Category Archives: Cricket Green Conservation Area

From waste to place – the opportunity at Benedict Wharf

In the jargon of town and country planners the noisy and smelly waste operation at Benedict Wharf is known as “bad neighbour” development.

It has become such a bad neighbour that even its owner – SUEZ – recognises there is a problem. It has announced that the site will close in around two years. SUEZ is moving its operation to an industrial estate in Sutton where it can operate around the clock without disturbing the neighbours.

Community action over many years has helped bring this about and soon the lorries, smells and noise will be a thing of the past.

In a statement SUEZ has said it wants a good legacy for Benedict Wharf and intends to secure planning permission for redevelopment of the site before selling it on. It favours a “housing-led scheme…….which accord[s] with the character of the area and the ambitions of the community.” Early community engagement is also promised.

We’ve applauded the mature way SUEZ has started these discussions and look forward to collaborating on the future plans.

It is hard to overstate the opportunity which the closure of Benedict Wharf presents. This is a huge site – more than twice the size of the recent gasworks development – which can provide not only high quality and affordable homes but also new links and connections across an area that has been out of bounds for generations. It should transform the way we move around our neighbourhood.

Did you know that Mitcham Parish Church is as close to Morden Hall Park as the Civic Centre? With good planning and design we can create new green corridors. Two ideas are to link London Road to Morden Hall Park through Benedict Wharf and Phipps Bridge, and to link Mitcham Parish Church to Ravensbury Park and the Wandle Trail across the tram line.

A mixed development providing community-led and custom and self-build housing alongside commercial housebuilders could match the new homes to Mitcham’s needs. The sad entrance to the Cricket Green Conservation Area at the roundabout outside Benedict school could be transformed. London Road Playing Fields could be reimagined as a vibrant community green space, rich in wildlife and opportunities for play and recreation. This would be helped by removing the current boundary fence and allowing open space to reach far into the new development area. The plans could also acknowledge the route of the historic Surrey Iron Railway which made Mitcham the oldest railway station in the world.

All this and more is possible.

The closure announcement coincides with the long awaited review of Merton’s Local Plan. This includes a call for development sites to meet the area’s housing and other needs for the next 20 years or more.

We are asking SUEZ to work with us to put forward joint plans to Merton Council that make the most of the site. This will mean linking the SUEZ site with adjacent land including Lambeth car pound, land owned by Merton Council and even some of TfL’s land running alongside the tram line.

Mitcham’s development has suffered from a lack of vision and poor quality building for too long. The closure of Benedict Wharf provides a major opportunity to turn the tide and match the expectations of the local community. We are unlikely to have another opportunity to build an entirely new neighbourhood for Mitcham so let’s make it one we can all be proud of.

What are your ideas? Let us know and we will feed them in.

Benedict Wharf CLG – statement from SUEZ

The Canons plans not yet ready for a green light

There is genuine excitement in the air about the opportunity of over £5m investment in The Canons and its grounds with the support of the National Lottery.

We have worked with Friends of the Canons and Mitcham Society for over five years to bring these plans to fruition and were delighted by the success of Merton Council’s funding application in June.

We are looking forward to continuing our role in The Canons Partnership to support and deliver the project.

It is with a heavy heart, therefore, that we have found ourselves unable to support the planning applications needed to go ahead with the works. The detail of the plans still leaves too much at risk and we are still waiting for guarantees than financial surpluses generated from renting out office space in The Canons house and running the cafe will be reinvested in the future management and conservation of The Canons.

The plans require some damage to the listed house and walls, impacts on their setting and causes important trees to be felled. Some of this is necessary for the wider conservation benefits and the opportunity to share The Canons story with more people and put it on a financially sustainable footing. It is a difficult balance and we think more needs to be done to maximise the benefit to the local community.

We need to see more access to The Canons house and the new cafe opened up for community use in the evenings. The walled garden needs to be repaired with better quality materials and the project needs to take a much more sensitive approach to new lighting.

We are looking for the removal of eyesores – such as an empty storage container and poor floodlights – before permission to go ahead with new improvements. The wildlife impact of lining the pond needs to be better understood and there also need to be more guarantees over the impact of the building works.

The Canons project can achieve so much for Mitcham, and we want this very large injection of money into our area to achieve the maximum benefit.  We stand ready to work with Merton Council to support the changes needed to secure planning permission as quickly as possible.

