July 2021 Letters sent to Leader of the Council regarding the THFC bid.

Emails sent in response to the Councils call for comments on the THFC bid

to Cllr Caliskan    Mark Bradbury  and copied to Cllrs Thorp, Lemonides and Yusuf

Dear Cllr Caliskan

The Tottenham bid for Whitewebbs Park

I have read the documents issued by Enfield Council (The marketing updates and press release among many others) and the document issued by THFC / ENIC, several times over and very carefully.

There are a lot of questions unanswered by the Council and  THFC/ENIC

1.       Why does Tottenham want so much of Whitewebbs Park?

2.       How does changing 40 acres of grassland into semi industrial plastic reinforced hybrid pitches contribute to the environmental diversity and a reduction in the climate emergency?

3.       How does the creation of a elite women’s and girls’ professional soccer facility contribute to wider  public access?

4.       A huge amount of earth  will have to be  bulldozed to create flat playing areas.  How much will be moved? Looking at the contours it could be 100,000 cubic metres or more.

5.       How much sand and gravel will be imported to the site  for pitch construction – 30,000 cu metres?

6.       How much plastic will be stitched into the earth to reinforce the pitches? SISgrass mentions 2600 20cm stitches per square metre for some of their pitches. That is an awful lot of plastic.  Some talk of it as only be 3, 5 or7 per cent of the pitch but 3 percent of 40 acres is a huge amount. See  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-tkBkJ89Uw for an impression of what is involved.

7.       Will THFC /ENIC be allowed to build the  huge earth barriers and fences in Whitewebbs that characterise the existing training ground?

8.       Which areas of Whitewebbs Park as it is currently constituted, Woodland and golf course, will the public be able to access on a daily basis once a lease has been signed ?

9.       The original 999 year lease specified public access for the whole park. Has this been changed? If so, when and who by?

We have to work from the information available.  Enfield had promised to show the bids to the Stakeholders but didn’t.  The THFC/ENIC document is little more than a PR piece with virtually no real information. As there is only one bid up for approval I cannot see that there is an issue of commercial confidentiality. The only possible reason is that one party or the other is ashamed of the content.

Some other points of concern

1. THFC/ENIC need about 40 acres for pitches and facilities, they are bidding for 140 acres (Everything except the woodland).

2. Nowhere is there an explicit guarantee of public access to the old golf course. (There are no rights of way). No mention of parking.

3. Subject to planning we might get a cafe and toilets.

4. All the main entrances to the park  will be controlled by THFC/ENIC.

5. 19th Century Parkland is not the same as a public park. It is a private  landscaped area for the benefit of the owners.

6. Looking at the map for the North End of the park. The bid includes all the land and gardens around Whitewebbs House (Toby Carvery) including the Lake and the North Lodge entrance.

7. When looked at  closely the map in the THFC/ENIC brochure and the lack of guarantees about access make it clear that the bid is for a private country estate with clearly marked  and controllable borders.

8. To my mind, on the evidence available,  the plan is to take over the carvery, with its long lease, turn it into a hotel / hospitality facility for visiting teams and run the whole park as the THFC/ENIC country estate. This would complement any plans for American Football facilities in the area as indicated on the Enfield plan proposals

9. From the THFC/ENIC perspective this would be a good business plan. They would get a large amount of land very cheaply that would give them room for expansion and a high degree of privacy. The people of Enfield will lose access to open space and beautiful recreational land.

10. Nearly 100 years ago the Council bought the estate for the people of Enfield. It looks as if our present council wants to sell off this land to a multi billion dollar corporation based in the Bahamas tax haven. THFC is  owned by ENIC. The distinction between leasing and buying is an  irrelevant smokescreen in this instance.

I have received copies of the many letters  sent to you and others in the authority which make convincing arguments against proceeding with this bid. An image of more signatures to the letter sent to you last is attached.

The whole process from beginning to end has been seriously flawed, the people of Enfield have been fed gross misrepresentations of the facts. Promises have not been kept and full information has not been made available.

