The Mortlake Brewery redevelopment is expected to impact at least four green spaces: the sports field on the Brewery site itself, (see Save Our Field), the towpath beside the Thames, Mortlake Green and Chertsey Court’s communal garden on Chalkers Corner.
All four sites are part of Mortlake’s treasured green spaces, which are vital in an area that is tightly bordered by the railway line and the river. The mature trees on all the sites add beauty to the townscape and reduce traffic noise and pollution when they are in leaf. The trees and green links also provide a food source and homes for bats, birds and insects.
Chertsey Court residents are particularly concerned about the potential loss of a large number of mature trees, if indicative plans to widen the road at Chalkers Corner go ahead. The trees are a vital barrier between residents’ homes and heavy traffic. A campaign is already underway to protect the trees and to demand that the road widening does not go ahead.
The towpath at Mortlake is part of a national trail and is rich in trees and vegetation. Members of the Towpath Group have urged the developers to avoid disturbing this part of the wooded towpath as little as possible, to preserve its character and ecosystem.
Mortlake Green is at the heart of a local conservation area and is much loved and used by the local community. It is also home to many majestic trees including lime and London Plane trees, which continue in an avenue along Ship Lane to the river. Residents are currently checking with the Council to see which trees are protected and whether Mortlake Green itself is adequately protected.
We must make sure these pockets of green space continue to provide valuable recreational areas for the local community. Destroying parts or all of these spaces for development would be very short-sighted – once the land and trees are gone the character and health of the neighbourhood would be changed forever.
By Ann Hewitt