Lambeth Council are poised to sign a 15-year lease with developers ‘Putt in the Park’ which would bring a change to the Common’s Westside, according to the Wandsworth Times.
The mini-golf company won the tender to convert the disused Pavilion and Greens in August 2019.
Old Bowling Greens, Clapham Common
Their plans involve two landscaped putting greens, covering an area of 3400 square metres, plus a café and new toilet block.
The development will be similar to Putt in the Park’s other sites in Wandsworth Park, Battersea Park and Acton Park.
However, proposals to develop part of the Common have sparked resistance from community groups.
Friends of Clapham Common branded the plans “tone-deaf” in an online petition which has amassed almost 5,000 signatures.
The group claims that there has been little public consultation, that a golf-course would commercialise common land and have a negative environmental impact.
A statement said: “Clapham Common must be free for the quiet enjoyment of everyone and not partitioned off for private enterprise. This venture will bring increased noise, litter and light pollution to a quiet residential corner of the Common.”
“Given that we are in the middle of a climate crisis and we have had a stern reminder just how precious our green spaces truly are, this is a tone-deaf project that must not be allowed to proceed.”
Putt in the Park insisted that there was extensive public consultation and that the development would be sustainable.
A spokesperson said: “We are very proud of our excellent courses. We have numerous pictures of the biodiversity and animal life excelling at our other courses.
“We will be planting over 220 bee-friendly flower trees and shrubs on approximately one-third of the Bowls green area which will be formed out of the topsoil. No soil will leave the site.
“The other areas will have hardcore, artificial turf which is 100% recyclable and ponds. As opposed to present which is patchy grass on approximately 150-250mm topsoil.
“The total area covered by the two greens is 0.34% of land on Clapham Common."
A Lambeth Council spokesperson added: “Clapham Common is a wonderful open space that is hugely valued by both the council and the community. The small area being looked at here is a disused bowling green that has been out of use for a number of years.
“It is an area of the common that is designated for sporting use, in the same way that there are also bookable tennis courts. This proposal would bring the former bowling green back into popular use and would include a significant amount of bee and insect friendly planting.”