Planning application for a car wash at Winchmore Hill Cricket Ground

Help save the Paulin Sports Ground field – used by the 5th Southgate Scout Group

The 5th Southgate Scout Group (formerly known as the 163rd North London) celebrated its 100 year anniversary in March 2017. For more than sixty years the Scout Group have used the Scout Hut and Field, located at the edge of the Paulin Ground, aka Winchmore Hill Sports Club.

Jayne Poole, Group Scout Leader says:

Save Our Scout Field

I write as the Group Scout Leader for the 5th Southgate Scout Group who meet regularly at Winchmore Hill URC in Compton Road. The group also has access to a wonderful area of open space known locally as ‘The Scout Field’ which forms part of the land owned by The Paulin Trust and incorporates Winchmore Hill Sports Club. We have rented this land for 60+ years..

Recently, by way of disgruntled residents of Fords Grove (where the field is situated), it has come to our attention that a person/persons unknown to us have applied to Enfield Council Planning Department to change the use of the field to a hand car wash open 7 days a week from 8am to 7pm 7 days a week. The application is somewhat flawed as it states that the area is ‘vacant’ and previous use as vacant, which clearly it isn’t. The application states that there aren’t any protected species or tress on the site, again I would have to dispute this. I know there are tree preservation orders on the site and believe that a bat population may be sited there, apart from the large numbers of wildlife that inhabit the wooded area. There is no water supply or electric on the site, no mention is made of how this would be introduced. It states it does not need to dispose of trade effluent or waste, how can that be correct. Where are the staff amenities going to be located or serviced?

I and our group and members strongly object to this change of use. This open space affords our members which range from the age of 5 years to 14 years the opportunity to play games on the site and carry out badge work and being out in the open doing this also enables us to educate them about nature and the need to protect it. They learn to make fires and cook, skills that are transferred to our weekend and week camping expeditions. We have a very dedicated team of volunteers who give up their valuable time to devote to the wellbeing of these children. Our members would be unable to use the site due to various health and safety issues and of course safeguarding issues.

The field is also used for the benefit of the local community, we allow other Scout Groups and our local cadets to use this area for parade practice etc. We have a radio ham group that also use it. We hold an annual BBQ in the summer where the children and parents get together and have food, chat and play games, this is always well attended.

The field is also used annually for our Fireworks Display which is revered by the local community. We have circa 1300 people in attendance who come together to enjoy the fireworks, hot dogs and a small glass of mulled wine. This is our only fundraiser for the group with any monies raised going back into the group for the wellbeing and valuable youth work in the ward. Without this event to support us it would undoubtedly put us in serious financial difficulty.

It is not known where the Sports Club stand on this application, which is positioned right in the centre of the scout field, effectively rendering the whole site unusable. It is believed that there is a covenant on the site which precludes it from being used for commercial rather than community purposes.

Both the 5th Southgate Scouts and residents in Fords Grove are asking people to lodge an objection.

Possible grounds for objection:

  • The application shows it as a vacant site (which it isn’t).
  • Poor visibility for vehicles exiting from the site, near the hump bridge with poor visibility)
  • Loss of community space.
  • The 5th Southgate Scout Group urgently ask you to object to this planning application.