Image credit: from The Hornsey Club Pre-Application 02 Design Document, presented to local residents 17th May 2022

What is Metropolitan Open Land?

“Metropolitan Open Land” or “MOL” is a term or designation used only within London. Land designated MOL is afforded the same level of protection as the Metropolitan Green Belt. Designation is intended to protect areas of landscape, recreation, nature conservation and scientific interest which are strategically important.

MOL Is Supported By The Mayor of London

The Mayor of London has formally stated that he will, and believes boroughs should, maintain the protection of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) from inappropriate development.

Criteria For Designation

In more detail, land designated as MOL should satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  • land that contributes to the physical structure of London by being clearly distinguishable from the built-up area
  • land that includes open-air facilities, especially for leisure, recreation, sport, arts and cultural activities and tourism which serve the whole or significant parts of London
  • land that contains features or landscapes of historic, recreational, nature conservation or habitat interest, of value at a metropolitan or national level
  • land that forms part of a Green Chain and meets one of the above criteria.

Inappropriate Development On Protected Land

The proposals by The Hornsey Club seek to build on Metropolitan Open Land. We believe that this is an inappropriate development that significantly impacts the openness of this valued local space and on its neighbours.

The land belonging to the club is part of a larger collection of sports clubs (cricket & tennis), woodland, meadow areas, allotments and Shepherds Hill Gardens. Together they form much loved green and open space in the heart of Crouch End That is designated as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL). The majority of this land also carries ‘Borough Grade I Site of Importance for Nature Conservation’ designation.


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