The Grade II listed White Hart is one of the most important buildings in Merton and stands prominently at the heart of Cricket Green Conservation Area.
It includes a large area of land to the rear which is the focus of plans for a new block of flats.
We have welcome the proposals to restore and re-open the White Hart and demolish the modern extension to its rear.
Unfortunately the new building proposed as part of the development is less sympathetic.
The architects drawing clearly show it will be visible above the roofline of the White Hart in the key approach along Cricket Green to the south.
Worryingly, there is no information provided on the impact on Lower Green West.
The design of the new flats also doesn’t do justice the the location and the proposed beer garden will spend most of its time in shade. An opportunity has been missed to service the White Hart from the rear and avoid delivery lorries adding to the congestion and road safety problems at Jubilee Corner.
As a consequence we have objected to the plans (see here) and invited the developers to collaborate on an alternative. We would welcome well designed residential development which funds restoration of the White Hart and avoids damage to the Conservation Area.
Read our comments
The long awaited plans for the future of Benedict Wharf have started to emerge.
This is the largest brownfield site in Mitcham and it will become available for development once SUEZ moves its waste facility to a new site on Beddington Lane.
We have previously welcomed the move and the plans to re-use the site for housing. Something in the order of 500-800 homes are planned.
The site has huge potential, including to strengthen links between Mitcham and Morden. It is a little known fact that Mitcham Parish Church is closer to Morden Hall Park than Merton Civic Centre but Benedict Wharf is a major psychological and physical barrier.
The plans revealed by SUEZ at a recent public exhibition are a step in the right direction but miss out on some of the key opportunities for improving access and lack the detail required for us to be confident of the proposals.
There are widespread concerns that the site might be developed for 10 storey blocks of flats looming over the area – including over London Road Playing Fields.
We have asked SUEZ to rethink and provide homes based on houses and streets. We are also keen to see a mix of developers involved, including the potential for custom-build housing and community land trusts.
It is disappointing that SUEZ is limiting community engagement to just one more public exhibition in 2019 and we have asked it to rethink its approach and not rush to a planning application in the Spring.
Read our submission on the December 2018 public consultation
View the information boards shown at the December 2018 public consultation
Let us know what you think – email@example.com
We have welcomed plans to separate the Grade II listed Wandle House from the 1960s office block it has been linked for over 50 years.
Wandle House is an important part of Mitcham’s story with links to the assemblage of historic buildings by the ford across the Wandle by Bishopsford Road.
The planned development is an all too rare example of a scheme which will improve the Conservation Area for the Wandle Valley.
There are also opportunities to improve the landscaping and reduce the large area of hard standing and car park.
We are also alert to the possibility of the office block being converted to flats following the precedents of Justin Plaza and Brook House.
You can read our submission here.
Merton Council has submitted an application to itself to install a memorial stone at Lower Green West war memorial.
We secured national listing for the war memorial last year.
The memorial stone will recognise William White, Mitcham’s only Victoria Cross holder from World War I and it will be set flush to the ground immediately in front of the war memorial.
Remarkably, Merton Council had to declare its own application invalid for failing to provide key information and a site plan.
We have welcomed the plans and ask that they are supported by a method statement that sets out how the sensitive installation should be managed and that there are long term guarantees that the stone will be maintained.
You can read our submission here.
A new development of 9 flats has been proposed for the back garden site behind Preshaw Crescent.
This follows the collapse of the earlier Wandle Housing plans and has resulted in access now being off Russell Road.
The plans are presented as amendments to the earlier proposal but they are substantially different. We have asked Merton Council to pause any decision while the developers update the information to take account of the changes.
We find the scheme poorly designed and it fails to address the earlier unauthorised clearance of trees from the site. It is also hard to see how construction vehicles will access the site given the developer’s own analysis reveals they need to mount pavements to get round the tight corners on the access routes.
We have also pointed out the missed opportunity to improve access through the site rather than leave it as a dead end.
You can read our submission here
The La Sporta building on Church Road has always been something of a conundrum.
After years of lying empty and falling into neglect it has struggled to find a purpose. There is a covenant preventing housing being built on the site although this didn’t prevent early discussions with Merton Council some years ago. The Council has since admitted it has lost the note of the advice it provided.
Now it is being slated for demolition.
The building itself provokes mixed views. The important of its location is, however, without doubt. At a key gateway to the Conservation Area it is in the setting of the nationally listed Mitcham Parish Church and also the old Vicarage. It can also play a part in the wider redevelopment being planned for the Benedict Wharf site when Suez moves out. This should rid us of the oversize Hallowfield Way and provide new homes and community facilities.
We are keen to uphold Merton’s planning policy protecting community uses and so have asked that the La Sporta building isn’t demolished before we know what might follow.
Read our comments here
Read what we said about Benedict Wharf