Merton’s Climate Action Plan – our submission

Merton Council is one of hundreds of public bodies that have now declared a Climate Emergency.

We commend its cross party declaration back in July 2019 and the commitment to producing a Climate Action Plan.

Cricket Green’s role in helping tackle the Climate Emergency was an issue raised during our own local discussions in producing the Cricket Green Charter. We have now developed this thinking into a submission to Merton Council.

We believe there is much that can be done that is already in the gift of Merton Council to deliver.

This includes much stronger planning policies, action to tackle excess parking and idling traffic, better walking routes and a major programme for planting new trees, hedges and shrubs throughout the area. Cricket Green’s rich network of green spaces provide important carbon sinks that could perform even better if they were managed properly in ways that reduce mowing and encourage wild areas. Merton Council and its contractors should also be using zero emission vehicles and equipment. Zero emission buses should also be the norm, starting with all routes running through Fair Green.

In addressing the Climate Emergency we urge Merton Council also to ensure any measures respect the historic environment of Mitcham Cricket Green Conservation Area and its environs. We see a close alignment between measures for tackling the Climate Emergency and those that protect the historic and natural environment. It is imperative to securing continuing wide public support for climate action that this is not seen to cause harm to other aspects of the environment which local people care about.

Read our submission on Merton’s Climate Action Plan Tackling the Climate Emergency – Dec 19

Cold water for plans to develop car wash site

Plans to develop a five storey block of flats have been put forward for the car wash site on London Road at the junction with Broadway Gardens.

The development includes 19 flats and makes provision for retail or office use at street level, including a hot food take away.

The car wash is in a sensitive location right on the edge of the Conservation Area, opposite the Grade II listed Burn Bullock and in view of the historic cricket ground.

We support residential development on the site and have put it forward for inclusion in Merton Council’s new Local Plan. We are keen for the ground floor to be used to extend the existing retail parade and for any new building to respect the height of the existing buildings along London Road.

Unfortunately, the developers have come forward with a scheme almost as high as that permitted for the former Kwik Fit site on the other side of Broadway Gardens.

Their own drawings show just how out of keeping this will be, especially when combined with whatever eventually gets developed on the Kwik Fit site.

The design approach is every day and ubiquitous. It fails to respond to to the rich character of the surrounding neighbourhood and the upper two floors in particular are poorly executed, with intrusive balconies, poor use of materials and an incongruous white colour which cannot be found elsewhere in the area.

The development will also overlook existing houses in Broadway Gardens and makes no provision for any parking. It even tries to avoid putting any affordable housing on site and proposes giving Merton Council a meagre £120,000 to provide this elsewhere.

The planned hot food take away is also controversial. There are already three nearby and Mayor Khan’s new London Plan is clear that no hot food take aways should be permitted within 400m of a school. The car wash is just 210m from Saints Peter and Paul Primary School.

Once again we find ourselves having to object to a poorly designed and overly large development brought forward without any effort to talk to the local community. We look forward to an opportunity to work with the owners to help design a sensitive development for this site.

Read our full response – 370-374 London Road – Dec 19

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


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.