As a resident of Lambeth and user of Clapham Common I forward my letter of opposition to the planning application 21/00180/RG3. I also copy before that my summary of the state of the work sent to Lambeth Council two weeks ago when they announced a delay of a month in taking the fence off returning the site to the rightful users of the common.
In those two letters I explain my opposition to the use of Clapham Common for events.
What I would ask you to check are the following points:
1. Correct and common sense use of financial resources by Lambeth Council (they spent £210k on the “events” area when the rest of the common is totally unkempt and in need of urgent work). Lambeth Council replied to this saying that the money comes from the event organiser and can only be used in the events area but this makes things worse showing the incompetence of Lambeth Council to write an agreement which may be beneficial for the common.
2. Competence of Lambeth Council to supervise the works delivered and of the contractors to deliver it (the delay and the fact that the grass is missing in many areas besides the utter failure of the drainage works which they are attempting to correct is an indication of possible incompetence which must be determined and acted upon).
3. Contradiction between the aim of Lambeth Council to increase biodiversity with flowers and pollinators and the expense of 210k to produce a single variety of grass after having disturbed the soil and killed the essential earth worms. Lambeth Council has never replied to my requests to see the budget they have for trees. I believe they didn’t plant a single tree for many years.
4. Misleading wording of Lambeth Council when presenting planning applications. They constantly refer to agreements with CCMAC and other associations of volunteers in Clapham common as if they are the initiator of the application. From my contacts with those associations I understand that this is not correct. I would ask you to check this aspect.
5. I accept that the users of the common have increased in numbers and more money is needed to maintain it but as I explained the financial resources may be spread in smaller project easier to manage and the area for sport hasn’t been reduced as the area for pleasure so a rebalancing is required.
I’d be happy to expand on the above points or forward evidence of my claims.