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Green belts are a buffer between towns, and between town and countryside. The green belt designation is a planning tool and the aim of green belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; however, there is not necessarily a right of access there. There are 14 green belts in England and 1 in Wales (Source:Open Spaces Society)

The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open. It is for local authorities to define and maintain Green Belt land in their local areas. (Source: House of Commons Library Research Briefing February 2023 No 00934)

The Campaign for Rural England (CPRE) have published ‘State of the Green Belt 2023: A vision for the 21st century’: report

Metropolitan open land (MOL) is a form of land designation within London. Land designated as MOL is intended to be protected as an area of landscape, recreation, nature conservation or scientific interest. MOL designation provides land with the same level of protection as the Green Belt.

For land to be designated as MOL, it should conform with at least one of the following stipulations:

1 – It contributes to the physical structure of London by being clearly distinguishable from the built-up area.

2 – It includes open-air facilities which serve the whole or significant parts of London for the purposes of leisure, recreation, sport, arts and cultural activities or tourism.

3 – It contains features or landscape of historic, recreational, nature conservation or habitat interest.

4 – It forms part of a ‘Green Chain’ and meets one of the above criteria.

(Source:Designing Buildings Wiki -MOL)

Major Areas of MOL in Merton

Wimbledon: Wimbledon Park, land between Bathgate Road & existing AELTC site, Wimbledon Common, Royal Wimbledon Golf Course, Cannizaro Park

Raynes Park: Raynes Park Sports Ground, Old Wimbledonians Sports Ground, open spaces around Beverley Brook & A3, Morley Park, Oberon Playing Fields, Cottenham Park Allotments, Cannon Hill Common, Recreation Grounds south of Bushey Road

Colliers Wood/South Wimbledon: Wandle Park, Banks of the Wandle around the Savacentre site, Wandle Meadow Nature Park, Garfield Road Recreation Ground, Havelock Road Allotments

Mitcham: Mitcham Common, Mitcham Golf Course, Three Kings Piece, Three Kings Pond, Canons Recreation Ground, Cricket Green, Imperial Fields, Lower Green, Ravensbury Park

Morden: Morden Hall Park, Ravensbury Park, Watermeads Nature Reserve, Tooting & Mitcham FC Ground, Morden Park, Lower Morden Lane Cemeteries

Map of MOL / Open Spaces (note that MOL is only the areas in green) click here for map