Mitcham gasworks development faces further hurdle

By Harrison Galliven, Local Democracy Reporter

Plans for the Mitcham gasworks redevelopment have faced more controversy as the London Fire Brigade (LFB) expressed doubts over the safety of the five-hectare site. 

The plans, which propose tower blocks up to nine storeys containing 579 new flats, have already faced fierce local opposition. 

In an official objection made to Merton council’s planning department, LFB outlined a list of concerns regarding applicant St William’s current fire strategy. 

The strategy, designed to keep potential residents safe from fire risk, was criticised due to the inadequacy of the building’s escape routes.

Lifts, or a lack thereof, were a particular sticking point for the LFB. Under the current plans, it pointed out that both firefighters and residents would be competing for the use of the lift in an emergency, and that such a situation would impede a proper evacuation. 

In the letter published last Friday (May 10), Fire Engineer Alice Gane said: “A sufficient number of lifts should therefore be available at all times for both firefighters use and occupant evacuation. 

“This number should also include a redundancy to ensure that there is at least one lift still available for use from all areas of the building, in the event of the lift being out of service (e.g., as a result of breakdown or maintenance).”

LFB also pointed to the risks arising from the second stair provision in the plans as another reason for objection to the current plans. 

Since late last year, second staircases have become an essential safety requirement in all buildings over 18m.

While the revised plans make space for the inclusion of a second staircase, the LFB fears they are not separated enough from another staircase in the building and thus would place occupants at risk during evacuation. 

The plans include ground floor shop space fronting Western Road and 158 parking spaces are also detailed in the plans, this is up from 135 promised previously. 

St William was approached for comment but said it couldn’t comment on live applications.

Pictured top: Emerging plans for the Mitcham gasworks site (Picture: St William)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.