Winterville will not be taking place this year in Clapham Common

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Winterville will not be taking place this year in Clapham Common

Postby Community Editor » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:04 am

The council won't reveal why but there were complaints last year about the state the Christmas fair left the common in.

We're sorry to have to bring you this devastating news, but it's official, Winterville is not happening this year. 

The Clapham Common version of Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland was famous for offering an "alternative" festive experience, including the classics such as ice skating and a fairground to more exotic treats such as an 18+ puppet show and a "Spiegeltent" where you could watch Mexican wrestling, along with other great entertainment.

Lambeth Council confirmed that "unfortunately this event will not be taking place this year". The council added that it is "unable to provide further information as to why Winterville will not be taking place". What is known is that plenty of locals were fed up of the inconvenience caused by having so many people trampling around the area.

In particular there was upset about the damage done to the site.The Open Spaces Society protested against the "unacceptable damage to Clapham Common" and appealed to the council to not allow the event to take place. 

It argued that the area was closed off for five months after the event and in August the ground was "still mainly bare compacted earth with minimal grass cover". The society claims that the planning application made to the council received 227 objections against 52 representations in support in 2018, and in September 2019 published a piece stating that Lambeth Council had "bowed to pressure". 

The council wrote in a letter that it would in future seek permission from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs before structures can be erected on Clapham Common, thus allowing more public consultation.

In the same letter the council revealed it would cost £200,000 to restore the grassy events site - but it said instead Winterville would be moved to a hard, surfaced area of the common.

This plan now seems to have been abandoned.

Perhaps by 2020 the council and the public will have come to an agreement on how to hold the famous festival without damaging the land, and we can get back to festive fun.

Photo credit: Winterville
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