Morden town centre could see dramatic redevelopment in next two years

Morden town centre could see dramatic redevelopment in next two years

Site for redevelopment: intersection of London Road and Crown Lane

Site for redevelopment: London Road and Crown Lane

Site development proposals from Merton Council’s draft planning brief

First published in News Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Landmark buildings in Morden town centre will be revamped after the cabinet approved a planning brief attracting developers to invest in the area.

Morden Station shops, offices and car park, Sainsbury's car park and Kenley Road car park will be transformed into modern shops, flats, cafes, restaurants and community spaces.

The decision follows a public consultation, from October to November 2013, during which residents expressed concerns about building heights, parking and urban design in what one resident described as "one of the ugliest parts of London."

At the cabinet meeting on Monday, March 10, councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, said: "The main issue was concern that the height of buildings was too high and would dominate neighbouring houses so the brief has been adapted.

"New buildings on the Kenley Road site should respect and relate to the ridge height of the existing neighbouring houses."

In collaboration with Transport for London and landowners, the council would like Kendor Gardens, a small thin stretch of green land to the north of the station, to be extended beyond Kenley Road, creating space for housing and public use.

The council also suggests a new through road should be built from London Road to Kenley Road, providing better access to residential housing.

Proposals show the majority of the site would be allocated to housing, with significant proportions dedicated to car parking, commercial and leisure use.

Developers are advised to respect the Art Deco theme of Morden Station, built in 1926 with a muted brick palette and stone or stucco decoration.

With 20,000 people using the tube and bus stations every day, redevelopment would need to be phased to prevent disruption to commuters' journeys.

However, the bus station could be moved further along London Road, opening up the entrance to Morden station with space for a piazza.

The vision forms part of Merton's Core Planning Strategy, published in July 2011, to regenerate the town centre and make Morden a hub for local businesses.

Costs of construction works will be funded through private developers and the Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 Agreements, which allow the council to charge a levy on land owners and developers to fund infrastructure.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, said: "It's Morden's turn along with Mitcham and Colliers Wood but definitely Morden will have its time in a couple of years.

"I'm happy with the plans going forward. We are putting a plan together in such a way that it attracts local residents, businesses and it incentivises existing buisnesses as well to stay there and to improve their fronts."

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