Support us from £3/month
We deal with almost 1000 cases a year assisting communities, groups and individuals in protecting their local spaces and paths in all parts of England and Wales. Can you help us by joining as a member?
We were represented at a meeting with Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, at the House of Commons on Monday 27 October in support of our member, Protect Dundonald Rec Campaign Group.
The campaigners for Dundonald Rec asked the Minister to exercise his power to revoke the planning permission granted by the London Borough of Merton to itself to appropriate and develop part of the Rec. It handed over a dossier of evidence in support of its case.
Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond arranged the meeting and was joined by representatives from the Friends of Dundonald Park, the Protect Dundonald Rec Campaign Group, the Dundonald Rec Tennis Club and Dundonald Rec Sports Committee.
Lorraine Maries, chairman of Protect Dundonald Rec, said:
‘Eric Pickles has promised to consider this matter in great detail. We have provided the Minister with evidence proving that the application was based on misrepresentation and false information.
‘The way in which politicians and officers in Merton Council have deceived statutory authorities, their own colleagues and the public is reprehensible. The evidence we have provided to the Minister is robust and unambiguous. There is a clear case for revoking the planning permission.’
We supported the call for revocation along with Dave Morris of the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces.
John Lavery, a trustee of the OSS who represented us at the meeting, commented:
‘It is essential that local authorities carry out their duties with transparency, especially when they grant planning permission to themselves. Allowing the approval of the Dundonald development, based on false premises, undermines the entire system that protects public open spaces.’
The Minister now has the matter under consideration and is likely to reach a decision in the next few weeks.