Tag Archives: Planning Applications

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

Is this the future of Mitcham’s village centre?

We’re backing the Mitcham Society in its efforts to retain a village feel in central Mitcham.

Merton’s new Local Plan has a key role to play by controlling the height of new development and respecting the modest plot sizes which avoid bulky buildings that dominate the street.

Our fear is that damaging development will happen before the Local Plan comes into force.

The risk is real and we are now faced with plans to demolish and replace the parade of shops running along Upper Green East from Barclays Bank with a four storey block of flats and shops promised beneath.

The redevelopment of 33-39 Upper Green East is the first major scheme in Mitcham for years.

It needs to set the standard for the future and establish the right precedents. Instead we have a bulky block of flats using designs that could be found anywhere and owe little to the rich heritage of Mitcham.

They will dominate the visual link between Fair Green and the Conservation Area at Three Kings Pond and erode rather than add to Mitcham’s character.

The developers also plead poverty over development costs and propose to provide no affordable homes.

We are asking Merton Council to demand better and reject what’s on offer. Mitcham is going to change over the next few years. It contains underused land and some poor quality buildings. This change must avoid development of ubiquitous design and provide an opportunity to strengthen its village character and draw on its rich history.

You can read a full copy of our representations here.

White Hart development plans fall short

The Grade II listed White Hart is one of the most important buildings in Cricket Green.

Prominently located by the historic cricket ground it was originally a coaching inn on the main route from London to Brighton.

The pub has been closed for some time and we have been supportive of some sensitive development to allow for its restoration.

It is all the more disappointing that the plans that have come forward do not do justice to the site and would damage the key views from Cricket Green.

We objected to the large block of flats put forward for the White Hart’s car park last year and they have returned in an amended form with all of the same problems and fewer benefits.

The sensitive demolition of a new extension to the back of the White Hart has been dropped but the flats will still loom over the historic building and may also be visible from Lower Green West.

We have invited the developers to meet and talk about an alternative approach which will provide homes and restore the White Hart so it can rediscover its role as an important asset for the local community.

You can see our latest representations here.

White Hart restoration plans blighted by intrusive flats

The Grade II listed White Hart is one of the most important buildings in Merton and stands prominently at the heart of Cricket Green Conservation Area.

It includes a large area of land to the rear which is the focus of plans for a new block of flats.

We have welcome the proposals to restore and re-open the White Hart and demolish the modern extension to its rear.

Unfortunately the new building proposed as part of the development is less sympathetic.

The architects drawing clearly show it will be visible above the roofline of the White Hart in the key approach along Cricket Green to the south.

Worryingly, there is no information provided on the impact on Lower Green West.

The design of the new flats also doesn’t do justice the the location and the proposed beer garden will spend most of its time in shade. An opportunity has been missed to service the White Hart from the rear and avoid delivery lorries adding to the congestion and road safety problems at Jubilee Corner.

As a consequence we have objected to the plans (see here) and invited the developers to collaborate on an alternative. We would welcome well designed residential development which funds restoration of the White Hart and avoids damage to the Conservation Area.

Read our comments

Cricketers pub redevelopment – tweaks to planning application and our comments

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.

Cricketers versions 2016 Mar

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 for Cricketers 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.