Skip to main content

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, 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

AELTCNewsPlanning and Environment
23 November 2023

Wandsworth Council’s Planning Committee unanimously vote against AELTC planning application

After Wandsworth Council Officers' report recommended that the AELTC planning proposal be rejected because it failed to provide the significant evidence required to justify building on Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), Wandsworth Planning Committee supported…
AELTCGreenwatchNewsPlanning and Environment
10 November 2023

Wimbledon Park Heritage Golf Course: The environmental problems with the AELTC application for an industrial tennis complex.

Dr Dave Dawson is a local resident and environmental scientist.  He has produced a brief paper setting out the “Top Five” Biodiversity and Ecology observations gathered from his extensive submissions…
AELTCNewsPlanning and Environment
6 November 2023

Our response to the Council’s Planning Committee vote to approve the AELTC plans for Wimbledon Park

On the 26th October, Merton’s Planning Committee voted by a narrow majority (6:4) to approve the AELTC planning application to develop the heavily protected Wimbledon Park. This is despite the…
GreenwatchNewsPlanning and Environment
26 September 2023

Merton joins the National Street Tree Sponsorship Scheme

Merton joined this scheme which enables groups and individuals to sponsor a new street tree in March 2023. The National Street Sponsorship Scheme provides the opportunity for individuals, organisations and…
AELTCNewsPlanning and Environment
15 September 2023

Southfields Public Meeting 12 September 2023 – The Future of Wimbledon Park

Southfields residents held a public meeting to hear about the future of Wimbledon Park, in relation to the AELTC planning application to build on the Grade II* Heritage, Metropolitan Open…
AELTCGreenwatchNewsPlanning and Environment
29 August 2023

The All England Lawn Tennis Club application to fell and prune trees on heritage land in Wimbledon Park Golf Course

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has made a planning application for the removal or pruning of various trees on the former Wimbledon Park Golf Course that it now…

In this section

Planning & Environment Committee

The PEC meets regularly to monitor planning and environmental issues in Wimbledon

Find out more

Planning Contacts

How you can contact the Planning & Environment Committee

Find out more

Council’s Planning Regime

How you can find out more about our local Council’s planning regime

Find out more