It seems Camp Royale don’t, yet, have permission to set up a camp on Clapham Common. According to a Lambeth Council statement:

The Camp Royale event has not yet been approved, but has been granted an ‘in principle’ agreement for a family event with a campsite of 1806 tents and capacity of 4000 people.  This means that the council is satisfied that the event can be run safely within the council’s strict guidelines.

The next stage is to discuss the proposal with local residents and elected councillors before a final decision about whether the event can take place.
If agreed, the campsite would be managed totally separately from any event activity on the common. The entertainment will be accessible to all Lambeth families free of charge to enjoy this special day.  All the events we run on Clapham Common have restrictions on noise levels, health and safety and adhere to all the normal by-laws in force at the park.

I suspect they only refer to Lambeth residents and councillors so will have to watch closely for the formal consultation.

It does strike me as a little naughty that Camp Royale are talking of 10,000 places and taking cash from people just six weeks before the event without even hinting that it might not happen at all. If you are customer 4,001 (or even the first customer if it’s rejected) you aren’t going to have much time to make alternative arrangements, especially in that price range.

I was astounded last week when I first heard of the idea of letting 10,000 people camp on Clapham Common for the Royal Wedding. I was even more astounded yesterday when a BBC News article about the plan was published and then to discover that the organisers not only have a website, but are taking bookings – £75 for three nights, or £105 for camping and National Express travel.

The BBC article is slightly worrying:

Clapham Common could be turned into a campsite equipped for 10,000 people to celebrate the royal wedding.

Organisers are planning to turn the south London common into a campsite for three nights for revellers on a budget.

It is, possibly, a sign that I’m getting old and becoming something of a nimby, but I can’t say I’m overly keen on the idea of a new 10,000 place campsite on my doorstep (well, not really mine, I live in the north of the ward, but it’s definitely the ward’s doorstep). And maybe I’m reading too much into the word ‘revellers’, but I certainly recall the problems caused by badly managed events on the Common when I first became a councillor.

While event management on the Common has improved – in large part, I suspect, because the scale has reduced – I know many long-term residents in the south of the ward will hear of the plans with some trepidation.

It might only be three nights, and I have no problem whatsoever, with people coming to London to enjoy the Royal Wedding. I do have a problem with it when it could potentially cause huge disruption to residents who don’t seem to have been consulted at all!

Clapham Common, although partly in Wandsworth, is managed by Lambeth Council who would certainly be the ones to licence any event. I can’t say the BBC article filled me confidence when it revealed:

Lambeth Council could not confirm if a licence had been granted for the event but said if it did go ahead there would be strict rules on noise and litter.

If they don’t even know whether a licence has been granted it’s hard to see how they can enforce strict rules on noise and litter!

Enquiries within Wandsworth Council suggests that no-one there has heard of the event, possibly because no licence application has been made to Lambeth, or possibly because Lambeth did not consult us. We are, however, keen to find out whether our next door neighbours are planning on having 10,000 around for a three-night sleepover!