1. New planning application for Merton Park PassivHaus
September Green Coffee - what happened?
The new planning application has been submitted for building a sustainable house (PassivHaus) in Merton. This follows four months of detailed negotiations with the planning department after some objections and a refusal in March. The current application has responded to these objections by reducing the size of the proposed house, reducing the amount of render used on the elevation, introducing timber cladding, and other improvements and refinements. The proposed building reuses most of the existing foundations and hopes to recycle almost of the existing building materials. You can view details of the new application (reference14/P3132) HERE
Buildings contribute 43% of UK carbon emissions and if we are to reach carbon emission targets, we need to use new building methods that will greatly reduce these emissions. The proposed house will use over 90% less energy that a typical modern house and will use renewable energy sources for hot water and electricity.
It’s really important to support pioneering projects which deliver highly energy efficient housing. If you would like to support this planning application, then comments should be submitted by 20th of Sept to be sure of getting them accepted. You can find out how to submit comments HERE
. Find an example of a letter from a Green Coffee member HERE
If you don't have time to write a letter, then you can show your support by leaving a short message by 20th Sept on the blog HERE
This has been set-up to share experiences and hopefully help other people build sustainable houses. The comments will be put together and sent to the council - so every name counts.
2. Ideas for Future Wimbledon
At August Green Coffee, we discussed the Ideas Competition being held by Love Wimbledon and Merton Council. Lots of great ideas were put forward for making Wimbledon Broadway a better place - and these were published in August Green Coffee - see HERE
There has not been enough time to reach a consensus in Green Coffee on what vision of Wimbledon we should put forward and it would probably be difficult to get one. However, it was felt that these ideas should be submitted - so these have been included in submissions by individual Green Coffee members.
3. Abundance Fruit Day - coming soon
Final plans are being made for Abundance Fruit Day on Sat 20th
Sept 11am-2pm at St Mark’s Church garden. Please come along and help to make the day a success. Many thanks to Green Coffee members who have been picking fruit, making jams and chutneys and organising stalls for Fruit Day. There will be the following stalls;
– run by Juliet, where apples are chopped, crushed, pressed and the juice is bottled by a team of volunteers.
Jams, jellies and chutneys
– lots of different and some unusual home-made produce, ranging from affordable to gourmet.
Plants & general information
– fruit and food plants, surplus fresh produce, leaflets from local groups. Gillian is supplying strawberry plants.
Looking after your fruit tree
– free advice on fruit tree care, diseases and what to plant .
– sample some lovely jams
– from Alison and Wimbledon Beekeepers
– local artists drawing/painting the Fruit Day landscape
– Carole and Juliet are contacting local Guides and youth groups to run children’s fruit games.
– using the waste from the fruit press, demonstration by Sustainable Merton.
Also, Longest Peel, Raffle, kitchen equipment for jam-making and baking, Home Produce & Fruit Painting; teas & coffees, music from the International Ukulele Orchestra and (just added) poetry from KMT Freedom Teacher aka Pollinator.
4. New Members
Green Coffee welcomed new members Hilary and Liz.
Hilary helps out at the John Innes Gardening Group, whilst Liz is involved with Tree Wardens, Age UK, Morden Playing Fields and previously with housing in Camden. Liz has also been trying to set up an Abundance group in Mitcham and Morden and in the meantime has been delivering surplus apples to Merton and Morden Guild, Friends in St Helier, The New Horizon Centre in Pollards Hill and Age UK in Mitcham.
5. How to ripen pears?
Liz picked some hard green pears and is looking for advice for ripening them up. Putting them in a bag with banana skins was suggested.
6. Wimbledon Park Food Festival
The Wimbledon Park Food Festival was held at the weekend. There were a lot of stalls, but the limited publicity meant that it was poorly attended.
7. MCC to meet Merton’s Environment Leader
Merton Cycling Campaign representatives will meet Cllr Andrew Judge, the cabinet member responsible for Environment at Merton Council. Discussions will be around how to improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists in Merton.
8. Sustainable Merton Update
Sustainable Merton is still recruiting Sustainability Champions
to encourage people to consume less water and energy, and to recycle more. The Champions have been helping with the Mega Recycle campaign and monitored air pollution at locations around the borough. The air quality survey results will be published at a future date along with further similar work planned for the rest of the borough. If you are interested in being a Sustainability Champion, please phone Sustainable Merton on 020 3417 0476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The latest Dig Merton
project is planting a community herb garden outside the South Mitcham Community Centre. Find out more HERE
It was suggested that Stanford School garden could become part of the Dig Merton project and Jane will look into this.
The Phipp’s Bridge Community Garden
meets from 10am onwards in the Phipp’s Bridge Estate, including coffee and cake at 12.30pm. Sustainable Merton’s activities in Phipp’s Bridge have had a lasting beneficial effect. It has helped to bring the community together to form the South Mitcham Community Association, which recently held its fantastic International Summer Fair. See a report of this year’s fair HERE
The Sustainable Merton Newsletter
has restarted - download the (new and improved) September newsletter HERE
. If you would like to publicise your project or event in the SM newsletter, then please get in touch with Sustainable Merton (as above). A group has been set up to look at the role of the newsletter alongside the webpage and social media. A request was made for paper copies of the SM newsletter, as some members of SM are not online.
9. Update on The Mega Recycle
Recycling rates had been declining, but it looks like this has been reversed due to the Mega Recycle campaign. Jane highlighted stickers telling people what to put in their recycling bins, as some people still don’t know. Lids should be removed from plastic bottles and jars and put in the recycling box. The metal ring around the neck of some bottles should be left on, as it will be recovered. It was suggested that people would be more likely to recycle if the box took “anything recyclable”, rather than having to check what to do with lids or other details. It was explained that the system can cope with a little contamination, so uncertainty about what to do with lids should not be a barrier.