Read our joint representations on The Canons

Mitcham Heritage Day – Saturday 9 September 2017

10.00am to 4.30pm Saturday 9th September at Mitcham Cricket Green

Come and enjoy the heritage on your doorstep and find out more about where you live.

Just some of the things you can do for free!

  • Learn about Mary Tate Almshouses
  • Visit the bell ringing chamber in the Parish Church
  • Find out about the history of cricket in Mitcham
  • Discover the fascinating industrial history of the river Wandle
  • See an exhibition of historic postcards about Mitcham
  • Take a guided tour of the Parish Church graveyard
  • Listen to the choir at Mitcham Methodist Church
  • Visit the 14th Century arch at Cricket Green School
  • Join a guided walk around historic Cricket Green and The Canons
  • Watch cricket being played from the balcony of the historic cricket pavilion
  • Take a guided tour of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church
  • …….and much more

Refreshments available through the day at most venues.

Round the day off with a choral concert including music specially composed to celebrate Mitcham’s heritage. Full details on our leaflet (below).

Helping make Mitcham Heritage Day possible:

  • Mitcham Parish Church
  • Mitcham Cricket Club
  • Wandle Industrial Museum
  • Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church
  • Cricket Green School
  • Mitcham Methodist Church
  • Merton Heritage & Local Studies Centre

To see the full itinerary Download our leaflet

 

 

 

 

 

To help with the publicity print and display our poster

Mitcham Heritage Day is participating in Heritage Open Days.

Mitcham Heritage Day  has been supported by a grant from Big Lottery Fund Celebrate England

 

Cricket Green war memorial gets national listing

We’re delighted that the Secretary of State has accepted our nomination for the war memorial on Lower Green West to be nationally listed.

We proposed the listing on Remembrance Sunday last year and have secured a Grade II listing for this important memorial at the heart of the Mitcham community.

The volunteer research behind the nomination has now been accepted on the official record.

The war memorial has been listed on three grounds:

  • As an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20
  • As an elegant wheel-head cross memorial with well-executed carved details and sculpted bronze swords
  • For its relationship with the Grade II-listed Mitcham Parish Rooms.

We’re proud to have played our part in securing national recognition for this monument to the contribution Mitcham’s community made in the two World Wars. It stands as witness to the impact of conflict on Mitcham and we’re delighted to see the war memorial recognised and protected for the future.

The memorial was unveiled in 1920 at a ceremony attended by 5,000 people and has 588 names inscribed on the four panels.

This national recognition also supports the war memorials programme promoted by Civic Voice as the national organisation for local civic societies like Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage.

Read the official listing notice

Launched – our interactive community map

Today we are delighted to launch our interactive community map.

This is a collection of what people feel makes Cricket Green special.

Anyone can contribute.

If there is a building, open space, tree, view, feature or something else you like or enjoy looking at, please let us know by adding it to the map.

Create a bookmark on your phone and add new places as you see them. Don’t forget to add  a photo.

Browse the map and add your own comments to places that other people have already added.

To add your favourite things to the Community Map start here.

The development of this map was support by a grant from Big Lottery Fund Celebrate England

Local list – our proposed additions accepted

Merton Council maintains a “local list” of buildings and structures which are of historic interest and add character to the area.

We have been pleased to help ensure a clear process for making additions based on input from the local community.

This year we proposed five additions to the local list for Mitcham Cricket Green:

  • Bramcote Court and Parade – a distinctive 1930s residential development in the “moderne” style
  • The Canons walls and well – these impressive structures include examples from both the 18th and 19th century and have been identified as being highly significant in recent investigations of The Canons as part of the successful Lottery bid that we are centrally involved with
  • Mitcham running track – the remnants of the cinder track on the former news of the World Sports Ground are the last vestige of a sporting heritage which included the training of Olympic athletes. Restoration of this track is part of the successful Lottery bid
  • The Canons Lodge lamp stands – these are a distinctive addition to the Lodge which is already locally listed
  • Gas lamp post – this elegant cast iron structure stands opposite The White Hart as a reminder of the days before electric street lamps and dates to the 1850s.

Four of these were accepted as additions to the Local List by a Council Meeting on 12 July. The Canon walls have been confirmed as being nationally listed.

If you have any thoughts on further structures that might be added to the Local List, please let us know.

Meanwhile, view the Local List here.