Plans to incorporate small parcel of land in park into private gardens thrown out on appeal
Published: Friday 1st June 18
The council’s decision to reject a planning application that could have paved the way for some Putney residents to extend their back gardens onto a small strip of land in Wandsworth Park has been upheld by an independent planning inspector.
In August last year Wandsworth turned down a proposal that would have given planning approval to a small number of residents in Deodar Road hoping to extend their back gardens onto an isolated parcel of land tucked away in the northwest corner of the park.
The land, which measures 176 square metres and directly fronts the river, lies behind a set of locked gates and is not normally accessible to the public because of well-founded concerns about anti-social behaviour, including drug and alcohol abuse.
After the council vetoed the idea, some of the residents launched a formal appeal to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate, which rejected their case and ruled in the town hall’s favour.
In his ruling the inspector cited the council’s long-standing policy aim of opening up the entire length of the borough’s river frontage to pedestrian and cycle use and that the case put forward on behalf of the residents would have contravened this well-established policy.
Wandsworth planning chairman Cllr Will Sweet said: “This is a welcome ruling by the inspector who judged that the council was correct to resist this encroachment into the park.
“This was an application that caused a great deal of unease in the area among people who didn’t wish to see their much-loved local park diminished in size, even by a modest amount.
“Although this small corner of the park is not currently open to the public this was an important point of principle for us, and in the months and years to come our aim is for it to become part of a new riverside walk and cycle route, linking the park with Putney Square, Putney Bridge and beyond.”