The primary schools programme has been very successful at engaging lots of people. ‘Style Junkies’ workshops are now being offered to primary and secondary schools, as well as Wimbledon Art School. Merton Mega Recycle offers to give talks to local groups to encourage more recycling and to answer those tricky questions about what should go into the recycling boxes. So if you’d like a Mega Recycle representative to come along to your residents’ association, 'friends of' group, club or any sort of group, then please email Jane.Alexander@merton.gov.uk
Carole suggested that Wimbledon School of Art could incorporate recycling into their parade. Each year is themed and it may be too late for this year, but Jane will investigate this.
Bin men should check bins and not collect them if there is contamination. However, if a resident says there was no contamination, then they should be believed.
Plastic plant pots should not be put into recycling bins - Lower Morden Garden Centre collects those.
10. Boiler installers – look closely at your quote!
Some installers continue to oversell to customers and pay little attention to energy efficiency. One Green Coffee member asked about a new boiler and towel rail - and was given a quote which include add-ons, such as WiFi controls which were not needed, a towel rail which was electric rather than being part of the central heating system, and a financing deal which more than doubled the total cost. On top of that, the representative had filled in the form to say that the client was not interested in the Green Deal, when this had never been discussed. So please look carefully at any quote !
11. Making Colliers Wood Happy
There is a very active programme of community events. The Table Top sale in Cavendish Rd
is an excellent way of bringing neighbours together – and being in front gardens (and not on the street) means that permission is not needed to hold the event. Find the full events programme HERE
The Community Garden at Christ Church
in Colliers Wood needs more volunteers! So please come along on a Friday afternoon 2.30-4.30pm and you will be given a big welcome. The pear trees around the church are being picked and made into pickles, jams and chutneys. There will be a Harvest Supper on Sat 27th Sept using produce from the garden, with a campfire and a sing-song at the garden (or in the church hall if raining). If you’d like to come along, or would like further information about any of these activities, contact Keith at email@example.com
or phone 07982 721 496.
12. Networking News
There are plans to start up a Green Tea networking session. The MVSC provides a really useful list of voluntary groups around Merton. You can get a paper copy or can look at the group online HERE
13. Planting Trees & the i-Tree Project
Making Colliers Wood Happy has planted 420 trees from the Woodland Trust in Colliers Wood, with help from the Ahmadiyya community at the Baitul Futuh Mosque (they have a target to plant a million trees). Helpers are given an induction session on how to plant them and on safety. (This was initially conducted by Dave Lofthouse and subsequently by volunteers)
If you’d like to do something in Tree Week, you should register soon as it is getting very busy.
The i-Tree Eco survey is the largest in a city-region delivered by volunteers anywhere in the world. The sample of 700 small randomly selected sites provides robust data, according to the statisticians. Surveyors will calculate the percentage of ground covered by buildings, bare soil, tarmac, grass and so on in each plot and collect data on any trees and shrubs (species, height, crown width, diameter of trunk at breast height, percentage of crown dieback/canopy missing, etc). The data will be analysed and a value given for trees as ‘natural assets’ (wind-breaks, shade providers, absorbers of carbon dioxide, etc.) Although the cultural value as part of the landscape is not included, putting an economic value on trees helps make the case for protecting them. (This information was extracted from an excellent article in a recent John Innes newsletter.)
14. Horse manure for free
The stables in The Ridgway offers free horse manure to local groups – and will even deliver locally. So if you would like some for your garden or allotment, then please contact Julia through the website contact form HERE
Please note that horse manure can not be used right away - it must be well composted as it is full of seeds and these have to be killed off. Stables are finding it quite expensive to dispose of this waste, so are happy to help you use it.
15. Community RePaint
This scheme collects leftover reusable domestic paint from household waste recycling centres and the decorating trade and passes it on to charities, community groups and people in need, for a small donation or for free. This might be useful for the Baitul Futuh Mosque, which was looking for paint. The nearest scheme is in Richmond at the Reuse and Recycling Centre in Townmead Rd. Find out more at http://www.communityrepaint.org.uk
16. The new Dundonald Community Garden
The Wimbledon Guild started work over the weekend to clear rubbish and weeds from the site. The community garden is just off Dundonald Road, down an alleyway which leads to a bridge over the trainline to Alt Grove. Find it on the map HERE
Contact Ben for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org
17. Now - fines for Littering in Parks
Over 2000 fines of £75 have been issued since April when the council employed specialist environmental services to deter littering in the streets. This will now be extended to Merton’s parks to stop littering and dog mess. Find out more HERE
18. Cleanup by Street Champions
Residents in Morden and Mitcham were encouraged to join a cleanup of their local streets on Sat 13th
Sept. The cleanup sites include Bishopsford Rd, Wandle Rd, Morden Rd, Love Lane, Miles Rd and Fieldgate Lane. Register your interest by calling 020 8545 3189 or look at the Let’s dig it! website HERE
The YMCA's Y:Cube housing scheme will be built in Mitcham now that planning permission has been granted. The Y:Cube unit only costs £30,000 to build, and 36 of them will now be built in Clay Avenue. Find out more at the WimbledonSW19 website HERE
20. Community Safety Survey
Residents, visitors and workers in Merton are invited to say what crime concerns they have by participating in the council’s annual safety survey. You can participate in Merton’s crime survey HERE
However, Merton’s survey only covers certain crimes including burglary and anti-social behaviour. It does not include other threats to community safety such as use of mobile phones whilst driving, dangerous driving, nuisance vehicles and speeding. (Some councils do included such crimes in their surveys.) Also, crime measures used nationally do not include cyber-crime or bank fraud, which are increasing in frequency.