Merton Council's development company, Merantun, has plans to build on four sites, and three are in Mitcham.
Initial plans were shown to people at two public events in August. These were held with just a few days notice - barely enough time to spread the word and right in the heart of the holiday season.
We focused our comments on the plans that were shown for one of the four sites - the Raleigh Gardens car park.
We feel the proposed building is too tall and the number of homes planned is too dense for the site. We are clear that all new development in Mitcham should be low rise, and the height of the proposed building, at five and six storeys, is too much for the small, constrained site of Raleigh Gardens car park to bear, as well as being more generally detremental to the village feel of Mitcham.
Insult is added to injury by the fact that this proposal comes from Merton Council's own development company. We expect Merantun to set the highest of standards, showing the way for others to follow. Sadly this is not the case with these initial plans.
The plans for Raleigh Gardens, along with the plans for the other three sites, have been to Merton Council's own Design Review Panel twice.
The first Design Reiew Panel meeting was held in secret, and relates to the proposals we commented on in August.
The second Design Review Panel meeting was held in public, in late October 2019, and was filmed by Merton TV. The plans had been revised, but were not made public prior to the meeting, and we have not seen them as we write this.
The Design Review Panel uses a 'traffic lights' system in its evaluation of proposals brought before it. The Raleigh Gardens plans were given an 'amber' rating at both meetings, meaning they are not yet good enough and there is further work to be done. Significant comments were made at the October meeting about the height and design, as well as that the proposals overdevelop the site. Exactly the same comments, in fact, as we made back in August, before the designs were amended.
If we get sight of the revised plans that the Design Review Panel saw in October, we will feed in our comments. If we do not get sight of them until they become a planning application, we will feed in at that time.
In the mean time, you can read the comments we made to the August public consultation here.