Labour councillor slams ‘mad’ FIA Formula E London ePrix Championship plans for Battersea Park race track

Proposals to turn Battersea Park into a race track have evoked ‘Fast and Furious’ reactions from a Labour councillor on Twitter.

The 12mph grounds of the Grade II-listed park are the desired venue for the FIA Formula E London ePrix Championship race in June 2015.

Wandsworth Council are discussing Formula E Holding’s proposal to stage the event at their meeting on October 6.

A previous proposal to hold the event in September 2014 was rejected.

However, a council spokesman stated that this proposal has been approved ‘in principal’ subject to the views of the Heritage Lottery Fund and planning permission.

Simon Hogg, Labour councillor for Lathmere Ward, Wandsworth, tweeted: “Wow. I thought it was a prank.”

The councillor then posted an image of the proposed race track, calling it ‘madness’.

Mr Hogg said: “The proposal to hold the Formula E race will spoil the enjoyment of Battersea Park for local people for much of next June.”

He added that the extra tarmac and safety barriers required will threaten the character of the park.

The event is expected to attract around 40,000 visitors.

Such crowds in Battersea Park could result in the grounds being left in a similar state to Clapham Common’s ‘quagmire’ following the SW4 music festival last month.

Battersea Park 2 SWL

Mr Hogg also voiced concern about the suitability of the park after a spectacular crash tarnished the first race of the Formula E championship in Beijing.

Drivers Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld were involved in a nasty collision which saw Heidfeld catapult into the air and career over the kerb into the wall.

Mr Hogg said: “I’m a Motorsport fan but this is the wrong place for a racetrack.”

Such a crash in Battersea Park could cause serious damage to ancient trees, landscaped flower beds and  historic monuments.

Concerns have also been raised by residents about the noise and congestion the event would bring to the area.

“The park was made for people and ducks, not cars.”

Battersea resident Tara Powell, 68, said that the park is for peace and quiet, not hustle and bustle.

She said: “It would be absolute chaos.”

Clapham resident Simon Thompson, 25, said: “It’s all well and good having an eco-friendly race but if it damages the environment then it negates the point.”

He added: “The park was made for people and ducks, not cars.

Related Articles