Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Permit Parking?

One curiousity to emerge in the recent consultation on improvements to Green Lane and surrounding areas concerns suggestions from a number of residents that Worcester Park Athletics Club be given help to access their land for the purpose of car parking.

Sutton Council officials were, I understand, left scratching their heads after seeing this very specific suggestion cropping up so many times (with almost identical wording) on consultation returns. 

It turns out it is the result of some well-timed 'lobbying' from Worcester Park Athletics Club who want to access a stretch of land off Green Lane for use as a car park on match days. The land in question is understood to be the green space between the retirement home and the rear of Pembury Avenue - currently accessible only by a pedestrian footbridge over Beverly Brook. 

One Pembury Road resident who contacted me is less than impressed with the proposal:

"I was very annoyed to receive a letter from the Worcester Park Athletic Club proposing that the green field behind my house be turned into a 50 space car park for use by their members & away teams that visit, who only meet up for a few hours on a few days each week.

They don't give a hoot that we would be losing another green space, in which local residents walk their dogs & is home to all sorts of wildlife, but it would be used by the unruly kids to get up to all sorts of trouble & vandalism, but would be a disturbance to the residents who live in the home for retired people, who want a bit of peace and quiet!

These people should park their cars elsewhere and WALK...or am I missing the point that it is supposed to be an athletic club."

In fairness to the Athletics Club, anyone who has used Green Lane on a days when events are taking place there will know full well the impact on traffic and parking on what is already a congested road. Lack of parking facilities for members and visitors was even cited as one of the reasons behind the closure last year of the Worcester Park Bowling Club.

So as much as I would regret seeing any green space given over to car parking, perhaps it is a smaller price to pay for keeping a facility such as the Worcester Park Athletics Club as a viable proposition and a valuable local amenity?

As far as the Green Lane improvements are concerned, a Sutton Council source confirmed to me that helping the Club access land for parking would very definitely fall outside the remit of the improvement fund for Green Lane.

10 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Ian Morris said...

If the Bowles club has now closed, could the now unused bowling green be turned into a small carpark? Looking on google earth the former bowling green isn't far from the entrance, so a new bridge, bit of modification to the HQ and the parking problem is partly solved.

Anonymous said...

This proposed car park would be built right behind my house. It's really very unfair of the committee of the Worcester Park Athletics Club to want a car park built on the field, and then go home and leave all the problems behind to the residents of Pembury Avenue.

I did not know the Bowling Club had closed, and using the unused bowling green is a good suggestion.

Smithy said...

When i was last down there the bowling green looked like an absolute mess so it looks like it has closed; so theres no question about it that they can build it there. It would not be fair on the residents to have a car park next to their house without them getting a say on it, but on the other hand would it be used that much?

Andrew H said...

Has anyone else noticed that the M&S site has been leased by Euro carparks, who have put up signs prohibiting people from parking there. Why isn't that place turned into a small-ish multi-storey car park for a hundred or so cars, as Stone place obviously isn't big enough anymore. Why cant people who want to use the sports club at the weekend for matches etc park in Stone place and walk the couple of hundred yards? It seems ridiculous that people using an athletic club would rather tarmac over open green space than walk a tiny distance!

Just insane. Why not pave over the whole KT4 area and just create a huge dual carriageway/car parking complex and be done with it. Everyone seems obsessed with driving to within inches of their destination, in zero time!

Anonymous said...

I too am very upset at this proposal. To lose a nice green space (with all its wildlife - I've often seen bats flying around the trees there at dusk) just for another concrete eyesore of a car park is vandalism. I wonder whether the athletics club is more interested in generating revenue from commuters parking there (as mentioned in their letter to residents)? Why would anyone pay to park there all day when they can continue to park for free in the surrounding streets? I agree that the space outside the old M&S would be a better option and if anyone thinks it's too far to walk to the athletics club from there they are clearly missing the irony!

redwp said...

Not just the athletics club to worry about - wonder where everyone will park when the Islamic centre/mosque opens at the end of Green Lane ...

Anonymous said...

The Pembury Avenue resident HAS completely missed the point - it is called an 'athletics club' but is nothing of the sort. The club is essentially a membership owned pub with attached tennis, cricket and football facilities.
As far as I am aware, they are actually only asking for access - much of the land behind the WPAC tennis courts is owned by the club. At one time they wanted the green, but that WAS rejected.
At a moment in which everyone is clamouring for community the club offers so much to Worcester Park. That patch of green only offers cr*p (dog's mainly).

Anonymous said...


The WPAC wanted to turn the field into a car park, and I still have a copy of their letter which states this. If they wanted access to the field, they can walk over the bridge across the stream like everyone else has to!

Anonymous said...

They already have access to the field, I have seen cars parked at the back of the field several times over the past few months.

Anonymous said...

WPAC already have more than enough land to accomodate a car park. However, to use the defunct bowling green would cause considerable problems to the residents whos property abuts the opposite bank of the Beverly Brook, the same problems to those mentioned by the Pembury Ave residents. In addition to the closure of the the bowls club one or more of the tennis courts have been given over to, what appears to be, football practice areas for youngsters or five aside football. It would also appear that, more than anything else, WPAC is fast becoming a FOOTBALL and SOCIAL club plus cricket in the summer. This is evident by the loss of some of the tennis courts, in favour of football, and the numerous weekend social functions which go on till late and spoil the peacefull enjoyment of neighbouring private gardens. In actual fact, WPAC is not much more than a privately owned PUB and FOOTBALL club. Lastly, their application for a late night drinking licence was only allowed by their assurance to local residents that functions would take place "ONLY NOW AND AGAIN". Prior to that assurance the licence was opposed by the residents. In the summer months the club house is more like a night club.

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