Tag Archives: News of the world Sports Ground

Air Training Corp Huts

The ATC Headquarters Hut was on London Road, north of Elm Lodge, and part of the then much larger Mitcham Court estate. In 1965 the Air Ministry said they would offer a grant towards the rebuilding if this hut, provided that a lease of at least seven years could be obtained from the Council. Initially Merton Council agreed to the renewal of the lease for seven years, but it was then realised that a Ministry of Transport scheme for widening the London Road might affect this building.

Merton Council set the lease renewal to be yearly and resolved to look for an alternative site where a seven year lease or more could be used.

In 1967, a pair of cottages, numbered 51 and 52 Commonside West, were demolished. These properties were in the curtilage of what was the News of the World sports ground, north of the entrance to Park Place.

In 1969 the Territorial Auxiliary and Volunteer Reserve Association were given permission by Merton Council to build their hut on the site of numbers 51/52 Commonside West.

Merton Memories photo

This was replaced in 2007 by a similar hut, see planning application 07/P3384.


From the minutes of the London Borough of Merton
Volume 1
1964 to 1965
Establishment Committee
page 318
20th January 1965

683. Mitcham Court – A.T.C. Headquarters Hut
The Town Clerk reported on correspondence with the No. 215 (Mitcham) Squadron A.T.C. as to the granting of a Lease for a minimum initial term of seven years of the site at Mitcham Court at present occupied by the Squadron H.Q. Hut, which it is now desired to replace with a cedarwood but and for which a grant could not be obtained from the Air Ministry unless a tenancy of this minimum period could be secured.

Recommended (14) That the No. 215 (Mitcham) Squadron A.T.C. be informed that the Council is prepared to grant a Lease of the site for an initial period of seven years.

From the minutes of the London Borough of Merton
Volume 1
1964 to 1965
Establishment Committee
page 426
15th February 1965

As an amendment, it was moved by Councillor Longshaw, seconded by Alderman Franks; that the report received and adopted save that Recommendation No. 14 in minute 683 (Mitcham Court – A.T.C. Headquarters Hut) be referred back for further consideration.

On the amendment being put to the meeting the motion was carried.

From the minutes of the London Borough of Merton
Volume 1
1964 to 1965
Establishment Committee
page 596
15th March 1965

Mitcham Court – A.T.C. Headquarters Hut – The Town Clerk reported that Minute No. 683/1/65 had been referred back to the Council in view of the possibility that of this site being affected by road widening proposals. The Borough Surveyor reported that (i) that the scheme for the Mitcham loop road, which it was understood was in the Ministry of Transport programme, might affect this site; (ii) that until the Ministry agree the scheme in principle the details could not be worked out; and (iii) that it might be desirable to restrict any further lease to a year-to-year basis, or alternatively endeavour to find a site where a lease of a minimum of seven years could be given. Members of the Committee expressed a desire to assist the A.T.C. in obtaining some suitable permanent headquarters.

Recommended – (5) That the Borough Surveyor be asked to make further enquiries of the Ministry of Transport as to this scheme and also be authorised to meet representatives of the A.T.C. with a view to arranging for the use of any possible alternative site where it would be possible for a lease of at least seven years to be given to enable the A.T.C. to secure an Air Ministry grant towards the cost of erecting the new Headquarters Hut.

From the minutes of the London Borough of Merton
Volume 4
1967 to 1968
Education Committee
page 280
26th June 1967

(12) Former News of the World Sports Ground – No.s 51/52 Commonside West – The Chief Education Officer referred to Minute 2642(3)/3/67 and reported that the cost of demolishing two cottages formerly known as 51/52 Commonside West (situate within the curtilage of the the former “News of the World” Sports Ground) and the brick at the rear of the properties would amount to £75, exclusive of levelling and fencing the site.

Resolved – That No.s 51/52, Commonside West be demolished as soon as possible and the sites thereof levelled and fenced as necessary.

