By Tom Hussey
A controversial housing development near a conservation area could be waived through by the Deputy Mayor of London next week.
The development is the largest of a number of proposals that could see over a thousand new flats reaching up to ten stories built within a 10-minute walk of Mitcham Cricket Green, a conservation area.
Campaigners from Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage argue the Benedicts Wharf developments will destroy the character of the neighbourhood and surrounding area. They say protected green space is being lost, trees felled and the conservation area damaged, with the new developments unaffordable for local residents.
Secretary of Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage, Tony Burton said: “This is a wholly discordant new development, highly visible and intrusive.
“There has been no real conversation with the Greater London Authority who will be deciding on the outcome of the scheme after Merton council tuned down the proposal and GLA’s report for the development pays lip service to community views.”
The Deputy Mayor of London will cast judgement after a Representation Hearing on Tuesday 8th December.
Benedict Wharf alone will see 849 units erected in a ten-storey building, of which 14 are houses.
Water and waste management company SUEZ who currently run the site have registered for planning permission for the development as they look to relocate operations away from Benedict Wharf.
Kris Furness, Senior Planning Manager for SUEZ said: “Our plans aim to deliver on everyone’s priorities for the borough and for London.
“A redeveloped Benedict Wharf will transform a brownfield site into a new high-quality, sustainable community in Merton; providing much needed affordable homes, new green open spaces and enhanced pedestrian and cycle links.”
A spokesperson for Greater London Authority was unable to comment on the development.
A crowdfunding page to raise £1,500 was launched last week to support research and campaign against the proposals.
Mitcham Cricket Green is the oldest cricket green in the world and has been used continuously since 1685.
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