Whitewebbs Park 2024

Result of the Judicial Review – so far

Today, Friday 17th March, the judged ruled against us in the case opposing Enfield Council’s decision to dispose of 60% of Whitewebbs Park

The Judgement includes important decisions that adversely affect public open spaces in Enfield and potentially in the whole of London and beyond.

Although supporters will be disappointed with the Judge’s decision this is far too important an issue for us to abandon the case.

We will be asking for permission to appeal the judgement. Do not think for one moment that we are giving up on this vitally important case.

The full ruling can be downloaded here.

Response to the Spurs update

Spurs has distributed its latest update to their prposals. It makes interesting reading but it should be examined for what it leaves out or is vague about as well as what it says. The maps are much more interesting if enlarged.

5th January 2024

Friends of Whitewebbs Newsletter January 2024

Full details of the Judicial Review and fundraising arrangements

Survey of Park Users

December 8th – A summary of the survey results can be found here

While Spurs are conducting their PR event the Friends of Whitewebbs are asking park users to fill out a survey to show how they use the park and register their views on its future and how it should be managed. They need hard evidence to counter whatever the Spurs PR people produce as a result of their exhibitions.

Click the post box image to use the online form

Printable copies of the survey can be downloaded from here. There are two versions, one in Word format which can be filled in using most word processing programs. The other is in PDF format which most people will have to download and complete by hand.

Fill in the word format one and save it, then email it to [email protected] .
Download and print out the pdf version and fill it in by hand. Either scan / photograph the completed form and email to the same address or drop it off at one of the addresses on the form. There is a post box in the shelter beside the cafe in the park. There is also a box with a supply of ready printed survey forms in the shelter.

Please print off survey forms for your neighbours and friend and help Friends of Whitewebbs by returning them by the 14th November.

20th October 2023

The PR agency for THFC has distributed a flyer inviting residents to exhibitions at the Toby Carvery . It claims that this will be a consultation. The Chair of The Friends of Whitewebbs received this letter from Tottenham Hotspur. The FOWW committee wrote the response shown below the Tottenham letter:

FOWW response to the letter

Donna-Maria Cullen
Executive Director, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
By email [email protected]
18 October 2023

Dear Donna – Marie Cullen
In answer to your letter of the 27th September addressed to Sean Wilkinson and the Friends of Whitewebbs Park.
As Mr Wilkinson is currently engaged in legal action with both London Borough of Enfield and Tottenham Hotspur Ltd as an interested party I have been asked on behalf of the Committee and Friends of Whitewebbs Park to respond to your letter.
We wish to make the following points:

  1. We do not accept that the procurement process was thorough in that there was no meaningful consultation with the Friends of Whitewebbs, park users and other interested parties / stakeholders.
  2. The park is already a regional asset offering accessible open space for the residents of Enfield. It is land rich in biodiversity with a variety of natural landscapes for people to enjoy. The purpose of the park is for recreational use by residents and visitors, not by commercial concerns.
  3. To the best of our knowledge THL has no experience in providing and managing public open parkland .
  4. The original schedule provided by the Council indicated that THL would be engaging with park users shortly after the announcement of the successful bid, not after an agreement to lease.
  5. You will be aware that local opposition to the decision to dispose of the park has been very strong but you have made no meaningful attempts to engage with the users of the park.
  6. It is our belief that what you put forward as consultation is no more than a PR exercise. Neither exhibitions or webinars are vehicles for meaningful consultation. Your proposals are not acceptable.
  7. We would suggest that public meetings with an independent Chair in accessible locations and at accessible times would be a more productive, honest, transparent and open way of consulting with the people of Enfield. These meetings should be open to park users, to the Whitewebbs stakeholders as listed by LBE in their marketing updates and to organisations with an established interest in the protection of Whitewebbs Park such as Enfield RoadWatch, the Enfield Society, Friends of neighbouring parks and CPRE (London).
  8. We would also propose that you publish your draft proposals for the park, including the draft terms of the lease and the proposed management structure, including the habitat bank.
    Yours sincerely

Sandra Tyler
Secretary, Friends of Whitewebbs Park

Planning document

This document was posted on the Council’s Planning site:
“Former Whitewebbs Park Golf Course, Enfield
Request for an EIA Screening Opinion under the Town & Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (as amended) – Regulation 6”

Enfield Council has issued a report “Decision to Lease Land at Whitewebbs Park Golf Course” The contents of this report with some added notes in red (mine) can be found here.

This report should be read in conjunction with Annexe D from THFC which can be downloaded from here. https://governance.enfield.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=794&MId=14726 *I call your attention to pages 40 – 43 “what is a habitat bank” which appears to give THFC a much wider role in the financial and ecological management of the whole park, including the ancient woodland than was originally made public.
*This document was removed without explanation from the Council website and replaced by a colourful but short and relatively uninformative pamphlet.

