Merton Abbey Mills Planning Application - update

Although it is now proposed that there be a revised planning application for this site, we understand that this is merely the reduction of the height of two of the residential blocks, and a small increase in car parking.

As the overall project is substantially the same, and for those who haven't seen it, these images may give you some idea of what is proposed.

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The top image is an aerial photograph showing it as it is today. Below is the model.

It is immediately apparent from the model that the buildings will dominate this site, with almost all of them reaching the same height as the Savacentre alongside, and dwarfing the existing Merton Abbey Mills buildings.

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The ‘pavilion' style building around the electricity pylon is where the Heritage centre is to be, and the smaller building between there and the exit are the proposed restaurants.

The big triangular building on the left is the hotel and sports centre complex, and along the Pickle Ditch at the top the three larger residential blocks, and the two smaller ones in what is now the stallholders car park.

The only vehicular access remains from the roundabout, bottom right.

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Mr DeBlaby of Countryside Properties has promised considerable energy and time will be spent on preserving the archaeology of the site, and for this we must be thankful. Our Museum will be hoping that the effort to do so balances the more recent industrial archaeology with the older Merton Priory, Saxon and Roman possibilities. It is even possible that these will reveal the true, original, course of the Wandle.

More selfishly, as users of the market there, we worry about the protection that will be needed from the building works if it is to stay open throughout, knowing that any temporary closure is likely to be fatal.

The third image is a copy of the plan of the Priory from the book on Merton priory stocked by the Museum. You can see how the earlier excavations have not progressed to the SW border of the site, and, presumably, this is where the new excavations will concentrate.

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