Calling all local mums - threat to Wimbledon Park

(3 Posts)
WimbledonPark Sun 04-Sep-16 18:17:45

Hi all

I don't know if those of you who are in Southfields and the surrounding area have heard about Merton Council's plans to tear up Wimbledon Park with lots of unnecessary changes? Lots of local mums and other residents are really worried, especially as they're planning to close the small children's play park, move the athletics stadium into the current green open space and hold lots of commercial events there - and the building work could take years!!

If you are also worried, please take a look at the Save Wimbledon Park Facebook page!! As things stand now, without lots of vocal protest from local residents (especially Merton voters) the council will just go ahead....

2FatLadied Sun 04-Sep-16 19:18:34

I've had a look at the relevant bit of Merton council's website. It seems as though there are two options, one is the same but a bit of updating, the second is the one you are objecting to. Is that right?

If so, can you explain why moving the athletics track is such a big problem? I can see why you would want to retain the smaller playground (it's shadier, less busy and has some lovely play equipment), but I can't see the issue with moving stuff around as long as the function is retained.

And finally, I can't see anything specific about commercial exploitation on the Merton page, do you have any (neutral, fact-based) links on what this is likely to mean? I'm a little sceptical, as the "Save Dundonald Rec" group claimed similar things about 'tearing up' the park and ruining it for future generations, when that was not actually the case.

WimbledonPark Sun 04-Sep-16 20:02:44

Hi totally understand why you are asking - the consultation is really unclear so lots of people I know have had to spend time getting to the bottom of it!

The three options all have bits lots of local residents don't like - all of the options include moving the small play park into the hugely busy older kids play park plus lots of other changes which just feel like unnecessary disruption. I'd need to check this but I believe the rationale on the play park is to free up space for some sort of high rope paid for activity.

The other two options both involve the wholesale move of the athletics stadium. We really don't want that to happen because it will back on to lots of people's houses and the plan is to hold more concerts etc in it and we're worried about all the obvious noise and parking issues. Plus the guy at the consultation event told us that for these full scale move options the building work would probably take five years so we're dreading the idea of the sheer scale of disruption - for example it would put most of the open green space out of action as it would be a major project to move it. For those of us who use the park every day with kids and dogs etc, we just really don't want that when the park is lovely as it is and we really rely on it. So the cost-benefit equation just doesn't add up for us.

On the commercial stuff, to be honest we've tried to get the facts but all we've been told by the council is that they need to raise revenue and that this would be part of the plan for the future with more commercial events held in the park/new stadium and more paid for activities. What's really disappointing and worrying is that the consultation documents don't spell out what this means in practice so we can actually take a view as to whether it's reasonable or not. So for example, there were broad brush statements at the consultation events about "more commercial income" but they wouldn't tell us what this would be made up of or how much eg what size the new stadium would be and how many more events they'd be holding.

Hope that helps - obviously people need to come to their own views but it is important people who use the park know about the proposals and can take a view based on proper information but a rushed and confusing consultation held in a few weeks over August with key information missing doesn't help people to do that!

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