From a contributor on the Clissold Park Users Group
Although we have seen Clissold Park being used for commercial events recently in order to raise some much needed extra cash for our parks, we are lucky that Hackney Council has so far been careful not to over-exploit the park. However, some of our neighbouring boroughs are not so lucky. We would like to see stronger protections in law for parks like ours rather than having to rely on the goodwill of the Council.
The Friends of Finsbury Park are launching a London-wide fundraising campaign to protect London’s most historic parks by challenging the legal basis on which councils say they have the power to hire out large parts of their public parks for an unlimited period of time for commercial events. We want to send a message to local authorities that land-grabbing in parks, and excluding the public is not a sustainable long-term model for preserving London’s parks for future generations.
The Friends of Finsbury Park brought judicial review proceedings to challenge the continued over-use of the Park for private and commercial events, but Mr Justice Supperstone in the High Court refused our challenge in June last year.
They have now been granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of Mr Justice Supperstone and their hearing has been fixed for 2nd November 2017; this will be heard by the Court of Appeal in the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand.
They have teamed up with the Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body and charity concerned with the protection of parks and open spaces across the country, who will be intervening on our behalf during the court proceedings. The Society is deeply concerned about how our park and others across the