I urge you to think again about this whole venture. Its implementation goes against so many of your publicly stated policies and will deprive generations to come of the opportunity to enjoy space, clean air and nature.

The stakeholders and community groups would be very happy to discuss ways that Whitewebbs can be managed and developed for the benefit of all.

Yours sincerely

Sean Wilkinson

Chair of the Friends of Whitewebbs Park

 A copy of the letter sent to Cllr Caliskan, signed by approx. 200 park users and Friends of Whitewebbs

The Friends and Users of Whitewebbs Park

24th July 2021

Dear Councillor Caliskan

We understand that you will be making a decision about proceeding with the bid for Whitewebbs Park shortly.

Under your leadership the Council has done everything possible to avoid full and proper consultation with the people of Enfield about whole of the marketing and bidding process.

Well informed and knowledgeable stakeholder groups have not been consulted despite promises from  yourself and senior officers that this would happen.

Grossly misleading statements have been made and despite formal protests these have not been corrected.

Following the early protests about your proposals and the period of lockdown thousands of Enfield citizens from all over the borough have discovered and explored this park, enjoying access to space, beauty, nature and peace in this unique setting.

The whole park was acquired by an enlightened council 90 years ago for the people of Enfield. Times change as do the leisure needs of people. What does not change is the need  for some open space where we can recharge our minds and bodies.

It is abundantly clear that the bid from THFC /ENIC has nothing to contribute to the general health and well being of the people, the biodiversity of landscape and natural life of the area. It will benefit a multi billion pound company  registered in the Bahamas and provide for the needs of a narrow select group. All the evidence points to THFC/ENIC wanting to create a large private  country-house estate and semi industrialised training ground. This is a reversion to the enclosure movement of old, where the rich and powerful  deprived the common people of their few rights and privileges.

We urge you to consider what you are doing. We are all totally opposed to this bid and urge you to reject it.

Consult properly with the stakeholders, a group that contains a wide range of experience and expertise. With them create a park for the community that will be a lasting legacy of your administration for the mental, physical, social and natural health of Enfield. There are sensible business models that will provide financial support for the running of the park and community stakeholders would welcome the opportunity to explore these with you.

As the financial pressure of a “loss making” golf course has been removed there is no requirement to pursue this bid. There is time to think, consult with the community and rethink.

Yours sincerely

Response sent to Mark Bradbury following receipt of his email concerning the THFC bid

to Mark Bradbury

Dear Mark

Thank you for your email. The simplest thing would be for you to show stakeholders, including the Friends of Whitewebbs, a copy of the bid. 

27th Feb 2021 from Mark Bradbury

As you are aware 6 bids were received of which 1 was subsequently withdrawn. The process has therefore effectively shortlisted the proposals to 5 for us, we do not consider there is a need to shortlist further. As stated above the project has been on hold since March 2020 and we will engage with members and stakeholders sharing details of all 5 of the bids before selecting a preferred partner.

I cannot accept that the very limited information in the Council statements and the carefully worded bit of PR from THFC/ENIC amounts to “details”.

Our judgements and comments are, therefore, based on the very limited information you and THFC/ENIC supply.

The document from THFC/ENIC  is carefully crafted to combine certain specific information with vagueness.


The map in this section shows that the bid is for the entire golf course and some additional areas. All the land East of a line from the North Lodge entrance right down to where Beggars Hollow  connects with Clay Hill is included.

The whole width of the roadway/path from the North Lodge Gate to the back of Whitewebbs House is included. The pathway from this road to Beggars Hollow car park is not included and remains the responsibility of Enfield Council.

THFC/ENIC will control all the entrances to the golf course and the parkland including the Lake and the more formal garden areas surrounding it. It will also control all car parks. The only entrances to the woodlands under council control will be small gateways on Whitewebbs Lane and Flash Lane.


