Friends of Brockwell Park has from the outset opposed the applications by Field Day/The Mighty Hoopla (1-3 June) and Lovebox/Citadel (13-15 July) to hold major events in Brockwell Park this summer, on the grounds that their size (up to 40,000 a day for three days, taking from a third to a fifth of the park for weeks at a time) was grossly disproportionate for a small, hilly urban park such as Brockwell.
So it was good news on 31 January that Lovebox/Citadel had decided to withdraw its application and move to Gunnersbury Park in Ealing. But on the same day, Field Day/The Mighty Hoopla announced it had received permission from Lambeth Council to go ahead with its major event in June half term, a time particularly precious for local families.
Cllr Sonia Winifred, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, said: ‘We have engaged with residents, local businesses and other parties. Based on the resulting evaluation we have determined that two new major commercial events and the Lambeth Country Show this summer would be excessive.’
FOBP looks forward to seeing the evaluation on which Cllr Winifred has based her decision. We know thousands of people opposed both events; perhaps thousands of people we don’t know about supported them and Lambeth is playing the honest referee between them. If not, it looks as if Lambeth Council is plain ignoring local residents and going after the half million pounds it has been promised by Field Day/The Mighty Hoopla. It is interesting that, contrary to its own events strategy, Lambeth has ‘determined that two new major commercial events and the Lambeth Country Show this summer would be excessive’. It looks as if Lambeth is dressing up the withdrawal of Lovebox/Citadel as a worthy decision by Lambeth rather than a clever commercial move by Lovebox/Citadel to cut its losses and seek pastures new.
Friends of Brockwell Park believe this is a deplorable decision that will do real harm to the park and its supportive surrounding communities.