Councillors approve plans for new 32 acre park

Councillors in Wandsworth have backed plans for the creation of London’s newest public park since the 2012 Olympics.

Members of the planning committee unanimously approved the layout of a new 32 acre publicly accessible green space in the grounds of Springfield Hospital.

The entire 81 acre hospital site is being redeveloped to provide new medical facilities alongside nearly 900 new homes plus office, commercial and retail space – under plans approved by a Government planning inspector on appeal in June 2012 after they were rejected by the council.

Now in a detailed planning application, plans have been agreed for the new public park, which will feature landscaped areas, a pavilion and café,  two children’s playgrounds, a trim trail with fitness equipment, and the planting of an additional 414 trees, comprising 27 different species. Large grassed areas would be able to accommodate a variety of informal team sports such as rugby, cricket or football.

Other features include a rose garden at the southern edge of the park which will be a more formal setting and include bench seating.

A wide variety of planting is planned including a range of flowers, shrubs, trees and grasses. This would also include wetland planting, with new water features proposed to further boost its ecology and bio-diversity. A bridge will be built over one of these water features.

Planning applications chairman Cllr Will Sweet said: “We have been able to secure a wonderful new green space for all our residents in Wandsworth. It will be the first new public park to be created in London since the Olympics.

“The new park will cater for all tastes and activities. Parts of it will be quiet and tranquil spaces whilst others will lend themselves much more to sports and leisure activities.

“We were disappointed when the planning inspector in the appeal hearing in 2012 accepted that the development of the hospital site would mean the loss of its long-established golf course, but once that decision had been made, we needed to make sure that the new replacement space was as good as it possibly could be and that it would offer real benefits for the community and I believe we have succeeded in that aim.”