Formula E will not being returning to Battersea Park. But you will by now have realised that getting the Council to agree to Formula E’s promised reinstatement is not proving easy – as we knew would happen. There is a lot of discussion behind closed doors as to how best to retain all that lovely tarmac on the Boules area. Why? Just two words: TRAILER PARK,  as anyone who has seen the Western Carriageway on several lengthy occasions since January will understand.

Our vociferous objection to the Council’s latest planning submission is here. Please read it.  The Council’s relevant planning page is here and please lodge your objection here! We need to maximise the number of objections to show the strength of feeling. Alternatively, you can email and quote the application number 2016/3064

Needless to say, our group (BATPAG – Battersea Park Action Group) has never been invited to any discussions, and apart from discussions with Heritage Lottery Fund and a brief nod to the Friends of Battersea Park, neither has anyone else.

Several people from Planning and WBC/Enable have been contacted, and the excuses and versions of events differ every time. This is the situation:

1. On 14th June Formula E submitted a written description and highly detailed and technical diagram of Battersea Park to the Council which outlined their proposed reinstatement.

These plans described the full reinstatement of the park, including the reinstatement of the Rosery car park and former boules area. The Council has failed to acknowledge these plans publicly, has failed to post them on the planning site regarding case file 2016/3064 and apparently does not consider them a valid submission as to Formula E’s intentions to discharge condition 10 (In May FE had declared their intention and desire to fully reinstate, in accordance with the conditions of their planning permission.).

2. The Council submitted proposals to the Heritage Lottery Fund seeking approval from the HLF. These plans outlined the Counci’s own proposals for reinstatement. These differed significantly from the plans submitted by Formula E in June and attempted to retain large amounts of tarmac within the park, including in the Rosary car park and the former boules area.

3. The Heritage Lottery Fund rejected these proposals and has asked the Council to rethink their plans, with the Council’s proposals for the Rosery car park and former boules area raising particular concerns with the HLF.

4. It is of concern that representatives of EnableLC appear to have been heavily involved in formulating these the Council’s proposals for the reinstatement of the park. Enable is the private company that manages the park and there is a clear conflict of interest as Enable will benefit directly in a commercial manner from any tarmac that is retained in the the boules area and Rosery car park park, by renting it out, not only to units filming in the park, to which in general there is no objection, but to those filming elsewhere in London. As things stand it appears the boules area will be returned to gravel, but that the Council are trying to retain a significant amount of extra tarmac in the Rosery car park, which currently resembles a sea of tarmac.