Councillors refuse permanent 52-space car park at Wimbledon Park
Councillors have refused a plan to make a temporary car park set up on a heritage site nearly two years ago permanent.
Hardcore gravel was laid in the Grade II listed heritage site in Wimbledon Park, off Revelstoke Road, in 2012 to allow London Underground Limited to carry out work on the nearby track.
After work was completed the gravel was not cleared and instead the council submitted an application to turn it into a permanent 52-space car park to cope with increased usage from April to September.
A decision on the car park was deferred at a meeting in September and went before councillors for a second time at a planning meeting last night, October 10.
Speaking at the meeting Jill Hopper, of the Friends of Wimbledon Park, said there were hundreds of residents opposed to the plan.
She said: "If this goes ahead visitors to the park will be greeted not by open space but by a mini roundabout, an expanse of parked cars and a traffic jam.
"Do you really want this to be your legacy?
"We believe Wimbledon Park deserves better.
"Please continue to defend our park and see off this ill-conceived scheme once and for all."
However Sim Comfort, chair of the Wimbledon Park heritage group, urged councillors to support the application which he said would be an "important improvement" to Wimbledon Park.
He said: "When trying to figure out why some people are so negative about this plan I can only think that ideally they would like Wimbledon Park to be their own private park and have no one else using the park except them and their dogs."
A motion to refuse the application was put forward by Conservative councillor David Dean and UKIP councillor Richard Hilton.
Coun Dean said: "I don’t support building on any green space protected or not.
"I don’t support putting a car park on green space that is protected.
"This is the planning authority.
"That should not be an oxymoron. It should be planning to look after its grade two listed parks and they are the reasons that we should reject this now."
The application was refused on a vote of six to three.
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