Merton sees timber frames go up at new green home development

Merton Council saw the timber frames erected on its new flagship housing development in Mitcham this week.

Once completed, the development is set to transform the former Rowan school site into a 2.6 hectare landscaped public park with 217 much-needed local homes. The site, now called Rowan Park, pushes forward the wider regeneration of Mitcham.

The scheme will bring 131 family homes and 86 flats to Mitcham. Each home will meet high-quality design specifications and will have solar panels on the roofs. Once the development is complete, residents in the area will benefit from a new 390m2 Scout and community facility and a new 1,985 m2 medical centre. The masterplan allows for 278 car parking bays and 171 cycle parking spaces set within a new ‘homezone’ street layout.

Thirty per cent of the housing will be classified as affordable to enable people, including those providing essential public services, such as teachers and nurses, to buy or rent a home in Merton through shared ownership schemes. A further 10% of homes will be available through Crest Nicholson’s first-time buyer initiative.

As well as the brand new homes which are being built, the original 1930s Surrey County Council school building will form a key aspect to the overall character of the site and will be converted into 27 flats. The landscaped park will not only provide Mitcham residents with new open space to enjoy, but will also perform a practical function of managing water drainage from the existing neighbouring housing. A sustainable drainage system of marshes, reed beds and ponds will act as natural water stores during periods of wet weather, reducing risk of flash-flooding nearby.

In line with Merton’s environmental policy, the site will be partly powered by renewable energy. The roofs of all new homes as well as the Scout and community hall and the medical centre will accommodate solar panels. Residents will benefit from lower energy bills. In addition to other state of the art sustainable energy measures, the buildings will also be well insulated to reduce the need for heating in winter, whilst keeping them cooler in summer.

Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge said: ‘We challenged Crest Nicholson Homes to come up with an exemplary housing development for Mitcham with a construction cost of just £60,000 per house. These efficiencies have enabled investment in renewable energy, high spec design and the provision of the new park. Our new housing development will retain a locally listed building and provide new green space and wildlife habitat for Mitcham. This scheme will demonstrate that affordability goes hand-in-hand with quality and excellent contemporary design. The wider community will also benefit hugely from this development as people will be able to take advantage of the new medical centre as well as the park.

‘We have been in the vanguard of environmental building and I am sure this site will serve as an example of financially and environmentally sustainable construction which other local authorities and the construction industry will want to emulate.’

David Huggett, Managing Director at Crest Nicholson South said: ‘The erection of the first timber frames at Rowan Park marks a major milestone in this very exciting project. We are creating a wide range of new homes at Rowan Park and, as part of our commitment to creating sustainable communities, the development has been master planned to foster community relations. Since the sales launch we have seen high levels of interest as demand for quality, design-led yet affordable family housing and apartments in the area continues to be very high.’

Find out more about the Rowan School site development at: