I think its an important community issue and thanks for raising. I'm all for that area being improved and wow a cafe - albeit a very small one - who doesn't want that ! But there are some details that seem to be lacking. For example who and how often will we, the general public (and local schools apparently although I wonder if any have been contacted and asked how they would like to use it) really be able to use the facilities? It seems that Balham FC alone have 28 teams and only have it part of the time? Who else will be using it? Other football teams? Basically, I can't see how a bunch of local parents and kids could book a slot for say a football party or similar - which is what we are lead to believe (and what Common land is intended to be used for) and depsite the current pitch being run down many local people and families do use it in many ways.One of the most important points that seems to be lacking is infrastructure considerations around the traffic this will inevitably bring - people and cars - surrounding roads are likely to be inundated with parking issues when matches are on - or perhaps all the time? Lets not forget the all too recent local road shenanigans that were badly thought through - and as an aside I wonder if any of this has been taken into consideration. Foot traffic is likely to significantly increase on what is already probably the busiest path on the Common - already too narrow for current requirements. In fact the council are having to harrow and plant grass seed on a large section next to the path which is currently a mud bath due to heavy pedestrian traffic use this year from overflow off the path.There is not enough detail being presented on the environmental impact - flora and fauna and in particular the drainage - that area is very prone to being waterlogged and if they don't get the drainage right (as they didnt when the playground was re-done) it could flood regularly. Details seem sketchy - If you listen to the radio show, the Balham FC manager says no trees will be cut down but apparently 4 will be - wonder who is right?
It would seem reasonable to have these ironed out before plans are approved because once they are I doubt we'll have any say!
The Council are at pains to send this message -
There will be no impact at all on the natural open spaces of Tooting Common which local people rely on so heavily for their leisure, recreation and mental well-being.
But actually, precisely the intangible aspect of that part of the Common - the peaceful vibe - will almost certainly be impacted - how could it not?