ISLINGTON – BARNARD PARK
I am Dianne Browning, chair of the Friends of Barnard Park, the fourth largest green space in the borough. I am writing urgently to ask for the help of the London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network.
In an extraordinary move, the Secretary of State has ‘called in’ Islington Council’s planning application for regeneration of Barnard Park, taking the decision as to development of the park out of local control. This endangers a proposal for a versatile community park, developed through years of local consultation. Islington Council resolved to grant planning permission for the project in May 2017. However the application was opposed by Sport England and football groups, which has resulted in the call In and the requirement for there to be a planning inquiry. The Islington Friends of Parks and Green Spaces Forum expressed strong disapproval of the present situation at its meeting on Thursday. The Forum affirmed their support of the application and agreed to seek the support of the LFGN in the matter. The park proposal provides improved formal football facilities as well as a large fenced large grass area for informal sport and recreation in a biodiverse space.
Our fear is if we don’t take action that Sport England will ignore other recreational and health activities under its remit to impose its agenda on those park projects hoping to retain a natural space for varied user groups. I am available this week to meet or discuss the situation. See below the documents we sent to the Department of Committees and Local Government before the call in was announced.
FOBP intend to apply to the planning inspectorate for Rule 6 status at the planning inquiry. I know it is short notice but would the LFGN wish to join with FOBP in such application? It is possible that you have come across similar circumstances with other parks or that you have experiences which might be pertinent to the Barnard Park project. We are hoping to submit our rule 6 application at the beginning of next week, so would welcome hearing from you by then. Alternatively, would the Network be willing to make representations of support to the inspectorate? If so, the deadline for this is 13th October 2017. If the latter I can provide you with the relevant details of the case officer and case reference at the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol.
Apologies for this urgent request but I look forward to hearing from you.
Chair, Friends of Barnard Park 07778 058 396 firstname.lastname@example.org