Circus banned from Streatham Common over ‘extensive’ damage

·2-min read

A circus has been barred from performing at the last minute over “extensive damage” caused to a major south London common.

Zippos Circus had been due to perform shows from Wednesday for six days at Streatham Common, but Lambeth Council revoked permission over what it called “unacceptable” damage caused during set-up.

Pictures show deep tyre tracks in the grass, which the council said was caused by lack of “appropriate ground protection” after wet weather.

A Lambeth Council spokesperson said: “Instead of stopping and seeking guidance from the council on the best approach in the circumstances the operators continued their set-up work.

“This contributed to the significant damage caused to the important and much loved green space.”

Friends of Streatham Common, a voluntary group which runs events in the park, said the damage was “totally avoidable” and some of the worst it had ever seen.

“We support family events, but care is needed,” it said.

Zippos Circus said that the damage was in part due to wet weather and that it would pay the full costs for reinstatement.

“There is a 100% guarantee we will pay for the damage,” it said. “We publicly said we would as soon as we saw the problem. We placed signs up near the area to inform local residents.”

It said all of its planned shows until May 1 on the common were cancelled and that it was now forced to seek an alternative venue in a last-ditch attempt to be able to perform.

Ticket-holders are being given a refund.

One local, Rob Patterson, said there had been “lots of tears” in their household over the cancellation, as their seven-year-old daughter had planned to take friends to the circus for her birthday.

Another, Tyler Harrington, added online: “Not their fault we have had so much rain and in a few weeks the grass will recover. It’s affordable family entertainment and should be allowed to go ahead.”

It comes after Haringey Council banned Tough Mudder challenges in Finsbury Park after damage described as an “environmental disgrace” by Labour MP David Lammy.