La Sporta demolition plan

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

Mitcham Heritage Day 2018 – another great success for Mitcham

10.00am to 4.30pm Saturday 8th September

Thank you to everyone who came along to Mitcham Heritage Day and helped make the day a great success.

We are still totting up the final figures, but we know that hundreds of visits took place across the participating venues.

People enjoyed exhibitions, guided walks, seeing buildings they’ve not had a chance to see before, and hearing about the great history and heritage of our area.

Below are just some of the things people enjoyed, plus a few photos from the day.

Mitcham Heritage day 2019 will be happening next September – date to be confirmed soon!

  • Mitcham Parish Church opened its bell tower, gave guided tours of the historic 6.7 acre graveyard with notable headstones and tombs, and laid on special exhibitions for Mitcham Heritage Day (For King and Country about some of the men commemorated on Mitcham War Memorial, and Mitcham’s Architectural Treasures, showing some of the gems of the area) as well as an exhibition about local benefactor Mary Tate
  • Wandle Industrial Museum waived its entry fee for the day and put on a special exhibition, Snapshots of a Bygone Age showing photos from the collection of local photographer Tom Francis as well as other exhibitions, interactive exhibits and working models
  • Cricket Green School opened its gates for the day to allow viewing of the Grade II listed 14th Century arch of Hall Place, and set out drawing materials for children to get creative
  • Mitcham Cricket Club Pavilion was open for people to take tea on the balcony, view cricketing memorabilia and see a special exhibition 150 Years of Aussies On The Green. There was also a special children’s quiz and a guided tour. Cricket was played too, of course
  • Mitcham Methodist Church opened its doors for us to see inside this rare example of a Grade II listed post-war church. The choir sang in the afternoon
  • The Canons House and Dovecote, beneficiary of a Lottery grant, offered children’s heritage activities, opened the dovecote (Mitcham’s oldest building), and gave information about the project which will restore the house and landscape over the next four years
  • Mitcham Bowling Club, going strong since 1930, was open for people to learn more about the sport, have a go at bowls see the rink and support the club in a match in the afternoon
  • The former Three Kings Pub, built in 1928 by a family of music hall artistes and now business premises, put on a special exhibition about its former owners, children could dress up as music hall performers and try their hands at programming
  • Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage took people on a guided walk taking in the gems of the conservation area

The full details of everything that took  place are on the Mitcham Heritage Day 2018 poster

Mitcham Heritage Day was part of Heritage Open Days and Wandle Fortnight.

Want more? Download our self-guided audio tour and take a tour at your leisure.

A big THANK YOU to everyone from the organisations that helped make Mitcham Heritage Day entertaining, informative and enjoyable, especially the volunteers who gave their time freely to plan, prepare and host on the day, and who baked cakes, made tea, staffed a barbecue, set things up, too things down, looked after visitors and generally mucked in.

Special thanks to

  • Sarah Gould, Merton Council Heritage & Local Studies, for providing special exhibitions For King and Country, Mitcham’s Architectural Treasures and Snapshots of a Bygone Age.
  • Merton Voluntary Sector Small Grants Development Fund for financial support
  • The Canons Parks for People project for financial support

 

 

 

Protecting Mitcham’s weatherboarded cottages

Weatherboarded cottages are a feature of the Mitcham area.

There are very few left and those that remain have often been nationally listed for their historic importance.

We are concerned, therefore, to see plans to make significant changes to 55 Upper Green East on the approach to Fair Green from Three Kings Piece.

We think the plans will destroy the symmetry of the building and the planning application makes no case for why they should be permitted.

We are also concerned by the way the proposals are being handled by Merton Council.  Development affecting listed buildings needs special “Listed Building Consent” as well as planning permission.

No application for Listed Building Consent has yet been made available and so we think it premature for this planning application to have been registered for a decision.

Read our views here.

Mitcham Heritage Day – Saturday 8th September 2018

10.00am to 4.30pm Saturday 8th September

Enjoy a day of experiences, visits, tours, exhibitions, and more at Mitcham Heritage Day, and discover just some of the great heritage our area has to offer.

Don’t forget to check out the special children’s events too!

Everything is free.

There are refreshments at many venues.

Below are just some of the things you can do. Full details are on the leaflet (see below) including the location of each venue and the timing of guided walks and other events.

