Category Archives: Cricketers pub

Cricketers development gets go ahead – the silver lining

The fierce debate over the future of The Cricketers looks like it is drawing to a close.

The latest proposals to demolish the former pub next to the Vestry Hall and replace it with 11 flats were rejected by Merton’s Planning Committee following our objections and the views of the Design Review Panel.

The developers – Chatsworth Land – appealed and an Inspector has recently decided in their favour. The developers are now free to proceed with the scheme subject to some relatively minor conditions.

While the outcome is disappointing, this is a story which shows the value of standing up for the Conservation Area.

The development now granted permission is the latest in a long line and the least worst of all those put forward.

We also congratulate Merton’s councillors on the Planning Committee who held out against many of the previous proposals against the recommendations of their officers. Three previous appeals against Planning Committee decisions to refuse permission have been won thanks to councilors standing up for Mitcham against officers’ advice.

The final scheme is relatively modest by comparison to those which have come before. You can see some of the earlier proposals in the selection below – with the approved development in the bottom right.

The future of The Cricketers has been something of a litmus test for the Conservation Area. Now attention turns to the future of the Burn Bullock and Mitcham Cricket Pavilion where the very tradition of cricket being played on the green for over 330 years is at stake.

Read the appeal decision

cricketers-proposals-jan-2017

 

The Cricketers pub saga continues – prepare for the Planning Inspector

Regular visitors to our web site will know of the ongoing saga surrounding the Cricketers pub on London Road.

Now it has reached a very important phase. This is a long post but please read it right to the end – it’s important!

The pub, built in the 1950s and replacing an earlier pub, was acquired by a developer which has put in no fewer than three planning applications to demolish and build flats on the site.

The first was turned down by Merton and then turned down at appeal. The second was turned down by Merton last Spring. A third application came in during the Summer.

The developer has lodged an appeal on the second application, a design it called modern but which to our eyes is no different to thousands of other blocks of flats to be seen all over the country.  The building is too large and too poorly designed for this sensitive site.

Now the developer  has also appealed the third application, even though this has not been in front of Merton’s planning committee yet.

The third design  is, in the words of the developer, an ‘idiosyncratic design’ based on ‘fake history’. It is version of what a Victorian pub might look like if it were turned into a block of flats.

Part of our objection to this proposal is that with so much real history on Cricket Green, this fake history would look like what it is – a confection with no real meaning. It would undermine and overpower the Vestry Hall , a real Victorian building, and the fire station, built in the 1920s. Both are locally listed.

We’re not against development, or against a modern design. What we want to see is a development which does the Cricket Green and its setting justice. We want something of high quality which makes the 21st century’s first important contribution to the buildings on Cricket Green.

You can read our objection to the ‘modern’ application here and to the ‘fake history’ application here.

What can you do?

There are two things you can do at this stage that would really help.

First, you can send in your views on the ‘modern’ design electronically via the Planning Inspectorate website

A plan of the scheme can be viewed here.

To submit your views to the Planning Inspectorate go here.

And then please submit them again here.

It is important to do this twice as there are actually two applications being appealed. One relates to the planning consent for the new building and the other to the conservation area consent to demolish the existing building.

The Planning Inspector will be influenced by the views of local people so it is important to make your voice heard if you can. The deadline for objections was 20 November, but no harm can be done if you submit your views after that date – if you are quick.

It will make a real impact if the Inspectorate receive a flurry of emails and letters so please do support us if you possibly can.

The main issues raised by MCGC&H are that the proposals will significantly damage the character of the conservation area because they:

  • overwhelm the site and compete with the listed Vestry Hall and locally listed fire station
  • remove an important community use
  • present a supposedly contemporary, three colour, design that feels both mundane and already dated
  • introduce a major new source of light pollution into the muted and sensitively lit nightscape of Cricket Green
  • prevent the whole island site being considered together

Second you can watch this web site for further updates.

A date has not yet been set for the Planning Inspector’s informal hearing – but we will post information here about it as soon as we get it.

We’ll also keep you up to date with information about the second ‘fake history’ application, including letting you know when we learn it is due to go before Merton’s Planning Committee and any information we get about the appeal.

Our objection to proposals to redevelop the Cricketers pub

The consultation over plans to demolish and redevelop the Cricketers pub is coming to a close.

We’ve made our comments on the planning application and you can read them here.

This is the most significant development affecting the Conservation Area since it was set up over 40 years ago and we need Merton Council to hear from as many people as possible if the plans are to be rejected.  We have successfully seen off previous development proposals for this site and this has been helped enormously by the number of comments made by local people.  Your voice really can make a difference.

Some of the key points which Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage has made in its comments are:

  • this is one of the most important and sensitive sites in the whole of Cricket Green Conservation Area and any development should be of an outstanding quality
  • the future of the Cricketers needs to be considered alongside that of all the other buildings in and around this island site
  • the site should be retained for community use, whether or not as a public house
  • the proposed development will detract from the Conservation Area – it is too large and insensitively designed and will overwhelm the locally listed Vestry Hall and fire station.  It also introduces new railings and paved areas which are out of character and will detract from this common land

You might want to use these points to inform your own views.

You should send your comments by email to planning.representations@merton.gov.uk or by post to Development Control, London Borough of Merton, Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX.

Remember to include the application reference numbers and a description – 12/P2083 & 12/P2084,  Demolition and redevelopment of the Cricketers public house.

You also need to include your name and address if the comments are to be accepted.  Please send in your views by the end of August at the latest.

If you have any questions feel free to email us at info@mitchamcricketgreen.org.uk