Merton Council has not given up on Wimbledon Park car parking plan near Revelstoke Road
The council has not given up hope of creating a permanent car park on a grade II listed heritage park, despite admitting they will have to remove the temporary gravel site after it failed to gain planning permission.
A fresh application for a car park on the Wimbledon Park could be submitted after plans to make the existing two-year-old temporary parking permanent it was refused by councillors at a planning meeting earlier this month.
Merton Council had hoped to create a hard surface 52-space permanent car park off Revelstoke Road.
The temporary car park was installed by Transport for London (TfL) in Wimbledon Park, two years ago for use as a depot while carrying out essential works on the adjacent district line - which did not require planning permission.
However after TfL left the site the council did not remove the hardcore and instead submitted an application for a permanent car park arguing that there was "excessive demand" for parking and people had been parking on the grass as early as 2008.
Merton Council confirmed this week the gravelled car park will be returned to grass.
Residents from the Friends of Wimbledon Park and the Wimbledon Park Resident’s Association strongly opposed the plans which they said would ruin the amenity of the park.
However members of the Wimbledon Heritage Park were in favour calling the proposal an "important improvement" to the park.
Council officers insisted the plan would have preserved the "character and appearance" of the park.
Despite mixed feelings about the proposals the application was refused by councillors on a vote of six to three.
The council has since confirmed it will be removing the hardcore over winter and reseeding the area in spring, however Councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, has not ruled out the submission of a new application for a car park at the same site.
He said: "We might come forward with a further application for a car park because this is a need there.
"If you go to Wimbledon Park in the summer you will find that there are very large numbers of people who want to visit the car park very frequently including mothers with children.
"Understandably they come by car and we have to contemplate their needs."
He added: "We are still considering if we need to come forward with a new application taking on board the views by the planning committee, but we have not made a decision yet."
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