You may have seen our campaign in November 2018 to save the “stay and play” provision at the Tooting Triangle. After winning several concessions from the council back then, we have been waiting to see the planning application from the developer. The application has now been submitted:
You can comment on the application up to 22 November 2019. Here are our thoughts:
- A soft play area has been included which means that there is the capacity to offer sessions for very young children similar to the existing stay and play. Wandsworth Tories have the power to make it a condition of the lease and/or planning permission that the developer must deliver a certain number of sessions and must deliver these for free. However, every time we asked Wandsworth Tories to keep the sessions free they refused. We will continue to make the case that these sessions should be free, but if you can email the chair of the Finance Committee, Cllr Aled Richards-Jones, and make a personal appeal, that would be very helpful. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org
- The male changing room is significantly larger than the female changing room. The design and access statement states: “Based on known usage at TFC’s other sports centres, the male changing rooms are larger than the female ones. In the event of a sporting activity taking place with a mainly female attendance, these changing rooms can be interchangeable.” However, we think that the changing rooms should be equal in size. Access to facilities should be equal. It also sends entirely the wrong message to women and girls – we want to encourage greater female participation in sport, and that is not the impression given by a changing room that is much smaller. Whilst it may be true that “known usage” at other centres is currently male-dominated, that is precisely the situation we should be working to equalise.
- The bat habitat assessment report looks fine (although we are not experts on the subject) – the impact on bats of the new LED floodlights will be equal to or less than the impact of the current metal halide floodlights.
- The arboricultural report also looks fine (again, we’re not experts) – whilst the loss of four trees is disappointing, the addition of trees around the football pitches should compensate for this. We hope that the council’s Planning Applications Committee will ensure that planting more trees is a mandatory condition attached to any planning permission they may be minded to grant.
- Overall, the rest of the development is welcome.
We will be making representations in the above terms to the council through the online planning portal, and you can do the same.