  • Mitcham Parish Church is opening its bell tower (access via a spiral staircase). You an also take a guided tour of the historic 6.7 acre graveyard with notable headstones and tombs, view two exhibitions special for Mitcham Heritage Day (For King and Country about some of the men commemorated on Mitcham War Memorial, and Mitcham’s Architectural Treasures, showing some of the gems of the area)
  • Wandle Industrial Museum is waiving its entry fee for the day. See a special exhibition, Snapshots of a Bygone Age showing photos from the collection of local photographer Tom Francis as well as exhibitions about the River Wandle from the early flour mills to the 20th century, take snuff, and view working and interactive models
  • Cricket Green School is opening its gates for the day so you can view the Grade II listed 14th Century arch of Hall Place, which is in the school’s grounds
  • Mitcham Cricket Club Pavilion is open for fee access. Take tea on the balcony, view cricketing memorabilia and a special exhibition 150 Years of Aussies On The Green, as well as a special children’s quiz and a guided tour
  • Mitcham Methodist Church is throwing open its doors for you to see inside this rare example of a Grade II listed post-war church. The choir will sing in the afternoon (timing on leaflet below)
  • The Canons House and Dovecote, beneficiary of a Lottery grant, will be offering  children’s heritage activities, a chance to see inside the dovecote (Mitcham’s oldest building), and an opportunity to learn more about this exciting project which will restore the house and landscape over the next four years
  • Mitcham Bowling Club, going strong since 1930, will throw open its doors for people to learn more about the sport and see the rink. In the afternoon you can offer your support as the club plays a League match
  • The former Three Kings Pub, built in 1928 by a family of music hall artistes and now business premises, will tell the story of its former owners, and children can dress up as music hall performers and try their hands at programming
  • Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage will offer a guided walk taking in the gems of the conservation area at 200.pm

Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage would like to thank all the volunteer participants for making this year’s Mitcham Heritage Day such a packed, vibrant and varied event.

Resources for you to download and share:

Mitcham Heritage Day is part of Heritage Open Days

and is an opening day event for this year’s Wandle Fortnight.

Want more? Download our self-guided audio tour and take a tour at your leisure

Other events are also happening in Mitcham over this weekend

  • 17.00 – 22.00 International Social Evening in Parish Centre – ask for more information at the church when you visit
  • Mitcham Cricket Club – the Lashings Weekend. More information coming soon, and ask at the cricket pavilion when you visit

Special thanks to

  • Sarah Gould, Merton Council Heritage & Local Studies, for providing special exhibitions For King and Country, Mitcham’s Architectural Treasures and Snapshots of a Bygone Age.
  • Merton Voluntary Sector Small Grants Development Fund for financial support
  • The Canons Parks for People project for financial support

Date Valley School proving to be a bad neighbour

Date Valley School is located at the end of one of the most characterful streets in Merton.

Cricket Green road is a cul-de-sac framing the historic cricket ground and lined with listed and locally listed buildings.

The travel demands of a school in such a sensitive location were always going to be problematic and so it has proved.

The school has a travel plan which bars parents from driving up to drop off and collect children and it encourages a walking train from The Canons.

It is honoured only in the breach. Major parking problems along Cricket Green and in Chatsworth Place are a more than daily occurrence during term time, including fly parking, obstruction of residential spaces, flagrant breaches of the school travel plan and illegal parking on private land alongside a failure to enforce the parking restrictions introduced when the school opened.

We also have regular reports of verbal abuse being levelled at local residents who challenge drivers in breach of the school travel plan and the police have needed to attend incidents which have arisen.

Despite this Date Valley School has applied for planning permission to open on Saturdays till 1.00pm and to extend its hours of activity into weekday evenings.

A similar proposal was turned down by Merton Council in 2014.  We believe the boundary of acceptability has already been crossed and an extension of hours will make an already intolerable situation worse.  The application should be refused.

Read our comments on this application.

Community backs Mitcham cricket pavilion campaign

Our Community on the Green celebration was buzzing this year.

The future of Mitcham cricket pavilion in the face of development plans for a hotel on the Burn Bullock site was the focus of attention.

The strength of community support for securing the future of the pavilion was palpable.

Our community photo call was a great success.

The campaign will move up a gear over the summer as Merton’s planners provide feedback on the development.