There is no commitment   to allowing public access to any part of the leased area save the cafe and the toilets. The document refers to the restoration of  19th Century parkland but this is not to be confused with  municipal or public parks. Lords of the Manor own parkland associated with country houses as do many private companies and landowners. 19th Century parkland is private with handsome trees, hunting and grazing cattle,  not accessible to the public. I make an exception for the National Trust but that is not what we are talking about.

There are, as you well know, no statutory rights of way within the golf course though many of us have wandered over and around the course for many years during quiet periods.The roadway through the course may be a right of way but that is not clear.

The THFC/ENIC  commitment to investing in statutory footpaths is, therefore, meaningless. The Public access map does show an intention to upgrade the bridleway to the north of the leased area but I suspect this is more to do with security than public access. The map is incomplete as regards footpaths in the woodland area.

The Council’s marketing criteria says:

“If a lease was agreed which included the woodland, this would only have been considered if the use was appropriate, enhanced public access, and ensured the maintenance of the woodland and public rights of way and bridleways.”

The proposed lease does not include the woodland. There is, therefore, no requirement for THFC/ENIC to enhance footpaths in the woodland  and they make no specific promise to do so.


There is the promise to, subject to planning, “redevelop the Southern Clubhouse and cafe to provide significantly improved food, beverage and toilet facilities.” There is no mention of additional facilities – rest areas, seating, picnic spots, play areas, community function rooms, school facilities. Just cafe and toilets and a few signs. 

Other points raised by park users.

The bid information from THFC/ENIC indicates that it plans to take over the whole of the leased area for its own purposes. No doubt the Toby Carvery with its long outstanding lease will be incorporated as a hotel or facility for visiting teams and secure fencing, security guards and earth barriers will exclude all but the select few from the leased area.

These statements appear in the marketing material:

The council’s aim of leasing Whitewebbs Park Golf Course is for the park to be rejuvenated and to be used in a way that benefits the wider local community.

 A more inclusive range of activities – the acceptable proposed use must be outdoor leisure or sport led. Proposals with no element of outdoor leisure use will not be considered.

Please explain how an elite training centre for girls and women’s football represents a more inclusive range of activities.

The much vaunted sports turf academy looks like a possible rebranding of what is currently offered at Capel Manor College.

How many fte permanent jobs will be created?

How will the creation of 40 acres of plastic reinforced football pitches and the associated earth movement (100,000 + cubic metres) benefit biodiversity and the climate emergency?

What is the £200,000 a year saved by closing the golf course being used for?

What is a Habitat Bank and how will this benefit Whitewebbs Woods?

For want of any further information this bid looks like THFC/ENIC getting everything it wants. The people of Enfield lose 140 acres of open space, bought for them nearly 100 years ago which they have discovered and enjoyed. In return they get the possibility (subject to planning) of a better cafe, toilets and some signposts. Whoever did this deal needs to reveal all the details or think again.

As you can see, there are many unanswered questions arising from this bid. Without answers to these and many other questions it would be irresponsible to accept this bid and, I believe, a dereliction of duty to the people of Enfield.The Council is the custodian of this land not  an agent for multi billion dollar tax haven corporations.

If you can supply full and detailed answers to the questions and points raised I will pass them on to the Friends of Whitewebbs and the wider Whitewebbs community.

Best wishes


From Mark Bradbury

On Mon, 12 Jul 2021 at 09:51, Mark Bradbury <Mark.Bradbury@enfield.gov.uk> wrote:


As set out in my email the Council is only in a position to decide either to proceed with the Tottenham Hotspur proposal or not to.

Other bidders have therefore been informed that the Council will not be pursuing their interest. We do not therefore intend to share their bids on the grounds of commercial confidentiality.

The information on the Tottenham Hotspur website and the Councils website represents a summary of the Tottenham Hotspur Proposal. What further details do you require at this stage. Much of the design detail will follow through public consultation and discussion with the planning department through the planning process. As advised the Council will not enter into a lease unless and until planning consent is granted.

