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We are delighted that the Formula E motor-race championship, which was approved by Wandsworth Council and set to continue every year in Battersea Park, will now only take place in 2016 with full reinstatement afterwards.
James Jackson, whose judicial review of Wandsworth’s decision was due to be heard in court this week, has reached an agreement with the council over the future use of the park. The Open Spaces Society, with Battersea Park Action Group and other organisations and individuals, supported Mr Jackson because it deplores the abuse of the park for a substantial commercial event.
We congratulate Mr Jackson and the Action Group on achieving this result which will ensure that the park is protected in future, as befits a Victorian, grade II*-listed site. However, we are sorry that the legal challenges were not tested in court.
We maintained that this event would be unlawful, as it contravenes the Greater London Parks and Open Spaces Order 1967 which outlaws such events where they occupy more than one-tenth of the open space. There are other events occurring in London which we also believe to be contrary to this legislation, and we are ready to issue a legal challenge if we consider a common, park or open space to be at risk.
For the statement on the legal settlement, see here.
The Open Spaces Society, Save Battersea Park, the London Wildlife Trust, London CPRE, the Friends of Battersea Park and the Wandsworth and Battersea Societies were among the organisations and individuals who had submitted 577 detailed letters of objection to the Formula E event.