourage Clarion to engage with the local community in advance of any planning application coming forward for the site” and Cabinet Member, Martin Whelton has told us “we would want Clarion to undertake full consultation with local residents as plans are progressed and it’s something we would emphasise as part of the land transfer” but this feels too weak, too little and too late.

What Merton Council “encourage” and “would want” is not what will necessarily happen. As landowners the Council can insist on it.

We are also asking Merton Council to exercise a stronger duty of care to all of the important local organisations who will lose their offices at Worsfold House.

They need to be helped to find accommodation of at least the size and standard they are leaving and end up in a better position to carry on the important work they do for Merton’s communities.

The future of Worsfold House is important for Cricket Green.

We will continue to do what we can to secure the best use of the site and the highest standard of development. The lessons of Worsfold House go wider than Cricket Green. They speak to the potential of Merton Council to take a much bigger stake in the future of our neighbourhoods as landowner as well as local planning authority.

Eyes are now turning to how its new development company, Merantun, will design and involve local people in the future development for homes of more Merton Council land – the former Canons nursery and the car parks at Raleigh Park Gardens and Elm Nursery.

It’s official – Mitcham cricket pavilion is a community asset

Mitcham cricket pavilion is locally listed and a wonderful example of a building of its time.

Opened in 1904 it is undoubtedly an important heritage asset. Do come along and have a look inside on Mitcham Heritage Day on 14th September.

The cricket pavilion’s true value, however, lies in the community role it plays. It supports Mitcham Cricket Club and the continuing story of the game being played on the oldest cricket ground in the world. This is turn adds immensely to the sense of civic pride in Cricket Green and literally defines our identity.

This is why we were pleased to secure Mitcham cricket pavilion at Merton’s first registered asset of community value in 2014 and we are delighted that the registration has just been renewed for another five years following our application.

The renewal affirms the the vital contribution the pavilion makes to the local community at a time when its future is uncertain.

The pavilion shares ownership with the Burn Bullock, a nationally listed building which has declined to the point where it is on the national Heritage at Risk register. We have seen stop/start plans for both new flats and then a hotel for the rear car park and there is now talk of a care home being built. It remains unclear whether this will impact on the land occupied by the pavilion which includes essential storage and garaging facilities for the equipment needed to care for the cricket square.

Everyone agrees that the cricket pavilion is an essential community asset. This has now been officially reconfirmed. Now we need to work with Merton Council and Mitcham Cricket Club to ensure control of the pavilion is transferred to the local community as a condition of any planning permission to develop other parts of the Burn Bullock site.

Community on the Green 18th July 2019 6.30pm till dusk

Your invitation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mitcham Cricket Green Conservation Area.

Mitcham Cricket Green Conservation Area was designated on 18th July 1969 and its Golden Jubilee is a cause for celebration.

Thursday 18th July – Mitcham Cricket Ground – 6.30pm till dusk.

Community on the Green includes:

  • short speeches at 7pm, including Deputy Mayor of Merton Edward Foley
  • exhibitions and displays about what is going on in Cricket Green
  • a guided walk exploring gems of Cricket Green at around 7.30pm
  • Wandle Industrial Museum display
  • a celebration of the oldest cricket ground in the world
  • announcement of the Mitcham Heritage Day programme on September 14th
  • opportunities to visit Mitcham cricket pavilion, Merton’s first registered Asset of Community Value
  • cricket being played on the oldest cricket ground in the world
  • drinks and light refreshments and a special surprise!

Community on the Green is for anyone who lives in, works in or simply loves Cricket Green and wants to enjoy a relaxed, enjoyable and informative evening celebrating all that it offers.

We look forward to seeing you!