We have responded to yet another plan to demolish and replace the Cricketers with a block of flats at the heart of Cricket Green. These have emerged after more than a year’s radio silence and without any consultation.
The latest plans are an improvement on what has gone before but still fail to meet the standards required. They lack distinction and draw their design cues from the neighbouring Vestry Hall and former fire station.
The development remains too large for this sensitive site and will detract from the Vestry Hall. We are also concerned about the impact on the key view of the cricket ground on the approach from Mitcham Parish Church.
This time the developers have tried to match the colour of the Vestry Hall bricks and tiles. It may look possible on paper but achieving a true colour match is notoriously difficult in practice. Old buildings weather differently and their materials take on the patina of age which cannot be easily copied.
Our overall assessment is that the new plans are an improvement but this site demands a building of the highest quality – one capable of being listed within 30 years. It fails to pass the test.
Read our Response to the latest cricketers plans
Read earlier posts on plans to redevelop the Cricketers:
April 2015 yet another planning application for cricketers pub
April 2014 yet another cricketers pub planning application
June 2013 what next for the cricketers pub
February 2013 cricketers campaign success
December 2012 the cricketers pub appeal hearing on 15 January how you can help
November 2012 the cricketers pub saga continues – prepare for the planning inspector
August 2012 our objection to proposals to redevelop the crickers pub
Yet another planning application has surfaced for the Cricketers Pub. This one requests permission to demolish the pub and build a partly two story and partly three story building to provide 11 homes.
It comes despite the owner of the Cricketers already having two planning permissions to develop the existing building.
One of these, granted in February 2014, gives the owner permission to convert the existing building with the upper floor becoming three flats and the ground floor becoming some sort of retail or office.
The other permission was granted in May 2013 and is to convert the existing building into seven self contained flats.
We have asked Merton Council to refuse the new planning application on a number of grounds, and our comments are detailed and comprehensive. They refer to both Merton Council’s own Core Strategy policies, and to the National Planning Policy Framework.
In a nutshell, we feel the proposed building is inappropriate to the site. Significant comments made by planning inspectors when they refused previous proposals for new buildings on appeal are just as applicable this time and have not been addressed.
We are also concerned that the proposed room sizes do not meet the minimum required by the London Plan.
Read our comments on the Cricketers Pub redevelopment March 2015.
The owner of the Cricketers Pub seems to be discontent with the permission it has to convert the existing building into flats.
We are aware that a significant application is in development which will ask yet again if the pub can be demolished and replaced – something that has been refused multiple times already. From what we have seen of this plan so far, we are not encouraged.
Meanwhile, a planning application has been submitted asking if the ground floor can be retail rather than residential. We do not object to this idea, though we are objecting to the proposed implementation of it.
We have a number of concerns that include the lack of control over retail uses. The site owner made no bones about suggesting a cafe at a recent public exhibition, but in reality there is nothing to stop other uses, for example pay day lenders or betting shops. We also have concerns about other aspects of the proposal.
Read our comments on the Cricketers – mixed use conversion planning application
The future of the Cricketers pub remains in doubt following a planning application to convert the building into seven flats.
This follows a long and successful campaign to prevent demolition and large scale redevelopment of the site for private housing.
The Cricketers has been used as a public house for over 200 years and building was only permitted on this ancient green because it was for community use.
We are asking Merton Council to continue this centuries old tradition. The future of the island site at the heart of our conservation area needs to be considered as a whole – with the Cricketers, Vestry Hall and Fire Station all supporting community life.
This is a point re-enforced in the Cricket Green Charter which we drew up earlier this year with local councillors and Merton Council.
Read our views on the latest planning application here and let Merton Council know what you think of the latest development proposals – email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out about the application at Merton Council’s web site here.
Our long campaign to prevent demolition of the Cricketers pub for new flats has borne fruit with the rejection of two appeals by an independent Inspector.
This follows an 8 hour planning hearing in January where we gave evidence and months of lobbying.
The Inspector concluded that both the “contemporary” proposal and the development based on “fake history” would “be detrimental to the character and appearance” of the Conservation Area. He was very critical of the impact of the “formidable block” which would “conflict with the Vestry Hall in views from Cricket Green” and present a “blocky” aspect to the old fire station.
This is great news.
Getting this result is down to the hard work of everyone involved and the level of support which has been evident throughout from all those who wrote in, spoke about or attended meetings about the proposals.
We will now work with Merton Council and the owners of both the fire station and the Cricketers to find a way forward for the future of this island site that benefits the whole community.
You can read the decision letter here.
The Planning Committee meeting last night very quickly accepted council officers’ recommendation not to allow the proposed development of the Cricketers Pub.
This means that three applications for the site have all been turned down by Merton’s Planning Committee.
It also means that the appeal hearing on 15 January will look at two planning applicaitons at the same time, as we had anticipated.
We still need your help – you have time to submit your views to the planning inspector and every single view will be seen by the inspector and taken into account.
Take a look at our previous post here to find out how you can help.