Fund Raising for legal challenge to Council’s Whitewebbs proposal

Update – total pledged 10 p.m. Saturday 10th June £18,000
100% of the target
in just 15 days !

A huge thank you to all our supporters who have pledged funds for the first part of our legal challenge and to everyone who has helped spread the message.

We still have a long way to go but the next stage is with the Barristers. Please don’t expect instant results, the law just does not work that way and there is a lot of preparatory work to be done. There could be a longish delay (several weeks) between the application for permission for Judicial Review and the Judicial Review itself. We will announce a new fundraiser later in the year. This will be publicised here, in posters, newsletters and on Facebook. We will probably use Crowdjustice again as the vehicle for fundraising. It seems to have worked well and we have a better understanding of how to manage it. There will be no appeals for funding in the meantime.

The short message is that we believe that the Council’s proposal to dispose of 60% of Whitewebbs Park to THFC is unlawful. We need to raise £18,000 to get the process of Judicial Review started. If all supporters of our park chip in we can do it. Full details can be found by clicking the image below. At this stage we ask you to pledge an amount. It will be collected only when the initial target of £18,000 is met.

Click this image for more information

Click the image above for more information.
If you prefer to go directly to the crowdjustice.com site click this link

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-whitewebbs/ or use the QR code below

Download the latest edition of the Newsletter. It contains full details of the appeal and how to support it.

Maps of the lease area

The intention is to lease out control of about 60% of Whitewebbs Park. It is not just the North Eastern corner, or just the playable area of the golf course as some have suggested. The Council has published a map giving details of the lease area boundary, see enfield.gov.uk/publicnotices.
You might find the information below helpful with understanding some of the implications.

Emergency Newsletter December 2022

Dear Friends and Supporters of Whitewebbs

I am writing as a matter of urgency regarding Enfield Council’s proposal to enter into an agreement to lease 60% of Whitewebbs Park to Tottenham Hotspur Limited (or a wholly owned subsidiary of that company) (“THL”)    

I apologise in advance for the length of this email but there is a lot of information to pass on!

What’s the latest? To avoid legal action by Whitewebbs supporters Enfield Council has shamelessly rushed forward with its plan to lease Whitewebbs Park to THL and its multi-billion-dollar offshore owners.  https://www.enfield.gov.uk/consultations/land-to-the-south-of-whitewebbs-lane,-including-the-former-whitewebbs-park-golf-course-public-notice-of-proposed-disposal-of-open-space-land

Objections are invited by email, letter or by online form. These must be submitted to Enfield Council latest by 23.59hrs Sunday 15th January 2023 (also see “how do I object” below for more details)

Why is this being done and who benefits?

The people of Enfield will get nothing – the proposed rent is pathetically small.  The only beneficiary will be THL and its owners.

There are many problems with this proposal:

·       The plan, stated many times by the Council, was to wait for THL to submit its planning application for the park to the planning committee.  At that stage the public could make objections. Only after/if planning permission was granted would a lease be given.

·       The Council now wants to rush through the lease before we know what THL wants to do with it.  

·       A Council notice was posted on a toilet wall by the café in the park last week.  

·       The leasing process will be actioned over the Christmas and New Year holiday.  This is a shameless attempt by the Council to bypass its own procedures and use the holiday period to minimise public participation and the democratic process.


·       We do not have details of the proposed lease, only that it is for 25 years with an annual rent of £75,000.  A thoroughly misleading statement about a £500,000 “premium” has been issued – in reality this is five years rent paid in advance with nothing more to pay for 5 years with an additional one-off payment of £125,000.  A true premium is additional to rent.

·       We do not have full details of the bid, only a few selected elements.

·       Having avoided any meaningful consultation with park users and the community Enfield Council dumped its promise for the successful bidder to meet the public and answer questions.

·       “Once a preferred bidder has been chosen, the council will arrange for a public engagement day to take place. At this event, the preferred bidder will be available to share their proposals and answer questions about them. As part of any planning process, there will be the usual statutory consultation period where the local community will have the opportunity to comment.”  

Later amended to

“The preferred bidder(s) will be required to engage with the public once selected and bids must provide a comprehensive communication plan”

·       We were then told that objections could be made during the planning process.

·       We do not have details of the actual plans that THL has for the leased area. We have “indicative proposals” only and these have no legal weight nor detail.  Until THL has submitted its detailed planning application, sometime next year and had that approved/modified or rejected we will not know what its plans for the site are.

·       We, with the advice of barristers, believe the whole project to be unlawful but the Council is trying to ram it through regardless.

