Pavilion beside oldest cricket green in world wins protection from development threat

Jonathan Prynn, Magda Ibrahim

Players at the world’s oldest cricket green were today celebrating after their historic pavilion was awarded protection from the threat of development.

Members of Mitcham Cricket Club, who play on a 334-year-old green in south London, had been concerned that the building dating from 1904 could be placed in jeopardy by planning applications.

It was sold to an investment company in 2008 and has been the subject of a string of development proposals ever since.

This week Merton council granted a five-year renewal to the pavilion’s status as an asset of community value. Under the terms, which take effect in September, 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.

Tony Burton, secretary of Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage, said: “The decision is a shot in the arm for the club, though by no means the end of the saga.”

Mitcham cricket green has existed since 1685, while the club has produced four England players.