Formula E granted planning permission for Battersea Park return

Published: 26 February 2016

Councillors have agreed to grant planning consent for this summer’s Formula E championship in Battersea Park.

The borough’s planning committee has awarded the organisers planning permission to stage a weekend of racing in the park on July 2 & 3.

Committee chairman Cllr Sarah McDermott said: “This was decision made purely on planning grounds and in accordance with planning legislation.

“We had to satisfy ourselves that in planning terms alone this was a suitable and appropriate event for the park and having heard all the evidence and looked at this issue in great detail the committee agreed Formula E should be given consent to return this year.”

The decision clears the final hurdle for the electric racing car championships to again be staged in the park this summer.

Last year’s inaugural weekend of racing attracted more than 55,000 spectators – including 9,000 Wandsworth residents, and saw the final race won by Sam Bird from Roehampton.

The planning permission has a number of conditions attached which are designed to minimise disruption for local residents, especially from noise disturbance.

The construction arrangements for this year’s event have been amended to ensure that the impact on people’s everyday use and enjoyment of the park will be minimised and more areas of the park will be kept open for longer prior to the race weekend.

As was the case last year parking controls in the area around the park will be extended so that only residents are able to park. There will be no parking nearby for race fans who will again be advised to travel to the event by public transport.

Community services spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “We learned a great deal last year when Formula E first came to the park and we are working very closely with the organisers to make sure that these lessons are implemented for this year’s set-up and de-rig.

“Our two primary aims are to make sure the park does not suffer any undue damage and to keep disturbance to the absolute minimum in the period before the race weekend and immediately afterwards.

“During last year’s construction period thousands of people continued to visit the park. Schools continued to enjoy sports days, office workers continued to enjoy lunchtime picnics, families visited, people sunbathed and at least one couple got married in the park just a few days before the races were held. 

“We are confident that the important lessons we learned then will mean that this summer’s event is even better.

“It is also worth stressing that the dire warnings that some opponents of the event issued beforehand that the park would be devastated and ruined proved to be totally unfounded, as we knew they would be. However we are not in any way complacent and we will be very closely monitoring the build and de-rig phases extremely carefully to ensure the park is properly safeguarded again this year.”