·       If the Lease or “Agreement to  Lease” goes through, objecting at the planning stage becomes even more difficult.  For months, possibly years the planning officers of Enfield Council have been going through confidential “pre-planning” processes with THL

Even though we are challenging the lawfulness of the whole marketing process, it is important that we do our utmost to oppose the granting of a lease or an “agreement to lease”. (Lawyers will understand the difference)

How do I object?

“Objections are invited by email, letter or by online form. These must be submitted by 23.59 Sunday 15th January 2023” see www.enfield.gov.uk/publicnotices for a copy of the official letter and a map of the area affected. 

Letters should be addressed to 
Strategic Property Services, London Borough of Enfield, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, London EN1 3XA
The closing date is 11:59pm on Sunday 15 January 2023”

What your email / letter could contain

I/we wish to object to the London Borough of Enfield intention to enter into an agreement to grant a lease of the Property for a term of 25 years to Tottenham Hotspur Ltd (THL) (or a wholly owned subsidiary of that company).

Possible reasons – feel free to use all or some of these but try to use your own words where possible. This is more effective than just copying a template. Please add any other objections you may have.

1.     It is the opinion of our legal advisors that the whole process of marketing Whitewebbs Park is unlawful. As yet the LBE has not responded to the letter of November 3rd from the CPRE, Enfield RoadWatch and the Friends of Whitewebbs.  I / we object to the granting of a lease as the Council has not demonstrated that it is lawful for this land to be leased to THL for the purposes indicated.

2.     Until a full account of what THL intends to do with the land I am /we are not able to support a lease being offered. In the absence of this information, I/ we object to the Council’s proposal.

3.     I/We have not seen a copy of the draft lease so we are being deprived of the opportunity to make an informed judgement.  I/ We, therefore, object to the Council’s intention

4.     THL has no experience of running a public open space. I/we object to the granting of a lease as THL is unqualified and has no experience in managing open space for the benefit of and free access to the general public.

5.     The Council and THL have failed to deliver general and specific commitments for the whole process:

a.     To undertake any meaningful consultation or engagement with the community of park users, both current and potential.

b.     As the successful bidder THL has made no effort in the past year to engage with the community despite this being a requirement for the successful bidder.

c.      The Council and THL abandoned this commitment made in 2019 
“Once a preferred bidder has been chosen, the council will arrange for a public engagement day to take place. At this event, the preferred bidder will be available to share their proposals and answer questions about them. As part of any planning process, there will be the usual statutory consultation period where the local community will have the opportunity to comment.” 
The excuse of COVID was used but restrictions were lifted 9 months ago, not long after the successful bidder was confirmed.
I / we object to the granting of a lease because the Council and THL have failed to deliver general and specific commitments for the whole process.

6.     The “indicative proposals” provided by THL are vague as to public access and facilities. E.g., will the parkland around the lake be permanently accessible by the public?

7.     THL will control all the main entrances to the park (including the Ancient Woodland) and the car parking.

a.     Will the lease permit THL to control access times for pedestrian users?

b.     Will there be adequate parking for all visitors at both ends of the park and will this continue to be free of charge?

c.      What facilities will be provided for public use by visitors – there is some confusion in the published information.

d.     How will the lease be enforced and who will be accountable for enforcing the terms of the lease? (Enfield has a poor record of lease enforcement)
I /we object to the granting of a lease as it does not guarantee full public access to the park

8.     Many of the proposed enhancements are already happening without input from THL.

a.     The golf course already has the appearance of 19th Century parkland.

b.     The golf course has already reverted to meadowland with a large variety of plants and grasses. Natural rewilding has resulted in the growth of hundreds of young trees.
I/we object to the granting of a lease as it does not require any real enhancement to what has already happened and what is progressing naturally.

9.     The bid criteria referred to the provision of a range of activities. The documentation we have seen makes reference to an elite training facility for women and girls’ football and to a turf academy. Unless THL is using unskilled and untrained labour to maintain its current facilities this academy must exist in some form already.  I / we object to the proposed lease as it does not require the provision or finance a “range of activities”

10.  There is no commitment by THL to fund any improvements to park facilities other than in the area of their lease. While they promise enhancement to statutory footpaths (rights of way), there are no rights of way in the proposed lease area. All enhancements outside the leased area are to be funded from the (very low) rental paid to the Council. I/we object to the granting of a lease as it does not maintain or enhance public space and access to that space.

