Action for Whitewebbs 2022

The Campaign to save Whitewebbs Park 2019 – 2022

Over the last three years we have written formal letters, mounted a petition, addressed the Council, demanded proper consultation, held protests, In return we have been ignored, our views dismissed and our pleas for any meaningful consultation have been disregarded.

A barristers’ legal opinion as to the lawfulness of the Council’s actions

We have obtained a legal opinion from barristers as to the lawfulness of the Council’s actions. This has been a joint effort by the CPRE ( ), Enfield RoadWatch ( ) , the Friends of Whitewebbs and a number of individuals. The barristers’ work was done on a “pro bono” basis, for which we are most grateful, but we had to raise a proportion of the costs to demonstrate our earnest intentions. An appeal to the “Friends” raised well over a £1000 in just three days. Extra financial and practical support was provided by Enfield RoadWatch. The CPRE has brought energy, a wealth of experience and legal expertise to the campaign

Support, moral and practical, for our campaign has been enormous. It was a major issue in the 2021 local elections, hundreds of emails have been written, and historical archives researched. Thanks to everyone who has contributed.

The barristers and the CPRE solicitor have checked and doublechecked documents. On Thursday 3rd November a formal letter to the Council stating the position. A copy of the letter is being sent to the bidder, Tottenham Hotspur.

The text of the press release and a link to the letter are below:

For immediate release

  • Alice Roberts at CPRE London
  • Sean Wilkinson Friends of Whitewebbs Park
  • Carol Fisk Enfield RoadWatch

Enfield Council’s plans to lease Whitewebbs Park to Tottenham Hotspur are unlawful, claim local campaigners

Local campaigners have today Thursday 3 November written to Enfield Council [1] stating they believe the leasing of over half of Whitewebbs Park to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to build a football academy is unlawful because the land is held for the public for recreation.[2] They have said they intend to enforce the rights of the public to make use of the land for recreation and will take legal action if necessary.

Local groups Enfield RoadWatch and the Friends of Whitewebbs, along with the London branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, [3] have set out in the letter why they believe the proposal to lease the land to Tottenham Hotspur will not stand up in court. They contend:

  1. It will not be for “recreational” or “public use” (under the 1967 Order).
  2. It will have demanding screening requirements excluding the vast majority of the community.
  3. It will significantly restrict public access to a large percentage of the park.
  4. It will be largely owned and run for the sole benefit of a commercial sports corporation.

Sean Wilkinson of the Friends of Whitewebbs Park said: “The proposed sports academy will primarily be run for the purposes of contributing to the commercial success of the club. It will no longer be a public park. It’s that simple. Covid has brought home to all of us how important our open spaces are for the mental and physical well-being of the whole community and Whitewebbs is a busy park every day of the week with people of all ages enjoying space and the natural environment.”

Alice Roberts of CPRE London said: “We are extremely concerned that we’re seeing threats to parks all over London so we are now helping local groups access legal support to ensure they have the best chance of saving London’s parks for generations to come. We are also supporting local campaigners fighting to save Wimbledon Park in Merton, West Ham Park in Newham and Greendale Park in Southwark, for example. It is hard to believe it is often left to local groups to fight these battles but this is unfortunately how it is.”



[1] Letters enclosed (See link below)
[2] We say in our letter to the Council:

  1. Whitewebbs Park is public trust land.
  2. Legislation states that the land is to be used as open space and for public recreational activities.
  3. The land and the recreational activities should be open to all. The only exceptions are for public safety and the land’s preservation.
  4. While reasonable charges can be made for recreational facilities, these should not be set so high that the public cannot afford them (the former public golf course was an example of this with its concessionary rates, twilight sessions and lack of membership requirements).
  5. People should not be barred from these recreational activities by selection procedures, tests demanding levels of skill, social status, or other discriminatory barriers.

    [3] Friends of Whitewebbs Park, Enfield RoadWatch, CPRE London

Letter to London Borough of Enfield

Legal costs
Barrister fees to date £2564
Funding appeal July 2022 £1060 This covered the initial opinion
ERW and private donations have covered the cost of subsequent opinions