Pavilion at world's oldest cricket green protected, as council awards it new status

Laura FitzPatrick
Mitcham Cricket Green was established in 1685 - Mitcham Cricket Green Twitter

A pavilion at the world’s oldest cricket green has won protection from an impending development threat.

Mitcham Cricket Green, which was established in 1685, has been awarded Asset of Community Value status after it was concerned that a building dating from 1904 could be placed in jeopardy by potential planning applications. 

The news about the iconic 334-year-old southwest London club, which has produced four England players, comes amid an ongoing debate after the land was sold to an investment company in 2008. 

The Leatherhead-based Phoenix Grp Investments Ltd purchased the site, which includes the pavilion, a derelict Grade II listed pub and a large, unused car park.

Since the sale, Mitcham Cricket Green has been threatened by a handful of development proposals despite still running a number of junior cricket teams and hosting both men’s and women’s teams.

But according to Tony Burton, Secretary of Mitcham Cricket Green, the new terms mean that players, club officials or other interested parties have a six-month window to raise funds to buy the pavilion if the freeholder tries to sell it off.

“They couldn’t just sell off the site to another developer now, the Asset of Community Value Status gives us protection that it can’t just be sold off overnight because of a moratorium period that would have to be introduced,” Mr Burton said.

“It also raises the public profile of the asset and that puts it much more in the public eye in the face of any planning application.”

However the new movements don’t give the pavilion absolute protection, and Mr Burton added that the status puts a level of pressure on any developers.

“It’s a step forward for us but we are not out of the woods yet, but we have made progress.

“It’s a helpful underpinning of its importance to the community,” he said.