Letter to the Editor: Fitness group should pay for damage to Clapham Common
8:03am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in News
By Melanie Oxley
You covered the objections from the Clapham Society, which has spoken out against the damage caused by British Military Fitness (BMF) during their training sessions on the Clapham Common.
Although Lambeth Council have repeatedly asked the group to avoid using the event site, it would appear that this request has been ignored, with up to 200 people attending some training events, causing severe erosion of the land.
Friends of Clapham Common supports the Clapham Society in raising this important issue.
The Common is primarily for the quiet enjoyment of residents and visitors and it must not become the victim of commercial interests.
Lambeth has been saying for some time they will issue permits for groups such as BMF, but we have seen no evidence this has happened yet.
In addition, BMF ought to strictly adhere to restrictions on the numbers of people training at any one time and the areas they regularly use for their classes.
Where erosion caused by their activities is severe, BMF should be helping to pay for remedial works.
BMF have been requested to avoid over-used parts of the Common, but to date, they have ignored this.
All interest groups must work together to ensure the character of Clapham Common is preserved.
Melanie Oxley is chairman of the Friends of Clapham Common
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