Merton Council accused of abusing power over 'illegal' car park in Wimbledon Park
Residents have accused Merton Council of abusing its power by allowing a temporary car park to remain on a heritage site for a year while processing an application for a permanent car park.
The area in the Grade II listed Wimbledon Park has been used for temporary parking for events in the past.
But in 2012 London Underground Limited were given access to the site in order to carry out works nearby.
Despite work being completed almost a year ago, the unsightly hardcore gravel area has remained in place, and in May the council submitted an application, awaiting consideration, to turn the site into a permanent 46-slot car park.
Iain Simpson, chairman of the Wimbledon Park Residents’ Association, said: “We don’t want any more green space taken over.
“Because it’s a listed park there are quite strict rules about the use of green space and it has to be justified very clearly and they haven’t done anything like justify the
“We are firstly against the use of that green space for parking and we want it returned to green space as well.
“The green spaces team seem to be oblivious to planning rules.
“They just carry on and do what they want until somebody stops them.
“I think we decided we have to be proactive on this to stop this kind of abuse, which is what it is.”
Dr David Dawson, a nearby resident, said: “Instead of insisting that people reinstate it back to green space it’s been left covered in hard core.
“The green spaces team should be insisting these people reinstate the land.
“They are creating a hard surface car park without planning permission.”
Councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, said: “We will be consulting with residents about any proposed changes to this site.
“There is a proposal to create parking spaces on this land which would involve dismantling the depot and smartening up the area.
“If a car park were found not to be acceptable, we would look to revert this back to green space.”