Lung Logo of an oak leaf and the name   Home
What is
Morley Site
Plans for
AMH Site

Saving Atkinson Morley's Hospital Green Space
and Working for a Greener London

Links Library and Archive   Kids'


Local community groups

Plans for the site

Challenges to Open Land

Discussion Forum

How you can help

Register your support

This has been going for years.  Most recently it was focused upon the Unitary Development Plan review conducted by Merton Council.   

Merton Council
We have supported Merton’s strong stand on the need to protect the open space and the need for appropriate development on the current footprint of the hospital buildings.  We have contributed to the detail of the Planning Brief that they have now put together for the advice of any future developers. 

We are also supporting the Council in standing firm over pressure from the St George’s Trust Development Advisors to ‘water down’ the Council’s planning restrictions.  We will also be meeting with senior members of the Planning Department and the Leader of the Council to put our case and offer further support if it is needed.

Our Local MP, Roger Casale
Roger Casale has been a source of support to this group over a number of years and has also given support through the Wimbledon Forum, as a further pressure on the St George’s Trust to discuss the situation openly with us.  He has also supported a number of our events by making a personal appearance both by himself and with his family. 

As reported in the press, Mr. Casale has criticised the NHS Trust for its aggressive stance and expressed his concerns to both the Ministers for Health and Planning. He has been looking into the ways in which he may be able to help us influence St George's to positively use the current NHS Estates Guidance --  that requires hospitals such as St George's, with historic and ecologically important sites such as AMH, to be flexible and supportive to local wishes and needs, even to the financial detriment of maximising price in the Hospital sale.

On June 8th 2004, Mr. Casale questioned the Minister of State regarding plans to review the criteria and procedures by which the NHS disposes of estates, as reported in Hansard.

On July 9th 2004, LUNG representatives attended a meeting with the NHS Trust and Merton’s Head of Planning.  The meeting was set up by Roger Casale MP. The NHS Trust are preparing new plans for the site, which they intend will comply with the Council's planning brief. Click here to read the full minutes of the meeting.

Click here to read letter from theTrust 3rd August in response to a number of questions posed to the NHS Trust by LUNG Chairman Nick Smith regarding Process and Timing; Design Competition; and Metropolitan Open Land.

Click here to view the Trust's revised proposals. The NHS Trust has been meeting with Council officers and LUNG to discuss management of the open land.

Government Departments
It has been clear that different Government  departments have being pursuing different, and at times, mutually conflicting, policies.  We have at various times tried to get Departments to ‘talk to each other’ over some of the more blatant inconsistencies. 

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has created the post of Minister of Parks and Public Spaces, and we will be talking to the new minister, Yvette Cooper, to see whether she can support our activities and bring pressure to bear in order to retain AMH MOL as a community resource in perpetuity.

Development Trusts
Morley Park Trust is now an associate member of the Development Trusts Association (DTA)  This will put us in touch with other community groups that have already succeeded in taking on, and managing, land and other assets for the benefit of the community.  The DTA will also provide us with much needed advice on how to achieve our aims.

Development Trusts aim to bring about social, economic and environmental renewal through community enterprise.  Typically they are registered charities and companies limited by guarantee.  Many Development Trusts obtain the assets that are essential to achieving their aims through the Planning process (Section 106 agreement).  The developer is required to give the assets to the community in return for the planning consent.  The Trusts then have to seek ways of generating the capital to develop the assets and the income to maintain them.  Central to the idea of a Development Trust is financial sustainability.  Morley Park Trust's constitution and aims are consistent with those of a development trust.

We have already visited one very successful Development Trust, Caterham Barracks Community Trust. When the barracks closed the MOD sold the site to a developer.  The Trust was formed with the help of the local authority.  A Section 106 agreement was negotiated that gave the Trust a 125 year lease on the open space and some buildings that were designated for community use.  The Section 106 also required the developer to fund some of the set up costs. The housing on the site is a mixture of private and social housing.  The social housing is fully integrated with, and indistinguishable from, the private housing.  In many ways this Trust provides a model that might be appropriate for Morley Park Trust to follow.

We have also visited another Development Trust on a former hospital site that has already proved to be sustainable over some years.  Shenley Park Trust was set up in 1990 and in 1992 was granted a 150 year lease on the park.

Other Organisations
We have been in discussion with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) over the development of the AMH building site.  We have asked whether it can support the Trust in using developer / architect competition as a means to get the best out of a future Developers’ proposals for the site.  CABE have recently set up CAB Space to focus upon open space protection, and we are also trying to involve this group in the AMH site. 

We have also been in contact with a whole range of other groups. Sport England and the Wimbledon Civic Forum supported our UDP submissions. We have also received valuable advice from London Wildlife, the Ramblers’ Association, GreenSpace (formerly Urban Parks Forum), the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Wimbledon Commons Conservators.

Last updated: 01-08-2011