The fight to save Wandsworth Common is back.

It comes after the proposed switch of the Crossrail 2 route from Tooting Broadway to Balham brought back the threat of a shaft on the green space.

Wandsworth Times:

In March, the protest group Save Wandsworth Common celebrated a “small victory” when Transport for London (TfL) agreed to move the shaft from the common in the Tooting Broadway configuration of Crossrail 2.

In new documents, the shaft reappears near Bolingbrooke Grove, to accommodate the station at Balham.

Ventilation shafts are used to move fresh air underground and remove stale air.

March 2015: Campaign victory sees Wandsworth Common Crossrail shafts removed from plans

A second group, Save Wandsworth Common Again, (SWCA) has attracted more than 1,000 signatures, with about 200 people attending an event on the common to rally support.

A spokesman for the group said: “We support Crossrail 2. However, we are strongly opposed to the creation of an enormous ventilation shaft and building site on Wandsworth Common.

“This space along Bolingbroke Grove is used by hundreds of people every day for sport, relaxation and as a travel route to schools, nurseries, shops and stations.

“The latest plans would lead to complete road chaos and pose a huge safety risk, in our opinion.

”Of course, we want and need better rail links for south-west London.

“We strongly support the case to route Crossrail 2 via Tooting Broadway, with the ventilation shaft being constructed and housed away from Wandsworth Common.

“We don’t want to forget that St George’s Hospital is a world-class hospital and new transport links to Tooting Broadway will benefit patients and staff as well as help regenerate the area.”

At a public meeting held in Wandsworth town hall, Michele Dix, managing director of Crossrail 2, told residents that no final decision had been made on the station’s location in Tooting Broadway or Balham, but that Balham was the “preferred option”.

Ms Dix also acknowledged that the team would work on providing another shaft location for the Balham route, which would avoid the common, if the strength of feeling was made known.

A TfL report said the Balham station moves the tunnel alignment to Clapham Junction in an easterly direction, so the tunnels will pass deep underground between the two stations, in the immediate area of the common.

The report said: “The vent’s shaft ‘head house’ – the structure over the top of the shaft – would remain permanently on the common.

“The typical surface area would be 25 metres by 25 metres and two storeys high.

“No playing field space will be permanently lost. Upon completion, the land will be handed back as public space; we will restore any such space when we are finished.”

The rest of the common will be open as normal during construction.

The spokesman for Save Wandsworth Common Again said: “What concerns us the most is the complete lack of information sent to many local residents and the confusing messages people are hearing.

“We are working tirelessly to inform people that live between the commons about the plans and what we are hearing back is that many people are simply not aware of what is being proposed, let alone the fact that they should make their voices heard on the TfL consultation website.

“We ask that TfL hold a drop-in event in Northcote Road as we think it is important that everyone is made aware of the latest proposals.”

Responses made to previous TfL consultations with Tooting Broadway as the preferred option will not be reconsidered.

To respond to the consultation, go to