Local community groups
Plans for the site
Challenges to Open Land
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has been going for years. Most recently it was focused upon the Unitary
Development Plan review conducted by 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
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
proposals. The NHS Trust
has been meeting with Council officers and LUNG to discuss management of
the open land.
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
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.
Morley Park Trust is now an associate member
of the Development Trusts
Association (DTA) www.dta.org.uk
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.
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