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Character Study 2021

This study has been prepared to assist the council, community groups, stakeholders and others with an interest in the borough to better understand Merton’s distinctive local character. It is an update to the Borough Character Study undertaken between 2011 and 2015.

The Character Study will support preparation of the Council’s New Local Plan as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and be used to inform a character and 'place-based' approach to managing growth in the borough. Similarly, neighbourhood forums will be able to draw on this study to assist with the preparation of their neighbourhood plans. The report will also inform decisions made by council officers and should be an important tool used by developers and others investing in Merton to ensure proposals positively respond to the local context.

Merton Character Study sets out a description of the physical form of the borough, its history, places, streets and buildings. This analysis helps to provide an understanding of the particular attributes which make the borough of Merton what it is today, and draws out the identity of each neighbourhood within the borough. This has been informed by extensive consultation with local residents and stakeholders - with over 450 people participating in the consultation. This process of understanding character is important as it illustrates the distinctiveness across the borough and how these local qualities should inform future approaches to managing growth and change.

The SPD provides more detail to relevant policies in our Local Plan and does not introduce new policies.

Download the Character Study

You can download the full document or individual chapters.

Consultation responses

Thank you to everyone who responded to the consultation on the draft Character Study, which took place between 9 February and 23 March 2021.

Character Study consultation responses

What happens next?

Following this consultation and having considered your views and amended the draft SPD, the final SPD is expected to be adopted in 2021. Once adopted, the SPD will become a material consideration when assessing any such future planning application that comes forward.