Thank you


Mark Bradbury MRICS, FRSA, FIoEE (he/him)

Director of Property and Economy

Enfield Council

Silver Street



Correspondence with Feryal Clark M.P. July 2021

Response – scroll down for Feryal Clark letter

Dear Feryal Clark
Thank you for your email. I have attached a letter with a detailed response. You are, I know, very busy so I will attempt to summarise the main points below.
The Friends of Whitewebbs Park have read the Council documents and the brochure put out by THFC which is  wholly owned by ENIC, a multi billion pound company registered in the tax haven of the Bahamas.
1. The Council’s marketing update contains the barest minimal information about the competing bids.
2. Information about the THFC/ENIC bid has been provided in a carefully worded brochure which is little more than a PR release.
3. I requested a copy of the bids from Mark Bradbury who appears to have ignored the request. You will recall that stakeholders were promised sight of the bids.
4. The Leader of the Council and her  senior officers have clearly ignored your pleas for proper community/ stakeholder consultation. 
Public Access
1. THFC/ENIC is proposing to lease the whole of Whitewebbs Park including the main points of entry and the carparks. Only the woodland and a rapidly rewilding meadow will remain with the Council.
2. THFC/ENIC will effectively control access to the park and the woodland.
3. It is far from clear as to why THFC/ENIC require this large holding. Public parks are not their area of expertise or experience.
4. While THFC/ENIC  say that they will upgrade statutory paths and bridleways there are no statutory footpaths in their proposed leaseholding. They do indicate a plan to improve the bridleway along the northern edge of their holding but this, I believe, is more to do with their site security than enhancing access.
5. There is no requirement to enhance footpaths in the woodland and no indication that they plan to do so.
6. There is no clear or specific indication that public access will be allowed to the golf course. The wording is very carefully chosen.
1. The Council document refers to a “new cafe, toilets and other facilities” THFC/ENIC refer only to  cafe and toilets. There is no mention of community facilities, merely “opportunities for” with no suggestion of support.
Investment in Biodiversity and restoring the landscape
1. THFC/ENIC are going to cover  about 40 acres of land with plastic reinforced turf and facilities. They will shift  vast quantities of earth to level the ground – maybe 100,000 cubic metres or more but they will plant a few flowerbeds.
2. They talk of restoring the rest  of the course to 19th Century parkland. Apart from the rapidly disappearing bunkers and greens, that is what it is. “Parkland” is not the same as  public parks.  Parkland was the preserve of private landowners. Most of this parkland in the 19th Century was used for grazing. I note that one of the bids wanted to use the land for cattle grazing. 
3. The golf course is improved grassland – turning it into wild flower meadows is a major task which will take 5 years or more and involve a lot of work and expense. It is not just a matter of  failing to cut the grass.
4. This section has no definitions and many let out clauses.
5. There is reference to “Habitat Banks”. These sound good and worthy but my research suggests that they are a commercial device by which Councils and Developers offset environmental  loss in one area with planting elsewhere in the country.
Open space and privacy
1. There is no guarantee that  people will have access to the golf course.
2. THFC/ENIC is very protective of its privacy – see the security precautions at the current training ground. Security guards, high fences and 3 metre high earth barriers. We can expect similar measures in Whitewebbs. 
3. There is a legitimate question to ask about why THFC/ENIC wants control over the whole park (except the woodlands). Security, privacy, future expansion?
The Community
1. The private estate “Parkland” was bought for the people of Enfield  nearly 100 years ago. At the time golf was very popular. The park is now available for other recreational use which will benefit our mental and physical health. The Council are custodians of the park not wheeler dealer property tycoons..
2. There is no provision for “rejuvenation” of the park.
3. “A more inclusive range of activities”. We have lost 85,000 hours of physical activity enjoyed by men and women of all ages and incomes (golf). This is being replaced by a facility for a very narrow section of the population serving the commercial interests of a multi billion dollar corporation based in a tax haven. The THFC/ENIC scheme is not born of altruism, it is a straight commercial investment.
4. The Community might get a slightly better cafe, maybe some signposts and loss of access to land they own. (We did walk the golf course for many years – round the edges and during quieter periods).
Employment and Training
1. There might be a  few jobs but not many. Currently  Tottenham is advertising on the Grounds Management Association website  for people with level 2 turf management qualifications for casual / as required jobs.
2. Training and a Turf Academy – Capel Manor runs sports turf management schemes for apprentices. Tottenham is associated with this already.