From the minutes of the London Borough of Merton
Volume 5
1968 to 1969
Town Planning and Development Committee
pages 1640 to 1641
10th April 1969

2609.

COMMONSIDE WEST, MITCHAM — Former “News of the World” Sports Ground – Circular 100 Consultation) – The Borough Surveyor reported that the Territorial Auxiliary and Volunteer Reserve Association had sought the Council’s observations on the proposed erection of a prefabricated timber hut 60 feet by 18 feet – for the use by the 2157 (Mitcham) Squadron of he Air Training Corps – on the sites of No.s 51/52 Commonside West within the former “News of the World” Sports Ground which was currently used as school playing fields.

He pointed out that the site was in a proposed Conservation Area and that the building would be faced externally with clear western red cedar wood and have a roof of dark green asbestos cement “Trafford” tiles; stated it was understood that, whilst some 18 cadets would use the building on Thursday evenings and occasionally on Sunday mornings, no activities such as band practice would take place and that car parking accommodation was to be provided; recalled that, having regard to the likely adverse effect upon the amenities of nearby residents, the Committee had previously objected to the erection of a similar building adjacent to the access road to “Brenley”, Cedars Avenue; and explained that the present site, which was a reasonable distance from residential premises, was one of three which the Education (General Purposes) Sub-Committee had subsequently agreed might be made available.

The Borough Surveyor then outlined representations which officers of the Greater London Council felt should be made to the Association with a view to ensuring a satisfactory layout and that the proposal did not prejudice the free flow of traffic or conditions of general safety along the neighbouring highway; and reported that he saw no objection to the proposal but, having regard to its length, considered that the appearance of the building should be somewhat relieved and this could be achieved by an evergreen hedge being planted along the frontage to Commonside West, provided the sight lines at the vehicular access point were safeguarded.

Resolved — That the Territorial Auxiliary and Volunteer and Reserve Association be informed that, subject to the representations put forward on behalf of the Greater London Council, no objection is raised to the proposal but it is suggested that the roof of the building should be of cedar shingles as opposed to green asbestos “trafford” tiles.

From the minutes of the London Borough of Merton
Volume 6
1969 to 1970
Town Planning and Development Committee
29th May 1969

51.COMMONSIDE WEST, MITCHAM — Former “News of the World” Sports Ground – Circular 100 Consultation) – (Minute No. 2609/4/69) – The Borough Surveyor recalled that, apart from suggesting that the roof should be of cedar shingles, no objection had been raised to the proposed erection of a prefabricated timber hut 60 feet by 18 feet – for the use by the 2157 (Mitcham) Squadron of the Air Training Corps – on the sites of No.s 51/52, Commonside West within the former “News of the World” Sports Ground.

He submitted a letter from the architects acting for the Air Training Corps, objecting to the suggested roofing material on the grounds that it would considerably increase the cost of the hut.

Resolved – That the Borough Surveyor be requested to consult with the architects and to report to a subsequent meeting.

From the minutes of the London Borough of Merton
Volume 6
1969 to 1970
Town Planning and Development Committee
Page 199
19th June 1969

324.COMMONSIDE WEST, MITCHAM — Former “News of the World” Sports Ground – Circular 100 Consultation) – (Minute No. 51/5/69)

– The Borough Surveyor recalled that the architects acting for the Air Training Corps had objected to the suggestion made by the Committee that the roof of a hut to be erected for use by the 2157 (Mitcham) Squadron of the Air Training Corps within the former “News of the World” Sports Ground should be of cedar shingles instead of green asbestos “Trafford” tiles.

He reported upon an estimate since received which supported the architects’ earlier contention that, if the hut were roofed as suggested, it would considerably increase the cost of the project and explained that the architects had pointed out that similar huts with green asbestos “Trafford” tiled roofs were quite common throughout this country.

Resolved – That, in the circumstances, the suggestion be not pursued.


Minutes of meetings held by the London Borough of Merton are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.