Building Preservation Bid For Historic Merton Hall

Call for temporary notice while Historic England consider it for Listed Building Status

A bid has been made for a temporary Building Preservation Notice to be served on historic Merton Hall in South Wimbledon.

Merton Council has agreed controversial plans to demolish part of the building and redevelop the rest of it to enable the existing Elim Church in High Path to move into the community centre building in Kingston Road.

This would then enable the new Harris Wimbledon Academy - a mixed ability free school - to be built on the High Path estate.

A number of community groups have protested against the plans, with 351 letters of objection being received by the council as well as a petition with more than 3,000 signatures.

Now Wimbledon Tory Councillor Najeeb Latif has asked the council to serve a temporary notice to protect the building for demolition while it is considered for listed building status.

An application has also been made to the council for the building to be considered an Asset of Community Value.

Councillor Latif said in a letter to the council that an application has been submitted to Historic England to make Merton Hall a statutory listed building.

He said analysis by Historic England was currently underway and "it is therefore crucial that there is statutory ‘interim protection’ for this building from redevelopment during the period it is being considered for listing."

He made the following extra points:

·         The building (originally named Masonic Hall) is of architectural interest, in particular due to its innovative design and craftsmanship. It is a fine example of late-Victorian public architecture.

·         The building is of historic interest (designed by Victorian Architect Quartermain) and provides important social, economic and cultural history with both local and national associations. It is one of only two remaining public buildings built by John Innes and Quartermain.

·         The fabric of the building is of historic interest as the Hall was constructed in 1899 and has survived in its original form.

New design of the front of Merton Hall

New design of the back of Merton Hall

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November 20, 2017

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Merton Hall as it is now

Artist's impression of new design