Local developments

Morley Park - Update August 2016

Works to complete the park and drainage issues

Those of you who live in close proximity to the park might already be aware of a serious issue with drainage on Morley Park.  This has brought work to prepare the playing fields to a halt.  The south west corner of the playing field area was under water for much of the winter and the problem has continued despite the installation of soakaways and other works to implement the required playing field drainage scheme.  

During the recent exceptionally wet weather the scout site and buildings (which are just below the playing field area) were flooded, and water flowed down onto Cottenham Park Road.  The public right of way between Lindisfarne Road and the scout hut has been regularly flooded even during more modest rainfall. 

 At a meeting on 20th June Berkeley Homes were still claiming that they expect to seed the fields in 4 weeks time and that the playing fields could be ready by January 2017.  The specification for the works Berkeley Homes are required to do on the playing fields before the handover of the park to the Council requires 2 seasons growth for the new grass but handover by January 2017 could only allow for less than 1 seasons growth.

Under the terms of the planning consent Berkeley Homes are obliged to complete works to the park prior to first occupation of the new homes on the hospital site.

Future Management

The Council is preparing to grant a 99 year lease for the playing fields and pavilion to the Ursuline High School (UHS) when Morley Park is eventually transferred to the Council. 

Discussions between LUNG, the Council and the Ursuline School on the management of the rest of the park are now on the assumption that the Council will retain responsibility for the management but with an ‘advisory group’ which would include representatives from the local community and the UHS i.e. the council will not grant a lease to a community trust. 

Negotiations for a tripartite lease for the rest of the park ended after LUNG proposed an alternative model which did not include UHS as a lessee.  This would have been a simpler model avoiding conflict of interest with the school’s role as both sole lessee of the sports facilities and a lessee with shared responsibility for the rest of the park. 

Jane Barnes
(Residents Association of West Wimbledon’s representative on LUNG)

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