Alarm over Lambeth’s plans for more noisy events on Clapham Common

Published: 11 July 2016

Councillors in Wandsworth are voicing serious concerns over plans by neighbouring Lambeth to stage more noisy music festivals and other loud events on Clapham Common.

It has just emerged today (Monday) that senior politicians in Lambeth will tonight determine a new events strategy for its parks and open spaces.

The strategy calls for more major commercial events to be hosted and to also allow noise levels at each one to be raised.

Lambeth has identified five of its parks and open spaces – including Clapham Common - that would stage these events. It proposes that each of the five be permitted to stage various events lasting up to eight days every year.

Lambeth’s report also claims that its proposed increased noise levels would only be equivalent to “average traffic noise on a street corner”.

Wandsworth has already objected to the plans for Clapham Common – but this opposition is not referenced anywhere in the Lambeth committee report.  Wandsworth was formally consulted as the boundary between the two boroughs runs north/south through the middle of the common.

This means that although the common is managed and maintained solely by Lambeth, half of those residents affected by any change live in Wandsworth.

Wandsworth’s environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “I’m afraid that Lambeth is not being open and transparent about these changes. The public has been kept in the dark.

“These recommendations are buried some 300 pages into a 520 page report. Nowhere does it say that we formally oppose these changes because of the impact they will have on residents living in our borough. The Lambeth report completely conceals this fact.

“Their summary of the noise impact also grossly underplays the impact from extended periods of loud music.

“To suggest that a rock concert attended by many thousands of people is no louder than the noise of passing traffic on an average street corner is of course utter nonsense.

“Instead of trying to conceal the level of opposition that exists to these proposals and trying to sneak them through without the public’s knowledge, Lambeth actually needs to sit down and engage much more closely with residents who live near the common. 

“It would simply not be acceptable for changes as drastic as these to be made to Clapham Common without much greater and proper consultation with those most directly affected by any relaxation in the noise rules.”