11.  The money. The lease covers how much land is involved and the rent charged. The annual rent is set at £75,000 (with reviews).  A “Premium” of £500,000* is referred to, but this is not a premium.  It is 5 years rent in advance with nothing more to pay for 5 years.  The “Premium” element is £125,000 giving an average annual rental of £80,000.
This is a ludicrously low rental, more appropriate to farmland than to use by a major commercial sports corporation.  Was the question ever asked “What is the value of this land to THL?”  This figure represents a serious incapacity of the Council and its estates department to get best value for money from public assets and for the people of Enfield.  Big sport can afford big money when it wants things – look at what AELTC (Wimbledon Tennis) paid to buy up the remaining 20 years of a golf club lease -£63million pounds. I/we object to the lease proposal as it does not offer the best return on Enfield’s assets

12.  An alternative lease arrangement. THL has no interest in managing public open space. There was no requirement for them to bid for 60% of the park.  “Bidders were not required to include the entire park within their bids.” Enfield Council.
THL has already built a Women’s facility on its existing ground. It does not need the park, maybe just enough land to build 6 pitches linked to its existing facilities. This would leave most of the park as open space for public use and provide an income for the park that would cover the costs of park maintenance and improvements.  Unless THL has much greater ambitions than stated so far, this alternate lease would provide a much better arrangement for the people of Enfield.  I/we object to the lease proposal as it gives control of our public space to a commercial business with no interest in maintaining public access.

13.  Environmental and Climate – Astroturf pitches and plastic reinforced hybrid pitches will have a negative effect on the biodiversity of Enfield’s green belt.  Creating land suitable for pitches of this type will involve a massive amount of earth movement and landscape modification. Unless the lease severely restricts the amount of environmental damage and requires full reinstatement of the existing landscape at the end of the lease I / we cannot support this proposal. 

*The £500,000 “premium” bid in 2020 should be adjusted to approx. £582,575.25  toallow for inflation according to the Bank of England calculator.

Please add your own objections to the “agreement to lease” proposal.  If you are sending your objection by email to  [email protected] please add as a cc  [email protected]  [email protected]  , your ward councillors –  their email addresses can be found here https://governance.enfield.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=WARD&VW=LIST&PIC=0

Your M.P.  [email protected] (Southgate) 
 [email protected]  (Enfield North)
[email protected] (Edmonton)

Your GLA member  [email protected] 

Thank you and Seasons Greetings

Sean Wilkinson

Chair, Friends of Whitewebbs

Autumn Newsletter from the The Friends of Whitewebbs

A quick introduction

History, biodiversity and threats to our park

An enlightened Council purchased Whitewebbs for the people of Enfield in 1931 as open space. It consists of a large area of ancient woodland and an open parkland area formerly used as a public golf course. The golf course was closed in 2021 (more of that elsewhere) and has rapidly reverted to meadowland rich in animal and plant life. It is part of an arc of public space stretching from Forty Hall in the East to Hilly Fields to the South West. Together with these parks Whitewebbs offers a wide range of landscapes  and biodiversity with walks to suit all ages, interests and inclinations. Eighty species of birds have been identified – buzzards, red kites, kestrels, kingfishers, mistle thrushes, woodpeckers, nuthatches ……………….. 
The original 999 year lease protected this open space while allowing part of the land to be used for recreational sport. There was a cricket ground and the council allowed the creation of a public golf course to, temporarily, help with the costs of the park.

The park covers about 240 acres with a large area of ancient woodland – mostly Oak and Hornbeam with Holly and many other tree species. . The parkland associated with Whitewebbs House (now a Toby Carvery) was used for the golf course (104 acres). The more formal parkland in the North has a lake and the remains of formal Victorian gardens.

The park is rich in biodiversity with many species of trees, mixed grassland, wild flowers and 80 species of birds. Predators such as buzzards and hawks as well as ducks, geese, herons, egrets, cormorants, kingfishers, woodpeckers, nuthatches and many, many other smaller birds.

The park offers space to roam and has become increasingly popular during the pandemic.

This beautiful park is under threat.

Views of the Park

The golf course a year after it closed
Natural rewilding at work

Open space for the people of Enfield

The park was part of Enfield Chase – a hunting ground for royalty and the nobility. Commoners had various defined rights – grazing, coppicing, gathering wood. In the late 1700s and early 1800s much of the land was “enclosed” and sold to prosperous landowners.

This year there is every possibility the Enfield Council will return to “Enclosure” by selling off 3/5ths of the park to a private company ultimately owned by a multi billion dollar corporation in the Bahamas tax haven. Although claims that it is only a 25year lease the chances of the real owners, the people of Enfield, getting it back are practically zero.

Getting to the Park

There are free car parks in Beggars Hollow ( EN2 9JN) and in the North at the gate leading to the Toby Carvery (EN2 9HH). There is a small cafe and toilets in the Beggars Hollow car park.

The bus service 456 connects Enfield Town with Beggars Hollow. It runs half hourly (hourly on Sundays)

The overground stations Gordon Hill and Crews Hill are about 15 – 20 mins walk from the park.


The cafe serving light refreshments in the Beggars Hollow car park
The Toby Carvery at the northern end of the park
Pubs with food – Rose and Crown – south entrance, The King and Tinker- north entrance

There is a short but entertaining history of Whitewebbs on the Friends site – see the link below