Please help us protect our beloved greens from commercial encroachment
Putt in the Park had hoped to slip through the planning process to convert the bowling greens into a putting course under ‘permitted development’. However, legal opinion submitted by Douglas Edwards QC has unexpectedly forced them to apply for full planning permission from Wandsworth Council, so we now have a unique one-off opportunity to bring the whole thing to a halt.
This is a significant moment so please do take a moment to register your objections. You have till can read the documents and have your say at this address: tinyurl.com/ddvxwbw2 . Replies must be in by 18th November.
You do not need to write a long letter, just highlight the reasons why you do not want this development. If you want to go into detail, we have made a list of specific issues relevant to the planning committee.
You may also wish to write to your ward councillors.
What are we objecting to?
We made considerable objections to this project at a central government level, which you can read in full here.
Some of the concerns we have are:
- Wandsworth and Lambeth Councils have both declared a climate emergency. Plastic grass is extruded from petrochemicals and supports the fossil-fuel industry so projects like these should be rejected.
- This is a mega-plastics project with a carbon footprint that will far outweigh their mitigating planting scheme.
- Plastic grass is particularly prone to the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect – meaning it heats up to very high temperatures that increase global warming.
- There is no infrastructure in the UK to recycle the plastics used and they typically end up in landfill.
- There will be many tonnes of virgin plastic and hundreds of tonnes of hardcore brought on to the site but this has not been disclosed in the application.
- The presentation of the plans is an example of ‘greenwashing’. Their green credentials must undergo far greater scrutiny.
- Clapham Common is a ‘Site of Importance for Nature Conservation’ (SINC) and should not be covered in plastic.
- This project fails on issues of sustainability. Plastic grass has a short shelf life before it needs replacing and the lease is only for 15 years. There are no credible plans for restoring the site after that.
Not wanted by local community
- The greens are a registered Asset of Community Value.
- There is already a petition with 5000 signatories demonstrating that this project is not wanted by the community.
- Despite the greens being an Asset of Community Value, the extent of this development means the site will be lost forever.
- The area has become invaluable to local families and kids’ clubs who will no longer be able to use it.
- PITP will be able close the site to the public so they can run corporate events.
- Parking is already extremely congested in the area.
- There will be a huge loss of amenity for the community as the natural living landscape will be replaced by a plastic landscape.
- We will lose the Common Ground cafe just metres away from the site.
Process and application problems
- PITP and the council failed to consult with the public and the community over the use of this space.
- There are no viable Method Statements or lists of materials for the development.
Credit goes to to David Smith on geograph.org.uk for the photograph: https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/5198858