Local news

Morley Park Update

Wolfson planning application
The application has now been approved by the Council subject to finalisation of a  Section 106 agreement (i.e. the contributions that the developer has to make to make on affordable housing, education, highways etc).  There have been significant improvements since the initial plans were put on public display but one area of the Metropolitan Open Land that stretches between the Wolfson and Firs sites will become part of a private garden which we believe is not an appropriate use.  The improvements on the original proposals, which were achieved thanks to the efforts of Morley Park Trust and the Wimbledon Society are:
A bit more Metropolitan Open Land into Morley Park on the west of the Wolfson site, which was previously shown as private garden for the new houses
  • an east/west path through the Morley Park woodland
  • clearing of a step free route down through the woodland from the Copse Hill entrance to the ecology area of the park
  • a slightly wider and greener approach to the park from Copse Hill
  • fence along the northern park boundary
Here is a link to a plan showing the revised Copse Hill park entrance and paths http://tinyurl.com/c74l9pl.
The additional parcels of land going into Morley Park are outlined with a black dotted line.

Morley Park works and management
The work required to create the new park has been delayed again.  This is due to delays in agreeing the detail of the drainage works to be done.  Agreement on this is expected soon and the last we heard from Berkeley Homes is that they expect work to start in January 2013.  If this is achieved the park should be ready to hand over to the council in autumn 2014.  The final plans for the pavilion in the park also haven’t been agreed yet and they will be subject to a planning application.  This could potentially result in additional delays.

The Council appears reluctant to talk to the local community or Morley Park Trust about their plans for the park until closer to the handover date.  We are however aware that the Council has been discussing with the Ursuline High School the arrangements under which they will use the playing fields in the park.  One of the options being considered earlier this year was a 99 year lease.  We do not know if this option is still being considered and we are not clear on how a long term lease would work for facilities which will be part of a public park.  The granting of a long lease to a school would have major implications for the long term financial sustainability of the park and the ability of a community group, such as Morley Park Trust to take on the management of the park.  The Council has said it will not consider Morley Park Trust’s Expression of Interest to manage the park until it has transferred into its ownership.  This date keeps slipping as the works on the park are delayed.
Jane Barnes
Morley Park Trust / LUNG
February 2013




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