The Friends of Battersea Park sent the following letter to Wandsworth Borough Council (WBC) on 24th September 2014, as an initial response to the Heritage Impact Analysis commissioned by WBC.
Formula E Motor Racing in Battersea Park: Heritage Impact Assessment
Thank you for sending me the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) dated 8 September.
It seems as thorough as possible, given numerous uncertainties such as over the length of the event, any evening entertainment and the quantity and nature the stalls to be housed in the ‘FE village’.
If the event goes ahead, we are extremely concerned that there should be no immediate or long term damage to the Park. Potential compaction of the ground, especially around the trees, is a major concern.
We would expect protective measures, such as the use of tracking when setting up TV screens, to be used to protect the grass. Clearly, it is impossible to predict the weather and the report perhaps underplays what could happen if the ground is very wet.
We strongly support the idea of restricting heavy vehicles to the Chelsea Gate. We do not want to see the Albert Gate damaged for a third time in quick succession.
We also prefer the option of using concrete blocks to the alternative of digging holes in the carriageways to support barriers.
We support the suggested mitigating measures, except that we doubt whether it is really necessary to fence off either Kennington’s War Memorial or Henry Moore’s Three Standing Figures. Hepworth’s Single Form is not listed and is not specifically mentioned in the HIA. We think that it should be listed, not least so that it receives the same detailed level of consideration. In this case, it is the most exposed of the three works, but we doubt that it would need special protection.
The HIA refers to closing the Park from 8 am on Friday 26 June until 6.30 am on Monday 29 June. We cannot see the justification for this. Testing the track could be done on Friday before 6.30 when the Park is normally open to the public. Installation of TV screens and media equipment could surely be achieved without shutting the whole Park to the public.
We would of course expect any undesirable changes to the Park, such as changes to Central Avenue, the widening of East Carriage Drive and resurfacing the boules area, to be reversed after the end of the contract. We would like to know more about arrangements for detailed monitoring of the Park in both the short and the long term. We would also like to know more about how remedial work discovered to be necessary after the end of the contract will be financed.
I am copying this letter to … (various WBC staff).