This was created as a way of encouraging people to write an email objecting to Lambeth Council’s attempts to turn Clapham Common into a permanent centre for major commercial events; for example the music festival in August that will shut parts of the Common for 25 days.

Between now and the end of this year, Lambeth want to host commercial events on the Common for 75% of the time.

Lambeth cannot give themselves permission to host these events, because it is common land. Instead they need permission from national government (Defra).

The key thing you need to know is this…

[the legal] criteria will be viewed in the light of the overriding objective of protecting, maintaining or improving the Common...

Do you think the plans protect, maintain or improve the Common? 


The movement against the plans was kicked off by Samantha Walker, here is her original letter….

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  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 two weekends.

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: commonlandcasework@planninginspectorate.gov.uk with reference number COM/3273667.

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.

Samantha Walker