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2023-04-12 WPRA Day v Shropshire as Material Consideration for Planning (12 April 2023)

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2023-04-12 WPRA Day v Shropshire as Material Consideration for Planning: Please click here to see this further planning objection from the Wimbledon Park Residents’ Association in relation to AELTC application to develop Wimbledon Park Golf Course (Merton 21/P2900, Wandsworth 2021/3609).

Summary. Following the Supreme Court decision in Day v Shropshire, AELTG hold the golf course on trust for the people of Wimbledon and this application to develop it must be rejected.

1.1 The Supreme Court has confirmed that, because of a local authority’s failure to comply with the law
in a sale of public trust land, the trust continued so that the buyer owns it as trustee for the public.
This result was a material consideration in the determination of a planning application for that land,
so serious as to quash a planning permission.
1.2 The parallels between Day v Shropshire and Wimbledon Park are remarkable and clear. We have
therefore researched (and asked LBM about) the legal history of LBM’s acquisition and ownership
from 1965, and the circumstances of the 1993 sale to AELTG.
1.3 LBM acquired the Wimbledon Park Estate (which included the golf course) from the Wimbledon
Corporation in 1965. The whole Estate was then to be held by LBM as “public walks or pleasure
grounds” on the statutory trust under s164 Public Health Act 1875, for the people of Wimbledon.
Part of it could also continue to be used as a municipal golf course.
1.4 From our research, and enquiries of LBM, there is no evidence that due statutory process was
followed by LBM in the sale to AELTG in 1993. According to the decision in Day v Shropshire the
statutory trust, and the rights of the public protected by it, therefore continue. The golf course
remains subject to that trust in the hands of AELTG for the benefit of the people of Wimbledon. It
can be used only as public walks or pleasure grounds or a municipal golf course.
1.5 The proposals in this planning application are incompatible with the statutory trust, the rights of the
public and the authorised use, and, following Day v Shropshire, the planning decision-maker must
reject this application.
1.6 We respectfully suggest that, before any decision is taken regarding this land, there should be a full
investigation of the legal history and status of the Estate and its management by LBM and of LBM’s
exercise of their powers and duties over it, including the events of 1993, and perhaps earlier years.”

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