Updated 23rd January 2016:
As announced in another post the Licencing Application for Circus Field has now been withdrawn and the meeting on 1st February has been cancelled. We have now added our supplementary document to this post and will shortly be posting more information about Blackheath and what is proposed for 2016.
Thank you to all those who wrote to the Council about this application.
A copy of our letter of objection and a supplementary document sent with it can found by clicking below:
WS Response to Circus Field Licence Application 16 January 2016
Supplementary Document to WS Response to Circus Field Licence application 16 January 2016
The Royal Borough of Greenwich have applied for a licence to run Events on Blackheath Circus Field. We are concerned because the licence covers are wide range of events multiple times a year in perpetuity i.e. if this licence is granted the Council will not need to apply for individual licences for events on Circus Field ever again. We are concerned because this may lead to a significant increase in the number of events held on Circus Field resulting in reduced access far more frequently plus noise and inconvenience and damage to the heath on a more regular basis.
Letters should have been delivered to all households in Westcombe Park who are on the same level as the heath i.e. those living at the top of the hill see the map on the right. There has been a problem with delivery but all households in this area should receive a letter before Christmas – if you haven’t received one please let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org
A copy of the application is available by clicking below:
Blackheath Circus Field – Premsies Licence Application
What do you think? We encourage those who are concerned to respond to the licencing department by the deadline which was has now been extended to January 18th to compensate for late delivery of letters to many households and the Christmas holidays.
We would appreciate it if you could also send us a copy on email@example.com
We are currently working with the Blackheath Society and the Greenwich Society in formulating our response to this application. All three societies object and will be writing to ask the Royal Borough of Greenwich to withdraw the application. The Westcombe Society response to the application will be posted on this page as soon as it is finalised.
We have also been told that the application for the licence may be heard by a Council licensing committee on 1st or 3rd of February. We will update this information as soon as we know more.
Meanwhile we ask all residents to consider responding themselves, we suggest you copy us and your local Councillors whose email contact details can be found on our links page.
Blackheath is a Metropolitan Common, not a Common. That means, under the 1866 and 1871 Acts, no part of Blackheath can be “inclosed” except to repair the grass. Furthermore, the 1866 Act makes clear that the Council is not empowered to entertain any application to do so, even from itself. Lewisham is breaking the law: its events (eg OnBlackheath) that entail enclosing part of the Heath are illegal and therefore their premises licence is void. When the Blackheath Society was opposing Lewisham’s plans, in the magistrates court, their barrister and solicitor unfortunately failed to cite the Metropolitan Commons Acts 1866 and 1871. If they had, Lewisham’s claim/defence would have been struck out immediately, and these laws absolutely prohibit the enclosure of any part of Blackheath Metropolitan Common except to repair the grass.
Circus Field is also Crown Land not in the Crown Estate. Greenwich Council is not empowered to do anything with it except to maintain the grass and prevent damage to it.
Since 2006, Crown Land has not been exempt from planning law. Greenwich Council have not made a planning application to do anything with Circus Field. The so-called “licence” obtained by LOCOG was a fudge, and Greenwich Council were not allowed to retain a copy of that “licence”.
As I understand it the boroughs of Greenwich and Lewisham have separate identities so it is not clear to me who is responsible for Circus Field and why they are both mentioned in the above submission. Did one authority allow the other in the past to hold an event there?
I cannot add anything to the erudite research which has already been conducted except to say that if the above argument does not prevail can the perpetuity aspect be left open so that the situation may be reviewed in the wake of early experiences of the Field’s use for this purpose.
I seem to be waiting a long time for my comments to pass moderation.
We apologise if there are delays to moderation of comments. We do try to check regularly. We certainly appreciate comments to any of our posts on this website and thank the contributors to this page.
With regard to Circus Field it is within the Royal Borough of Greenwich so it is managed by the Greenwich Parks Department. However we understand that it is owned by the Crown.
We have updated this page today and will continue to update it when we have more to say.
Thank you again to those who have commented