OPEN SPACES SOCIETY

NEWS RELEASE

OPEN SPACES SOCIETY CALLS FOR FULL REINSTATEMENT OF BATTERSEA PARK AFTER FORMULA E MOTOR RACE

The Open Spaces Society(1) has called on Wandsworth Council to ensure that Battersea Park is fully reinstated following the Formula E motor race in July. The society is backing the Battersea Park Action Group and others in objecting to Formula E’s planning application which fails to achieve full restoration of the park.

The application is intended to confirm the permanent layout of the park following the event. Wandsworth Council promised full reinstatement in return for allowing the event to take place—although, as a result of court action, it will never occur in Battersea Park again.

Says Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society: ‘We are dismayed that Wandsworth Council is failing to enforce the full reinstatement of Battersea Park by Formula E. It seems that Formula E is willing to achieve this but the Council wishes to renege on its pledge made from day one. It does not propose to seek full reinstatement of grassed areas in the boules area, and the tarmac on the Rosery car park is to be extended, with loss of the grass buffer-zones which are important landscape features. In place of grass in a Grade II* listed park we are offered black tarmac. What sort of message is Wandsworth sending with such a proposal?

‘Battersea Park is of immense heritage value. The Heritage Lottery Fund wrote to the council in August describing the Rosery car park “as a huge expanse of black tarmac” and saying that it “is visually intrusive on the setting and therefore has a detrimental impact on the historic landscape”. It also considers the new hard surfacing on the boules area “to be highly visually intrusive”.’

Says Kate: ‘We deplore the continued abuse of this splendid park and have urged the council to ensure that it is fully reinstated in accordance with its promise.’

ENDS

Notes for editors

1 The Open Spaces Society was founded in 1865 and is Britain’s oldest national conservation body. It campaigns to protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths, and people’s right to enjoy them.