Common Land

Dear Clapham Resident

I am a local resident, mother and nature lover and have lived in Clapham for over ten years. I am concerned about the increasing use of Clapham Common for large scale commercial events.

Lambeth Council has a five year events strategy (2020-2025) which will see Clapham Common used more and more for large commercial events over the next few years.

Despite 315 objections from local residents, on 20 April 2021, the Planning Applications Committee of Lambeth Council voted to approve the planning application by “EventLambeth” (part of Lambeth Council) for the: Temporary use of Clapham Common for a range of events in 2021, involving installation and de-installation of temporary infrastructure including fencing, lighting, PA systems, Stages and other temporary structures, and other ancillary works.

The planning application is here ref: 21/00180/RG3 on the Lambeth Council website.

In particular, in relation to the large grassy area on the Common that is currently fenced off for the “once in a lifetime regeneration project” the Council has approved the use of this site (which the Council refers to as the “dedicated events site” for “large and major events”) to be fenced off for a duration of 25 days from 16 August to 9 September 2021 for a four day music event hosted by Festival Republic.

This will attract an estimated 160,000 to the Common over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Under Article 12 of the Greater London Parks and Open Spaces Order 1967, Lambeth Council still needs permission from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for consent to construct works on Clapham Common because, as a Common, it is a protected area. The Planning Inspectorate will determine the application on behalf of DEFRA.

If you wish to make representations to the Secretary of State please email by 23 May 2021 to:

The decision of the Planning Inspectorate will be based on the merits of the proposal, and will balance all the interests in the Common, taking account all views expressed. The Planning Inspectorate must have regard to the criteria set out in section 39 of the Commons Act 2006. These are:

• The interests of persons having rights in relation to, or occupying, the land (and in particular persons exercising rights of common over it);

• The interests of the neighbourhood;

• The public interest, which includes the public interest in: nature conservation; the conservation of the landscape; the protection of public rights of access to any area of land, the protection of archaeological remains and features of historic interest; and

• Any other matter considered relevant (including the public interest in formal recreation).

These criteria will be viewed in the light of the overriding objective of protecting, maintaining or improving the Common, and of ensuring that the overall stock of common land is not diminished. This will enable the diversity, variety, and overall extent, of common land to be safeguarded.

Due to Covid-19, the Planning Inspectorate is not able to guarantee a response if you write to the headquarters which is at Common Land Casework, Planning Inspectorate, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, Bristol BS16PN.

Sincerely, Samantha Walker

To voice your opinion
email the Secretary of State
by 23 May 2021

2 Replies to “Common Land”

  1. Well done, well written, I completely agree. I had also heard that all the objections were ignored. I have shared your piece and website address, though I fear many people are saying, ‘I have objected already’ and feel as though it is pointless to do so again. But onwards and upwards.

    1. This time Lambeth Council has no control over the grant of permission. It will be decided by an independent person, the Secretary of State for the Environment. He has to decide based on the laws protecting Common land, rather than based on local planning policy. It’s now or never to object. Once the Sec of State grants permission for events on the Common he is more likely to grant permission every time that Lambeth has to apply for permission. Act now! Or forever hold your peace.

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