Tag Archives: Cricket Green Conservation Area

Architects confirm negative impact of Mitcham scheme on Conservation Area

Plans to demolish and replace a large stretch of Mitcham’s shops on Upper Green East alongside Barclays Bank with a four storey block are being considered by Merton Council.

The scheme will set the precedent for future development around Fair Green and we believe it is both too high and lacks design quality.

It also fails to provide a single affordable home in any of the 20 flats.

The architects have made some minor changes in response to feedback from Mitcham Society and ourselves.

The changes fail to address the fundamental problem that the new building is too large, too high and too poorly designed for Mitcham’s centre.

There is even a suggestion that adding lavender mosaic tiles somehow represents an adequate response to the historic character of the area.

The new information also includes a new image that confirms the impact on the Conservation Area from near Three Kings Pond.

The architects believe the scheme will be “just visible”.

We believe the image confirms the creation of an intrusive bland elevation which doesn’t fit with the existing pitched roofline. Have a look and see what you think.

 

Read our original representation and our updated one

Our five year enforcement report

The quality of life in Cricket Green owes much to planning controls.

These ensure development meets minimum standards, trees and open spaces are protected, noisy and intrusive activity prevented and listed buildings aren’t neglected.

The effectiveness of planning controls is only as good as the quality of their enforcement. This has long been a Cinderella of Merton Council and the official record shows that the number of outstanding enforcement actions on the books across the Borough is reaching 1,000. This doesn’t include the multitude of breaches that go unreported.

We are seriously concerned by the impact of weak enforcement on Cricket Green and are publishing our five year report. This tracks the success, or otherwise, of our formal requests to Merton Council for action since 2014 on issues such as:

  • loss of trees due to failure to comply with planning permission for multi-use games area at The Canons
  • the unauthorised use of Burn Bullock car park for car sales
  • paving of front gardens without planning permission
  • removal of the characteristic yellow tiles at the former Bull pub
  • the proliferation of estate agent boards at Brook House and the Cricketers flats without permission
  • the failure to implement requirements of listed building repair notice at Burn Bullock
  • hoardings erected without permission around the fire station and straying onto others land
  • unauthorised tree clearance, new entrance and other works at Blue Houses site

The record speaks for itself.

Only two of the fourteen issues raised have been resolved and even with these we were not notified of the action being taken.

Our representations have been frequently ignored even after writing five or six times and some responses have taken literally years to secure.

On this evidence it is clear Merton’s enforcement team is stretched too thinly and needs to be both better resourced and supported in taking a more assertive approach.

Read our Five Year Enforcement Report

We plan to maintain it and hope that future reports will paint a more positive picture.

Community on the Green 2019 thank you for coming to our 50th birthday party!

Thank you to everyone who came along and made our 50th birthday party such fun!

The Deputy Mayor of Merton cut our birthday cake and made a lovely speech.

We enjoyed a cask of Wandle Ale donated by Sambrook’s Brewery –  Thank you to them!

We had a special walk celebrating some of the 50 things people have helped us identify that make the Conservation Area special to us. We’re tweeting these throughout the year – @MitchamCrktGrn #CricketGreenat50

There was cricket on the green courtesy of Mitcham Cricket Club’s ladies team.

We remembered with pride that we are Englands Fourth Favourite Conservation Area.

And best of all – lots of local people came to enjoy the sunshine, the cake, the ale, and the company.

sdr

Protecting Mitcham’s Town Greens

Mitcham is defined as much by its green spaces as its buildings.  Once linked to the vastness of Mitcham Common they remain central to Mitcham’s story and to its future.   Mitcham’s Greens were originally put in the hands of the Mitcham Common Conservators in 1891.  Responsibility was transferred to the local authority in 1923 and they are now managed by Merton Council.  Five were registered as town greens in 1967 – Figges Marsh, Fair Green, Three Kings Piece, Cranmer Green and Cricket Green – and given high levels of protection.  This recognition provides a reassuring certainty in an area experiencing rapid development and change.

Or so it seemed.

In June 2016 Mitcham saw the open grassland and green road verges of Three Kings Piece and Cranmer Green replaced by tarmac, kerbs, bus stops and road crossings (see photos).  This happened without warning and there was no consultation.  Land which had survived undeveloped for hundreds of years was lost.  The special character of an important area of the town greens was destroyed.

cranmer-green-destruction-june-16

The damage was the talking point of our stand at the Mitcham Carnival and questions were asked as to whether Mitcham’s Greens were safe after all.

We moved quickly to raise concerns with Merton Council and seek an explanation.  The response was emphatic – Merton Council believes it has the power to tarmac the Greens and does not need to consult.  Further, Merton Council believes the protections afforded town and village greens do not apply to Mitcham’s greens and its duty to make bus stops accessible overrides other concerns.

We turned to the Open Spaces Society for advice – as the UK’s oldest conservation body it is a national source of expertise on common land and town and village greens.  With its help we have explored the complex legal position and arrived at very different conclusions to Merton Council.

three-kings-piece-bus-stop-works-june-16Over 10 years ago the House of Lords ruled that laws protecting greens applied to all greens, new and old.  This set a precedent and means Mitcham’s greens are protected in the same way as other greens.  As a result, any encroachment or development requires consent from the Secretary of State.  The fact that Merton Council has the power to undertake the works affecting Mitcham’s Greens does not override the need for it to seek this consent.  Nor does the requirement to take steps to make bus stops accessible override these protections.

We believe Merton Council has overstepped the mark.  It has damaged the Mitcham Greens without authorisation.  We are asking Merton Council to come clean and either seek permission from Central Government or undo the works and return both Cranmer Green and Three Kings Piece to their former condition.  And most important of all we are asking Merton Council to be clear about the procedures protecting Mitcham’s Greens so we can all avoid a repeat and be secure in their future.

Read our report

Open Spaces Society press release

 

Proposed additions to the Local List – our comments

Merton Council has proposed a number of additions to the Local List and there is currently a public consultation on the proposals.

The Local List brings together buildings and other structures which make an important contribution to the local scene or which are valued for their local historical associations and which are not included in the national list maintained by English Heritage.

Proposed additions for Mitcham are:

  • The cart dip at Three Kings Pond, Mitcham
  • War Memorial, Lower Green West, Mitcham
  • War memorial, Mitcham Parish Church
  • Gravestones (wargraves) Mitcham Parish Church
  • Stone monument, Mitcham Parish Churchyard

We support all these proposed additions.

Read our comments on proposed additions to the Local List.

Please make your own comments by taking part in the consultation, which ends on 9th March 2015.

See the Local List at Merton Council’s web site.

 

St Peter & Paul Catholic Church planning application for a parish hall

St Peter & Paul Catholic Church has put in a planning application for a parish hall behind the church.

We have made a formal response to this application.

We’re broadly in support, and our comments concentrate on ensuring the hall and its uses are sensitive to the surrounding environment and people who live locally.

Read our comments on St Peter & Paul Catholic Church planning application for a parish hall