Category Archives: Cricket Green Conservation Area

Red light for old fire station hoardings

The new owner of the old fire station has submitted a planning application for hoardings to be erected for a year while they sort out what is going to happen with the now empty building.

As anyone walking round the area will know there are already hoardings on the site which have been erected without permission.

We are strongly objecting to the plans.

They enclose a large area of land in front of the old fire station which has nothing to do with providing security for an empty building.

The effect will be to block views across Lower Green West, damage the special setting of the listed war memorial and impinge on the surroundings of the locally listed fire station and Vestry Hall.

Remarkably, the area proposed for the hoardings is all owned by Merton Council and not the applicants.

We have asked our local councillors to ensure that, as responsible landowners, Merton Council puts a halt to such unnecessary and damaging proposals even before a decision is made on the planning application.

Read our representations – Fire station hoardings – Dec 19

Find out what we have said about plans for the fire station itself – Old Mitcham fire station plans a non-starter

See how we wanted to transform the old fire station – Mitcham’s cultural revolution

General Election 2019 – candidates respond to our questions

There are six candidates standing in the General Election to represent Cricket Green as part of the Mitcham and Morden Constituency.

Our future MP will have significant influence and so we invited all candidates to respond to ten questions on local issues setting out their views.

Five of the six candidates responded. This is the first time in three General and two Local Elections that we have not received responses from everyone.

As a local charity we are apolitical. We recently set out our priorities in the Cricket Green Charter and candidates were asked to comment on this as well as addressing other issues ranging from the future of the cricket pavilion, Wilson and Benedict Wharf to the climate emergency and ensuring there are more cultural events.

We invite you to consider their views ahead of December 12th.

Read the full and unedited General Election 2019 – candidate responses

Update

Following publication of the candidate responses to our questions we have received a late response from Jeremy Maddocks, the Brexit Party candidate.

Read the full and unedited updated General Election 2019 – final – candidate responses

Cricket Green Charter launched

As the 50th anniversary year of Mitcham Cricket Green Conservation Area draws to a close we have published a new Cricket Green Charter.

It sets out principles to be used by everyone involved in policies, investment priorities and decisions about the future of Cricket Green.

The Charter has been prepared following wide consultation with local people, including a public workshop supported by local councillors and Merton Council.

The rich story of Cricket Green told through its buildings, open spaces and people sets the standard for how the area should evolve. Undertaking new development which adds to this story is a privilege and all proposals for change should be required to show how they add positively to Cricket Green’s future.

The Charter identifies green spaces and community assets to be protected, local shopping parades and employment sites to be safeguarded, brownfield sites to be developed and streets and public spaces in need of new investment.

It calls for the highest standards of design with a new design code and an expectation that any development facing one of the greens should be of a quality that could be listed within 30 years.  The major developments planned for the Wilson and Benedict Wharf are identified as priorities for community-led design and proposals made for new routes to make the area easier to walk around.

The Charter calls for an end to the uncertainty over Mitcham cricket pavilion and for it to be transferred into community ownership.

It is also looking for management plans to be prepared for all the green spaces and a programme of tree and hedge planting to reduce air pollution and contribute to tackling the climate emergency.

There is a need for more places to meet and things to see and do, including restoring the historic pubs and providing more cultural events, coffee shops, activities and venues for all parts of the community.

The Charter establishes that Cricket Green should be an affordable location to live and land for custom and self-build homes and a community land trust should be provided.

There is a call for Merton Council to enforce planning controls and deal swiftly with unsightly clusters of estate agent boards and ‘bad neighbour’ activity such as fly tipping, fly posting and illegal parking and advertising.

We hope everyone with an interest in Cricket Green and its environs will support the Cricket Green Charter. If you would like to get involved then please join us and help shape the future of our neighbourhood. 

Cricket Green Charter – for reading online

Cricket Green Charter – to download, print and fold as a leaflet

The Canons claims Merton’s favourite tree

The wonderful Pagoda tree on the former nursery at The Canons has been named as Merton’s favourite tree for 2019.

Merton Tree Wardens report it was the runaway winner.

The tree is an extroadinary specimen and part of the large collection of mature trees across The Canons grounds. This arboretum is the result of careful selection and planting in the grounds over many years.

The nursery site is now the focus of attention for a significant housing development by Merton Council’s own development company Merantun Development.

A planning application for houses and flats is imminent despite strong criticism from Merton’s Design Review Panel last week which gave the plans an amber rating using their ‘traffic lights’ system for grading applications.

The Pagoda tree features in the new development.

At our recent Open Meeting, Merantun’s architects claimed the tree is safe despite the amount of development proposed to surround it.

Some have questioned whether the tree that appears in the architects drawings is the same – what do you think?

We will be looking carefully at the new plans and doing our best to protect this wonderful tree for the future.

Ward councillors – our first report

Each ward in Merton has three elected councillors whose “primary role is to represent their ward or division and the people who live in it” (Local Government Association).

Our work looking out for Cricket Green demands an active local authority which both uses its powers effectively and provides local leadership. Local authority decisions are largely made by a select band of councillors who are appointed to the Cabinet but ward councillors still have an important role in raising issues and getting them heard.

Mitcham Cricket Green Conservation Area spans two wards (Cricket Green and Figges Marsh) and is represented by six councillors.

Over the years we have raised many different issues with them with mixed results. Sometimes these issues spill over into social media although much work is done less publicly.

Given their importance we have prepared a report on the issues we have raised with our ward councillors since the last local elections. This will make things more transparent and also provide a public record of what has been achieved. It has been shared with ward councillors prior to publication.

This first report can be downloaded below. It summarises progress on sixteen different issues including:

  • securing the future of Mitcham cricket pavilion
  • providing information on Merton Council’s sale and swapping of land at Hallowfield Way
  • enforcing against unauthorised estate agent signs and hoardings around the Cricketers, Brook House and the old fire station
  • attending meetings of the Design Review Panel from which the public are barred
  • supporting the review of the Cricket Green Charter
  • speaking at Planning Committee on developments affecting Cricket Green
  • the continuing delay in Merton Council delivering on its promise to register new town green as part of the Rediscover Mitcham project
  • providing support for the repair and replacement of the distinctive road signs as part of the 50th anniversary of Cricket Green Conservation Area

There have been successful outcomes on six of the sixteen issues raised. Three issues have closed without any success. Nothing has been achieved so far on a further five issues although there is still an opportunity for progress. One issue saw progress separate from any councillor impact and a final issue is currently being acted on.

Read our Councillor report – November 2019

We would welcome your responses on what it says and how things can be improved.

Architects confirm negative impact of Mitcham scheme on Conservation Area

Plans to demolish and replace a large stretch of Mitcham’s shops on Upper Green East alongside Barclays Bank with a four storey block are being considered by Merton Council.

The scheme will set the precedent for future development around Fair Green and we believe it is both too high and lacks design quality.

It also fails to provide a single affordable home in any of the 20 flats.

The architects have made some minor changes in response to feedback from Mitcham Society and ourselves.

The changes fail to address the fundamental problem that the new building is too large, too high and too poorly designed for Mitcham’s centre.

There is even a suggestion that adding lavender mosaic tiles somehow represents an adequate response to the historic character of the area.

The new information also includes a new image that confirms the impact on the Conservation Area from near Three Kings Pond.

The architects believe the scheme will be “just visible”.

We believe the image confirms the creation of an intrusive bland elevation which doesn’t fit with the existing pitched roofline. Have a look and see what you think.

 

Read our original representation and our updated one