Tag Archives: fire station

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

The Cricketers pub saga continues – prepare for the Planning Inspector

Regular visitors to our web site will know of the ongoing saga surrounding the Cricketers pub on London Road.

Now it has reached a very important phase. This is a long post but please read it right to the end – it’s important!

The pub, built in the 1950s and replacing an earlier pub, was acquired by a developer which has put in no fewer than three planning applications to demolish and build flats on the site.

The first was turned down by Merton and then turned down at appeal. The second was turned down by Merton last Spring. A third application came in during the Summer.

The developer has lodged an appeal on the second application, a design it called modern but which to our eyes is no different to thousands of other blocks of flats to be seen all over the country.  The building is too large and too poorly designed for this sensitive site.

Now the developer  has also appealed the third application, even though this has not been in front of Merton’s planning committee yet.

The third design  is, in the words of the developer, an ‘idiosyncratic design’ based on ‘fake history’. It is version of what a Victorian pub might look like if it were turned into a block of flats.

Part of our objection to this proposal is that with so much real history on Cricket Green, this fake history would look like what it is – a confection with no real meaning. It would undermine and overpower the Vestry Hall , a real Victorian building, and the fire station, built in the 1920s. Both are locally listed.

We’re not against development, or against a modern design. What we want to see is a development which does the Cricket Green and its setting justice. We want something of high quality which makes the 21st century’s first important contribution to the buildings on Cricket Green.

You can read our objection to the ‘modern’ application here and to the ‘fake history’ application here.

What can you do?

There are two things you can do at this stage that would really help.

First, you can send in your views on the ‘modern’ design electronically via the Planning Inspectorate website

A plan of the scheme can be viewed here.

To submit your views to the Planning Inspectorate go here.

And then please submit them again here.

It is important to do this twice as there are actually two applications being appealed. One relates to the planning consent for the new building and the other to the conservation area consent to demolish the existing building.

The Planning Inspector will be influenced by the views of local people so it is important to make your voice heard if you can. The deadline for objections was 20 November, but no harm can be done if you submit your views after that date – if you are quick.

It will make a real impact if the Inspectorate receive a flurry of emails and letters so please do support us if you possibly can.

The main issues raised by MCGC&H are that the proposals will significantly damage the character of the conservation area because they:

  • overwhelm the site and compete with the listed Vestry Hall and locally listed fire station
  • remove an important community use
  • present a supposedly contemporary, three colour, design that feels both mundane and already dated
  • introduce a major new source of light pollution into the muted and sensitively lit nightscape of Cricket Green
  • prevent the whole island site being considered together

Second you can watch this web site for further updates.

A date has not yet been set for the Planning Inspector’s informal hearing – but we will post information here about it as soon as we get it.

We’ll also keep you up to date with information about the second ‘fake history’ application, including letting you know when we learn it is due to go before Merton’s Planning Committee and any information we get about the appeal.

Save our assets

One of our latest projects is to identify the buildings and open spaces in the area which are most valued by the local community. We are keen to take advantage of the new legal protection which has been introduced under the “community right to bid”.

Where local assets are included on a register held by the local council this means they can’t be sold off without the local community being given time to come up with some alternative proposals.

We’ve already identified the cricket pavilion and the fire station as early contenders. Neither is currently owned by the community and both are at risk.

We’ve included our ideas on a website gathering examples across the country and you can see the fire station here and the cricket pavilion here.

Let us know which other buildings or open space you think we should be campaigning for. Contact us at the usual address: info@mitchamcricketgreen.org.uk