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Saving Atkinson Morley's Hospital Green Space
 
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  THE CAMPAIGN
Behind the scenes campaign

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Local community groups have been actively campaigning about various issues connected with the Atkinson Morley's Hospital site since 1982. LUNG has been formed jointly by these groups to focus on protection of the 17 acres of open land and ensure that it remains a public green space for posterity.

What has happened since LUNG's first meeting?
At our initial public meeting in September 2002, we roughed out our plans as to what we wanted to achieve over the next 18 months.

One of our key challenges has been to raise local awareness of exactly what was being put in danger.  Many people in the locality knew of, and supported the retention of the MOL, but far fewer had real experience of its size, its diversity and its potential.  The second immediate challenge was to gather together a large group of volunteers who could work on the various aspects of the campaign that we needed to create.

As we are entering a significant new phase in the campaign, it is a good time to remind people of what has happened in the last nine months in order to achieve our objectives:
 

    Footpath campaign ongoing since Jul 2001
    Set up LUNG Sept/Oct 2002
    "Behind the scenes" campaigning ongoing since Sept 2002
    Family footpath walk Nov 2002
    Planning it for Real end Nov 2002
    Set up LUNG web-site Jan2003
    LUNG objects to NHS Trust's published proposals for the site ongoing since February 2003
    Formal meetings with St. George's NHS Trust ongoing since March 2003
    Set up Morley Park Trust Ltd Apr 2003
    Easter Event for children and families Apr 2003
    Victorian Fair Jun 2003
Business Plan for Morley Park Trust ongoing since February 2003
    Sweet chestnut trees ongoing since July 2003
    Revised planning application

December 2004 application

August 2005 amendments to December 2004 application

November 2004

December 2004

August 2005

   

Reviewing Our Successes and Learning for the Future:
Our key successes have centred around two areas.  Through an incredible amount of hard work from a small number of individuals we have run some very successful activities and events.  These events, whether they have had a fun focus or a serious intent, have all contributed to raising people’s awareness of the potential of the site as a community resource and have shown that the local community will support and participate in these large scale events.

So many people we have met during these events have said “I have known about the site for years, but never realised just how beautiful and large the area is.”  We have begun the process now of making sure that it is not Wimbledon’s best kept secret! 

The other key success is that we have explored a variety of ways in which we have been able to give the local community its voice as to what could happen on the site.  The numbers of people involved has steadily increased too, over the nine months.  At the Footpath Protest the numbers were calculated in tens.  By the Family Walk and the Planning for Real, they were calculated in the hundreds, and by the time we got to the Victorian Fair we were reckoning in thousands!
 

   

Way Forward:
We will be closely monitoring the Trust’s revised planning application and sale of the land to developers.  The major issues going forward are threefold:

  1. Getting the development scheme for the main Copse Hill site to conform to the expectations in the Merton Planning Brief

  2. Securing the MOL for the community in perpetuity

  3. Increasing further the awareness and support of the local community for the public use of the MOL site

These issues are by no means won yet.  We have done well to make sure that the whole thing wasn't decided years ago in favour of maximum built development on the whole site. But there is still the possibility of losing the fight at the last hurdle, if the MOL gets sold to a developer and that developer gets away with a high density, poor design for the development. 

If you think that what we are doing is important, we need you to do more than just agree with us.  We need people to put their energy where their thoughts are!  Get in touch, volunteer and see how you could help secure this important area for your children and grandchildren.

Please keep yourself informed about future plans for the site. There are many ways you can have your say and  GET INVOLVED!

Last updated:24-08-2005