Park group objects to gay festival for environmental reasons
A park group accused of being homophobic for objecting to a gay festival have inisited its concerns are purely environmental.
Celebrities branded the Friends of Clapham Common as narrow minded and outdated, after it complained to Lambeth council that the Pride House due to be erected on the common during the Olympics "is highly likely to become a magnet for undesirable elements of that community".
Melanie Oxley, chairman of the group, said their objections are based on the environmental impact the festival would have on the common.
She said: "Our objections to the event are based on the huge environmental damage that would occur given a three week occupation of the event site, and the probable social disorder problems associated with an 18 day licence to serve alcohol.
"If the Pride House proposal was for a long weekend we would have no objections."
Pride House organisers plan to use the venue to promote the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community during the Olympics to create awareness of homophobia.
They intend to hold a programme of live music, films and other events at the venue.
It is estimated the event will raise £134,000 for the council, with £32,500 being reinvested into the common.
Earlier this week celebrities such as John Amaechi, Ben Cohen and councillor Christopher Wellbelove hit out at the groups comments in the Lambeth Council report.
David Robson, chairman of the Wandsworth Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) forum, said: "What do they mean by undesirable? It is an event for LGBT friends and family.
"When we won the games we were told they would be our games. It would be a crying shame if it never happens, if it is lost at the last hurdle."
A council spokesperson said a public consultation is going on before event organisers can be granted a license.
Chad Molleken, executive director of Pride House, said the group was working alongside Lambeth Council and the community to deliver a well managed, safe and successful event.