In summary this is a scheme tailor made for the commercial requirements and convenience of a multi billion dollar corporation. Expect the initial scheme to be expanded – training grounds for American football, hotel facilities, housing for staff, acres of tarmac for cars.
The community will lose a beautiful park, the Council by its own figures has saved £200,000 a year by closing the golf course. There are no guarantees of access, no real provision for enhanced facilities and the climate emergency will be met by building 40 acres of plastic reinforced monocultural football pitches. (Look up hybrid pitches on YouTube) “There can be around 20 million of individual polyethylene fibres in a standard football pitch.”  Daily Telegraph report.
I cannot agree with your  interpretation of the Council and THFC/ENIC documents and urge that you look at them again before it is too late. Were the Council proud of what they are doing I am sure that they would have engaged in full consultation. Despite your urgings , this they have failed to do.
The 25 year lease is irrelevant – with the money that THFC/ENIC is spending this land will be lost forever.
Yours sincerely
Sean Wilkinson
Friends of Whitewebbs Park
Attached documents

1. Full letter

Feryal Clark’s letter. This, in various forms, has been sent to others
On Mon, 5 Jul 2021 at 12:37, Feryal Clark MP <feryal.clark.mp@parliament.uk> wrote:

Dear Sean Wilkinson

I hope this finds you well.

I am writing to you on the back of Enfield Council’s press release on the future of Whitewebbs: https://new.enfield.gov.uk/news-and-events/enfield-council-considering-proposals-for-investme/ which I hope you have had the opportunity to read.

Enfield Council has announced that it is considering the proposals submitted by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (THFC) as the highest scoring bidder.

As you are aware, I called on Enfield Council to halt any decision on the future of Whitewebbs until the local stakeholders have had an opportunity to review the bidders, and I am pleased to see that my suggestion has been followed.

Whilst Enfield Council has shared details of all the bids and specifically that which has been scored highest, I have been assured that no decision will be made on the future of Whitewebbs before mid-July. This will give the public time to ask questions and share their views on the proposals.

Due to the Council’s Property Procedure Rules, the Council can only decide whether to proceed with the highest scoring bid or not to proceed with any of the bids. Therefore, I would suggest that you view the proposals put forward by the top bidder on their website here: https://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/media/39082/whitewebbs.pdf and share your views or raise any questions you may have via the contact details you can find on the last page of the PDF.

As you will also know, I made it very clear to Enfield Council and to my constituents that I personally have concerns regarding public access, the woodlands and the protection and enhancement of biodiversity of this existing green space.

I am, therefore, very pleased to hear that the restoration of parklands and wild meadows, the reinstatement of 19th century parkland with a new café, toilets and other facilities, and the investment in improving biodiversity and improving paths for walking, cycling and horse riding are at the forefront of the proposals being put forward by Enfield Council for Whitewebbs.

These proposals, which would protect this existing green space at Whitewebbs that is valuable to many of us in Enfield, have alleviated my concerns and reassured me that the Council are keen to enhance public access, protect the woodlands, and enhance the biodiversity at Whitewebbs.

I also welcome proposals from Enfield Council to invest an extra £100,000 a year into grassroot sport for young people across the borough and I believe this could create many opportunities for our young people in Enfield.

As the proposals put forward by THFC are subject to planning permission, I am looking forward to seeing THFC engage with the local community during the planning process, should Enfield proceed with the proposals, and I would want you to engage in the consultation process to ensure your thoughts, concerns, and comments are heard.

Yours sincerely,
Feryal Clark
Member of Parliament for Enfield North 

Westminster Office
House of Commons

Tel: 0207 219 6607

Website: https://www.feryalclark.co.uk/