Tag Archives: Cricket Green Conservation Area

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.


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.


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


Community wins protection for Mitcham cricket pavilion

Mitcham Cricket Club pavilionMerton Council has officially recognised the historic Mitcham cricket pavilion as an “asset of community value”. This is in response to our application and it is the first community asset to be recognised in this way anywhere in Merton. Over 1,000 buildings, open spaces, pubs and other community assets have been recognised by local authorities across England since the new powers to protect community assets were introduced in 2011.

The cricket pavilion has been at the heart of the local community since it was built in 1904 – supporting cricket on the ground where it has been played continuously longer than anywhere else in the world. The effect of placing it on the statutory register of assets of community value is twofold. First, it gives it an important status as a building which is valued by local people when decisions are made about its future or development in the area. Second, any effort to sell the building would trigger a six month moratorium during which time the community could raise the funds and support needed to take over responsibility for the building.

This recognition is especially important as the cricket pavilion faces an uncertain future. Although locally listed it is under the same ownership as the nearby Burn Bullock. This has fallen on hard times and is subject to enforcement action against illegal car sales and the decay of the listed building. Securing a future for the cricket pavilion is an urgent priority and we will be campaigning hard for it to be put under community management.

We will be looking at other buildings and open spaces which are worthy of similar recognition as community assets. Let us know which you most value in the Cricket Green area.

Our Civic Day walk on 21 June a great success

Thanks to everyone who joined us on 21 June for our Civic Day walk.

We marked Civic Day this year with a visit to the Cricket Pavilion and a walk around the greens and open spaces of Cricket Green, giving local people a chance to talk about and make input to two Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bids being prepared by Merton Council:

  • Parks for People. This bid will focus on Canons house and grounds, and will be aimed at encouraging more people to use the area, finding a use for Canons house and understanding what makes the area special.
  • Townscape Heritage. This bid will focus on Cricket Green, London Road and Church Road. It is based around key buildings such as the Cricket Pavilion and Burn Bullock, and the ‘streetscape’.

If successful these bids could bring millions of pounds into the area.

We are working closely with the project manager, who is employed by Merton Council, as well as with the Mitcham Society, Friends of the Canons and Mitcham Cricket Club, to help these bids be a success.

There is still time to have your say on the bids – but be quick – the consultation period has technically come to an end. Squeeze your response in by filling in the response form at the bid web site http://www.canonspartnership.org.uk


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