PROTECT CLAPHAM COMMON 2020-2025
On 27 January, many of you will have received the first formal response from the Common Land Casework Team to your objections last year to Lambeth Council’s application for consent to erect structures and enclose 20 acres of Clapham Common for the Festival Republic music festival that took place on the August Bank holiday weekend 2022.
Rest assured we have been working behind the scenes to get a formal response from the Common Land Casework Team and we were advised of their position a few days ago. We continue to receive specialist legal advice and are consulting with our lawyers to find the best way to challenge Lambeth Council in their strategy to enclose and exploit our Common for profit.
The position of the Common Land Casework Team is that they will decide the 2021 application on the papers, without public inquiry, and will hold a public inquiry into the forthcoming application from Lambeth Council for summer 2022’s proposed major commercial events. We are seeking assurances from the Planning Inspector that she will take into account the hundreds of objections made to last year’s events so that we don’t all have to write to object again to this year’s events.
The public inquiry for Lambeth’s application for this summer’s events will be in May/June 2022 and we have a QC lined up to present our objections and to cross examine Lambeth Council officers. We have not yet been told of the format or procedure for the public inquiry, but many of you may also be invited to give evidence to the Planning Inspector.
Lots of you have already donated to the legal fighting fund and we thank you for that. But we still have a considerable amount of money to raise. Let’s focus our attention on defeating Lambeth Council once and for all. If their application for consent is refused at the public inquiry, this will kill off their strategy for using Clapham Common for major commercial events. It is now or never. Please donate here.
You can also complain to:
Lambeth Council Events Team:
0207 926 6207 (working hours)
0207 926 9793 (outside working hours)
Wandsworth Council residents can call: 02037453389
Copy in your local councillors and The Friends of Clapham Common if you send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org (complaints might be used in our legal case against Lambeth Council)
It is really worth complaining about noise, anti-social behaviour, etc. because these must be logged and taken into account by Local Councillors.
Thank you for giving your support and donations to the Friends of Clapham Common fighting fund to hold Lambeth Council to account using the law. This is to update you on the current legal position. The fighting fund is now at approximately £5,500.
We had hoped to be able to apply for an injunction, and our QC advice was that we could expect to win. However that cannot be guaranteed, and although we could apply for a protected costs order we are not guaranteed that either, so we have been advised there is a small risk that Lambeth could pursue us for all their costs and losses i.e. £300,000 (which is what they finally, under pressure from the protests, admitted they expect to make from the festival). Not to mention the millions of pounds of losses to Festival Republic.
We are really grateful for all the donations so far to the fighting fund. We will use the money received to continue the legal battle into the year. Our specialist legal team has a cunning plan for which we will need to raise a minimum of £20,000 over the course of the next month or so. Contact one of us if you want to know more details.
We have absolutely loved meeting so many of you (and your dogs) and chatting to you over the last week on the Common. It has been so great plugging into your energy, determination and expertise everyone! Thank you.
Stay tuned for the next stage in our bid to stop Clapham Common (and by extension every Common in the land) being turned into a regional centre for major commercial events.
In the meantime, we would urge you to keep a record (photos, videos, sound recordings, diary entries etc) of any disturbance you see or hear during the events. Please also keep up the pressure on the Council by calling in to log your complaints. They always insist that they receive very few complaints about the events…
Samantha Walker and all of the Protect Clapham Common team