Author Archives: mitchamcricketgreen

Massive redevelopment of Benedict Wharf imminent

Plans for the largest development in Cricket Green for a generation are being finalised over Easter.

SUEZ’s plans to move its recycling operations to a site near the Beddington incinerator are expected to result in an outline application being submitted for new housing on Benedict Wharf within the next few weeks.

Around 600 homes are planned, creating an entire new neighbourhood for Mitcham.

We are pressing SUEZ for a development which feels like a natural extension of Mitcham rather than a bolt on area of blocks and flats.

Regrettably, the latest plans include large blocks of flats reaching eight storeys.

We have also asked for a standard of design that will lead to demands to include the new neighbourhood in Cricket Green Conservation Area within ten years.

The development creates a real opportunity to invest in London Road Playing Fields and support local community facilities, including Mitcham Parish Centre. We are also looking for a new route from London Road through the site, across Phipps Bridge and into Morden Hall Park.

The plans should also sort out the Hallowfield Way eyesore and, using land owned by Merton Council, convert this into a residential street with a welcoming entrance to the Conservation Area next to Mitcham Parish Church.

As an outline application we know that SUEZ will not be the developers. If successful we can expect a housebuilder to submit detailed plans and so it will be important that the SUEZ scheme sets standards that cannot be reduced at a later date.

Once the application is submitted all eyes will turn towards Merton Council as both planning authority and owner of much of the adjacent land.

You can see our submission to SUEZ here.

More tarmacking of Three Kings Piece

Merton Council is consulting on its priorities for transport investment.

These include welcome objectives to get more people active, reduce air pollution and to promote healthier lifestyles” and there is much to welcome.

Buried in the detail, however, are plans for further tarmacking of our special network of Town Greens. 

This follows the controversy in 2017 when we believe Merton Council acted unlawfully in tarmacking stretches of both Three Kings Piece and Cranmer Green for new bus stops without authorisation. 

The latest plans would tarmac the whole length of Three Kings Piece along Commonside West for a “shared use path”

We recognise the need for improve cycling access but do not believe it is necessary for this to be at the expense of our most protected landscapes.  An alternative is to reconfigure the space used by the existing road and pavement to free up room for other users.

We have proposed a bundle of other ways in which Merton Council’s investment could reduce air pollution, provide better pedestrian links and address the problems caused by the school run. 

Our full response is here.

18 Commonside West upward extension would damage design of contemporary flats

The controversial demolition of 18 Commonside West and its redevelopment as a block of flats is a rare example of adequate contemporary design in new building in the Conservation Area.

It is all the more disappointing, therefore, to be faced with new plans to increase its height that have been put forward by the developers of the much less successful scheme at 22 Commonside West.

We believe the current building sits easily in its surroundings and the new one shows a fundamental lack of respect for its context.

The proposed scheme is much higher and does not relate well to the neighbouring 1930s houses. It is also disingenuous for the applicants to suggest that the proposals responds well to 22 Commonside West when this was constructed later and is, in our view, a much less successful scheme.

We have asked Merton Council to reject the plans.

Read our representation – Commonside West 18 – Mar 19.

White Hart development plans fall short

The Grade II listed White Hart is one of the most important buildings in Cricket Green.

Prominently located by the historic cricket ground it was originally a coaching inn on the main route from London to Brighton.

The pub has been closed for some time and we have been supportive of some sensitive development to allow for its restoration.

It is all the more disappointing that the plans that have come forward do not do justice to the site and would damage the key views from Cricket Green.

We objected to the large block of flats put forward for the White Hart’s car park last year and they have returned in an amended form with all of the same problems and fewer benefits.

The sensitive demolition of a new extension to the back of the White Hart has been dropped but the flats will still loom over the historic building and may also be visible from Lower Green West.

We have invited the developers to meet and talk about an alternative approach which will provide homes and restore the White Hart so it can rediscover its role as an important asset for the local community.

You can see our latest representations here.

Cricket Green – the next 50 years – get involved!

Comment on the Cricket Green Charter and come along to a public event on 8th April

We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mitcham Cricket Green Conservation Area this year!

The things that we all know make Cricket Green a special place – the ancient greens, variety of historic buildings, wonderful views and rich story – were officially recognised by Merton Council in 1969 and now by law every effort has to be made by developers and others to “preserve and enhance” its character.

We have a programme of celebrations and events planned, including a 50th anniversary Community on the Green on 18th July and a special Mitcham Heritage Day on 14th September.

Keep an eye out on Twitter (@MitchamCrktGrn) for our 50 things initiative telling the story of the Conservation Area through photographs of things that people have told us are special to them. We are also looking to plant something golden!

The 50th anniversary is also a time to look forward and think about how Cricket Green is going to change in the future.

We all know there are lots of pressures from development and some recent changes have not been for the better. We are also keen to see the open spaces and wildlife better cared for, trees planted and ponds protected. There are too few places for people to meet, we lack community facilities and we are losing shops and businesses. We want to see beautiful homes built and less pollution.

Over the last few years our work has been guided by the Cricket Green Charter and its principles to inform policies and planning decisions about the future of the area.

Among other successes the Charter is the starting point for the £5m now being invested in The Canons and its grounds.

It is time for a refresh and we want your views.

  • How would you like to see Cricket Green change and develop?
  • What would you like to see more of?
  • What is special about Cricket Green that should be protected?
  • What has happened in the last few years you would rather not see repeated?
  • What kind of new development would be welcome?
  • What community facilities are we lacking?

You can see our early thoughts on a new Cricket Green Charter here.

Let us know what you think by:

We know Cricket Green is special.

In this 50th anniversary year please play your part in keeping it that way.