A developer has drawn sharp criticism for invoking a “fake history” as part of its designs for tearing down a historic pub.

The former Cricketers pub in London Road, built in the 1950s, was bought by Chatsworth Land that has applied three times to Merton Council to demolish the pub and turn it into 16 flats.

The first two applications were rejected by the council’s planning committee and the developer has appealed to the Government’s planning inspector.

In its third application, registered earlier this year, the developer promotes an “idiosyncratic design”, which removes the current “dated” building.

It says: “The new building would look as if it had always been there, and that the residential use would appear as another layer of history to the building.

“The ‘fake history’ is at odds with many in the architectural profession, but the importance of the site demands a building that is appropriate to its context and surroundings and works
irrespective of fads and fashion in architecture.”

But Sandra Vogel, from the Mitcham Cricket Green and Heritage group, said the plan was no different to thousands of other blocks of flats all over the country.

She said: “With so much real history on Cricket Green, this fake history would look like what it is – a confection with no real meaning.
“It would undermine and overpower the Vestry Hall, a real Victorian building, and Mitcham fire station, built in the 1920s. Both are locally listed.”

A date has not yet been set for the Planning Inspector’s informal hearing for Chatsworth’s second planning application, or for when Merton Council judges the third.

See the plans and comment on the application at the council’s website at merton.gov.uk, using codes 12/P2083 and 12/P2084.