Further details if you are interested – the story so far:

22 November 2018: The Friends of Clapham Common and The Clapham Society receive a Legal Opinion (from a QC that specialises in the law on Commons) considering whether Lambeth Council needs the consent of central government in order to hold major events on Clapham Common, given that Common land is a heavily protected type of open space. The Legal Opinion is that Lambeth Council does indeed need to apply for consent to the Secretary of State for the Environment to allow these major events on Common land.

23 August 2019: Lambeth Council writes to the Friends of Clapham Common, The Clapham Society and the Open Spaces Society to “confirm that in future the Council will seek consent from the Secretary of State for structures associated with similar large events of this kind [Winterville] planned on Clapham Common.”

15 October 2019: Lambeth Council signs a commercial contract with Live Nation (Music) UK Limited (the parent company of Festival Republic) for Live Nation/Festival Republic to host major commercial events on Clapham Common from 2020-2025 including music concerts for up to 40,000 paying customers per day over the summer months.

20 April 2021: At a meeting of the Planning Committee, Lambeth Council agrees to grant itself planning permission to hold major events this year on Clapham Common despite receiving 315 objections from local people.

23 April 2021: Lambeth Council applies to the Secretary of State for the Environment for consent to hold the events as these constitute “restricted works” on Common land under the Commons Act 2006.

26 May 2021: Formal Planning Permission is granted by 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.

By 23 May 2021: 476 local people and local groups (including The Clapham Society and The Friends of Clapham Common) write in to the Common Land Casework team at the Planning Inspectorate (who will make the decision on behalf of the Secretary of State on whether or not to grant consent to Lambeth Council) to object to the application by Lambeth Council to allow Festival Republic to enclose the Common from 16 August to 9 September 2021 and to hold major events on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

May, June July 2021: The Common Land Casework team continue to deliberate on the application for consent from Lambeth Council. They have confirmed that they will not be in a position to make a decision by 16 August 2021.

July, August 2021: Lambeth Council is prepared, despite not receiving central government consent, to go ahead with allowing Festival Republic to enclose the “events site” on Clapham Common from 16 August to 9 September 2021 and to hold music concerts over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

4 August 2021: The Friends of Clapham Common with the support of The Clapham Society send a letter before action to Lambeth Council.

9 August 2021: Lambeth Council respond to say they intend to go ahead with the events on the basis that they hope to receive retrospective consent from the Secretary of State.

11 August 2021: The Friends of Clapham Common with the support of the Clapham Society send a solicitor’s letter to Lambeth Council setting out our legal case, which is that the Council will be in breach of the law if they go ahead with the creation of the events site on 16 August without the consent of the Secretary of State and asking them for a response by Friday 13 August at 5pm.