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Park redevelopment and other news

December 19, 2014

Season’s greeting and all the best for 2015.

PARK REDEVELOPMENT

2015 will be an exciting year for Wormholt Park. Finally, the Council have said that work on redeveloping the park should start in March. It will take four to six months to complete which means unfortunately that much of the park will be closed during the summer period. We have asked that some of the park remains open however. We would have liked the work to be done in the winter but it is not possible to delay it any further as this would increase costs. More information about the redevelopment, including the issue of the positioning of the multi-use games area (MUGA) which is of concern to residents of Gravesend Road, can be found by clicking on the “Redevelopment” link in the menu above.

PROPOSED MOBILE PHONE MAST IN SAWLEY ROAD

The Committee on behalf of the Friends submitted an objection to the planning application for a mobile mast to be erected by the park in Sawley Road. In the objection we argued that the mast would detract visually from the park; that we were concerned that the mast might require the pruning of nearby trees; and that the placement of the relay boxes by the park fence would provide easy access over the park fence when the park was closed.

SAVE HAMMERSMITH PARK CAMPAIGN

The Committee also voted to lend support to the Save Hammersmith Park campaign.

An agreement was made by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham under the last administration to lease almost half of Hammersmith Park (1.2 hectares out of a total of 2.43 hectares) to a private company, PlayFootball, for a minimum of 35 years. Their plans include pay-for-use football pitches and a clubhouse which will sell alcohol.

Those who oppose the plan (and there is considerable local opposition) argue that the proposal would drastically reduce opportunities for local people, who currently have little provision and lack the incomes to afford paid-for centres, to participate in a range of sporting activities, in exchange for a private football provision. In addition the proposal would have a significant negative impact on the park, which has a Green Flag Status and will affect the general quality of life for local people, the site being inappropriate for the location of such a facility in terms of noise and traffic.

The strength of opposition to the plan was made clear at a meeting organized by the Council (and at which representatives of PlayFootball, local councilors and the local MP were present) that took place on 2 October 2014 at the White City Community Centre. Between 120 to 150 people attended and the mood of the meeting was very hostile to the plans and all but two spoke in support of them. To reflect this local opposition, a group called Save Hammersmith Park has been formed with the purpose of putting pressure on both the Council and PlayFootball to engage in a proper consultation so that either a fresh planning application that meets the needs and objections of the local residents is made or that PlayFootball leave the park to develop their plans elsewhere. Their ultimate aim is to ensure that a viable alternative is pursued that seeks the regeneration of all the sports facilities for use by the entire community and not for the profit of a private company.

The Friends of Wormholt Park were asked if they would support this campaign and it was decided by the committee to do so as what was proposed for Hammersmith Park had implications for our own park; in particular, the knock on effect on the increased use of our sports facilities as they become largely unavailable in Hammersmith Park and the general principle of ensuring that park land remains for the use of all residents and not set aside for private use. We join over 30 others groups, including Friends groups of other parks in the borough, in supporting this campaign.

Derrick Wright

Chair, Friends of Wormholt Park

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