Committee give support to Mitcham 'bus street' as part of £6.2m regeneration
An advisory committee has recommended that plans for a controversial multi million pound regeneration project in Mitcham get the green light.
Members of the Street Management and Advisory Committee (SMAC) met on Wednesday, September 18, to discuss the plan which includes a new bus lane through the middle of Fair Green, and outdoor fixed canopy for outdoor events, a coin operated toilet cubicle, a board walk around the Three Kings Pond and a newly landscaped Fair Green.
A second consultation carried out by the council found that the majority of people were in favour of all proposals with 62 per cent supportive of the most controversial proposal - a bus lane which will cut through the Fair Green.
However members of the Mitcham Cricket Green and Community Heritage Group (MCGCH) argue support had "dropped sharply" since the first consultation which showed 72 per cent support.
Speaking at the meeting Tony Burton, of the MCGCH, said: "Fair Green is the ace in Mitcham’s pack.
"It is a unique fragment of common land that connects Mitcham to its past and its surroundings.
"Fair Green is what makes this town centre stand out from any other.
"It is the starting point for any sensible strategy to revitalise Mitcham.
"Instead it is to become a crossroads."
However Vijay Patel, 61, who runs Same Day Snaps at the Fair Green, pleaded with councillors to support the plans which he believes are vital for the future of Mitcham and its businesses.
Speaking at the meeting Mr Patel said: "The history of Mitcham is that it is an economic place and if you kill it you will not have Mitcham.
"You need people to come to the middle of Mitcham, explore Mitcham.
"We are not saying let the cars and other vehicles go through it - just the buses.
He added: "What matters is that you take these changes.
"If you don’t, Mitcham will die."
Members backed all the proposals but the final decision will rest with Councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environment and regeneration.
If approved work is expected to be completed in six phases starting as early as November, focusing on the Fair Green, Majestic Way and Three Kings Piece. Work on the bus street is not expected to start until January 2015.
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