UEFA Fanzone - Planning Application Objections
Ref. 19/3497/F – UEFA Fanzone, Greenwich Park
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Following discussion and agreement at our last public meeting on 25th November East Greenwich Residents Association (EGRA) has submitted the following objections to the proposal to enclose part of Greenwich Park next year in order to provide a Fanzone for a football competition.
EGRA members think that the loss of public open space for a private commercial event is a very bad idea and are worried that this may set a precedent for future activities in Greenwich Park, as in Hyde Park, Victoria Park and many other green spaces across London.
Security and anti-social behaviour
EGRA members are very puzzled by the Applicant's insistence on the need to sell alcohol at what they describe as a “family event”. There are six bars proposed. We would like to know what comparable space is being allocated to “family” facilities. We believe that an alcohol ban would be much more appropriate.
We are concerned that there is a provision for stopping attendees bringing in their own food and drink but no knife arches are proposed. The whole issue of security whether from football troublemakers or terrorism seems to have been taken very casually by the Applicant.
We believe that the children's playground will be unusable during matches. This is the only playground for over-5s in East Greenwich. There should be some temporary provision elsewhere in the Park.
The ticketing system proposed by the Applicant is opaque. We believe that 90% of the tickets will be distributed to tour operators as part of package deals. This means that monitoring known troublemakers will be difficult. The local/London distribution will primarily be used to fill empty spaces.
EGRA members are very worried about the ability of organisers to disperse crowds safely after matches.
We would like to know how the organisers will deal with racist abuse inside the Fanzone – unlike an actual football match there is no opportunity to stop the game while troublemakers are removed.
There is no seating in the enclosure and visitors will not be permitted to bring their own. This does not sound like a family, multi-age group event.
Transport and Traffic Problems
There does not appear to be a proper public transport plan, nor any acknowledgement that this event (unlike the Olympics) will take place during normal working and school time when trains and tube lines are already at capacity (or beyond).
Some surrounding areas do not have proper CPZ restrictions and this will need to be rectified.
The Fanzone coincides with other crowd-intensive events at the O2 and Magazine as well as with the On Blackheath and Greenwich Music Time festivals. This will complicate crowd management issues and has not been properly thought through.
Damage to Greenwich's Tourist Industry
The organisers’ plan to block the views of the television screens from the Wolfe statue and One Tree Hill by means of large hoardings will be very disruptive to normal tourists who want to photograph the iconic views.
The news that Greenwich is full of football fans could have a serious deterrent effect on regular visitors. If there is trouble it would be likely to harm the Greenwich brand for some time.
The Olympics had a very negative effect on local businesses. Crowd management through the Town Centre treads a fine line between security and blocking access to shops and restaurants.
The restoration of the whole lower swathe of the Park will take weeks, if not months, after the event has gone. This is the busiest and most accessible area and will be off-limits to visitors for the summer. We would like to see a plan for post-Fanzone visitor management to use other areas while the grass recovers.
The event will be powered by banks of diesel generators. The whole area already suffers from notably poor air quality and RBG have declared a Climate Emergency. The Fanzone makes a nonsense of any sensible attempts to promote change.
The presence of thousands of people, lighting and noise will have a serious impact on bird life and bats which roost in the surrounding area.
This kind of event is the opposite of sustainable. Destroying a large area of habitat, on the basis that it can be replaced, is completely out of keeping with current environmental thinking.