Planning For The Next Decade In Merton

Major regeneration plans for SW19

An ambitious list of potential development sites in Merton has been published as part of a strategy to regenerate the borough.

The draft list of more than 60 suggested sites has been published in a major planning consultation being undertaken by Merton Borough council.

Each site featured in the report is accompanied by proposed uses, with the council initially looking for feedback on their ideas before mid-March.

It follows a plea for potential development areas last year to enable the council to plan the borough's redevelopment during the next decade.

As part of the overall strategy, some neighbourhoods have been specifically targeted.

Councillor Andrew JudgeCouncillor Andrew Judge (left), Cabinet member of environmental sustainability and regeneration, said one of the aims was to create a High Street atmosphere in Colliers Wood and along Merton High Street into South Wimbledon.

The council has already made a bid to the Mayor of London's Fund for a grant towards the regeneration of Colliers Wood. It hopes to receive that decision in the Spring.

He said: "Colliers Wood has some of the best shopping in the borough, but it doesn't work as a town centre. We hope it will look like a new town centre".

He said they'd focus on Christchurch Road, as well as Merantun Way and Merton High Street. The granting of planning permission for the re-cladding and flats' development at the hated Brown and Root Tower was already a "huge boost" for the area, he added.

Councillor Judge also said that the development report aimed to capitalise on Wimbledon as a global brand. He said: "We are mindful that haven't really capitalised on that. There is a need to expand the business sector in Wimbledon and we are looking at high quality offices and other developments."

Mitcham and Morden will also be included. He said they wanted people to "stop and shop" in Morden, rather than just use it to get on the tube.

Overall he added: "We are ambitious to achieve the best possible local quality of life. That is the reason we are taking a positive planning approach to ensure continuous renewal of many of the places people use in the borough.

"We are a green borough of gardens and open spaces and we want to reinforce this local character. New development will be designed to preserve and enhance our public open space".

Some of the sites on the list, which include land owned by the NHS, London Fire Brigade, the council, Transport for London and the Royal Mail, as well as private businesses and landlords, includes developing land now used for car parking.

Wimbledon's Queens Road car park is identified for potential residential, community and office development; a hotel, shops and homes could be built on the town centre's Hartfield Road car park; and shops, restaurants, offices, a hotel and cultural and leisure activities could be the focus for The Broadway car park behind the New Wimbledon Theatre.

Other potential SW19 developments on the list include some residential development at Wimbledon Library, the Patrick Doody Health Centre on Pelham Road and the Morden Road clinic in South Wimbledon.

Merton Hall in Kingston Road could see a mixed community and residential development, and a similar scheme could take place at Wimbledon Community Centre in St George's Road. The Royal Mail sorting office in Cranbrook Road is identified for mixed residential and office development.

Councillor Judge said a potential ground for AFC Wimbledon did not appear in the hefty document. But he added: "We are talking to them about all possible sites in the borough. We have a body of work moving forward with AFC Wimbledon".

When the current consultation ends, a second version of the proposals will appear in June. The finalised document should be complete by the end of 2012.

What do you think about the proposals? Why not comment on our forum?

January 9, 2012