South Park Friends Say No to Council Plans

Scheme to sell off Clancarty Lodge Overwhelmingly rejected

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The Friends of South Park have overwhelmingly rejected a plan by Hammersmith and Fulham Council to sell Clancarty Lodge and land around it.

At a meeting this week, around 100 people turned out to voice their opposition to a scheme by the council which would involved selling the disused lodge in the north west corner of the park.

The council claims this sale could raise around £4 million and says £1 million could be used to make much needed improvements to the park.

However, more than nine out of ten people at the meeting voted to oppose the plan, and afterwards the Friends of South Park issued a message to local people, explaining their objections. The message is as follows:

"At the open meeting on Monday evening, Nov 1, local residents and members of the Friends of South Park verwhelmingly voted again to oppose the sale of any land in the park—even if this severely limits public sector investment in the park by the Council in the short- to medium-term. The four main objectives to the sale are that it:

(1) Breaks a 107-year-old covenant that intends the land for open space
and public use
(2) Realizes a permanent loss of open space
(3) Offers no certainty of any income in park
(4) Alters the designation of land from open space and conservation areas

Even so, the Friends remain committed to the eventual regeneration of the entire park and have always recognised that this could take up to 10 years to complete.

We are particularly grateful to the Council for the tremendous support that they have given to date for South Park’s
restoration of the heritage perimeter wall, ongoing maintenance, the draft master plan, and active initiatives, such as the planned improvements to the play area, for which they have been immensely supportive.

In the immediate future, we intend to concentrate our efforts on putting Clancarty Lodge and the land currently being used for a depot back into public use. Instead of leaving the area as an eyesore that is inaccessible to park users, the committee suggests a community market garden, an environmental education centre, and a revenue-producing enterprise
providing services appropriate to a park, all of which could potentially provide the Council with more than £50,000 of revenue, so that the full intentions of the covenant that protects the park to provide for local people can be honoured.

We also plan to continue to pursue possible funding sources for other parts of the park as well."

The Friends' message continues:  " The covenant on South Park was imposed by Charlotte Sulivan when she sold the land (at below its market value for housing) for public recreation use. The Friends have legal advice that the covenant is strong but do not yet know if the Council will still continue with their sale proposal, which is largely motivated by debt reduction.

Whilst the community understands the financial challenges the Council face to pay down public debt, the Friends feel that the long-term benefits that open space provides to the people in the South Fulham area – one of the most disadvantaged areas of the borough – far outweigh the very limited impact that a sale of some park land would have in dealing with a short-term problem."

The message ends with a plea to local people to make their voices heard. " The Council is proposing to change the Open Land designation for the northwest corner. You can object to this proposal, which is part of the Proposed Submission Core Strategy, a planning policy document currently under consultation. 

The consultation closes on November 12, so if you wish to respond you will need to move quickly if you have a strong opinion either way."

Local people can respond online at:

The Consultation Portal

Email: ldf@lbhf.gov.uk

Fax: 020 8753 3036

Write to: Development Plans Team, Environment Services, Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, W6 9JU

They can also email or write to your local councillors.


November 5, 2010 

 

 

November 5, 2010

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