Physical environment

Open spaces and the physical environment are very important in encouraging healthy lifestyles. In an urban area with little access to the countryside, they represent one of the few places for outdoor exercise and relaxation for better mental health. Of particular significance are:

  • regional parks for longer walks, horse riding and cycling
  • local parks and open spaces for general exercise and wellbeing, informal sport and children’s play
  • the “green grid” (a network of green spaces and features such as street trees and green roofs) to encourage active travel (walking and cycling as part of every day activity, for example getting to school or commuting to work)
  • playing fields for organised sports
  • allotments for exercise and healthy food.

Green spaces and air quality

Green spaces and air quality are covered in Theme 4 See: Social Determinants

Future housing development

  • The increase in the number of households requiring accommodation, coupled with rising house prices and growth in the private rented sector, is likely to result in lower income households living in poor- quality accommodation and rising homelessness.
  • The increase in the number of children living in areas of deprivation to the east of Merton will increase the number of pupils experiencing factors that could affect educational attainment e.g. low income, poor housing etc.

Future housing development in Merton

Housing by Tenure

Consistent with the profile of the borough, the 2011 Census data indicates that home ownership is greater in the West of Merton compared to the East. However, private renting is similar across the borough. There is far greater social rented accommodation in the East of the borough which contributes to higher inequalities.

According to the 2013 national Annual Population Survey 37% of homes in Merton are bought with a mortgage or loan. This is higher than across London as a whole (28.5%). Housing rented from the Local Authority or housing association is lower in Merton (11.7%) compared to Outer London (16.7%) and London as a whole (23%).2

Tenure of Households in Merton, Census 2011

1.^ London Borough of Merton, Department of Environment and Regeneration.

2.^ GLA Intelligence, Borough Profiles