The future of the Tooting Triangle development will go to a public inquiry.

The decision to replace the 1960s artificial football pitch at the Tooting Triangle site with a “modern equivalent” is now in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate.

In May 2020 the council approved a proposal that the existing buildings at the triangle will be upgraded to offer changing rooms, new showers, a café, publicly available toilets and a children’s recreation and play area.

SEE MORE: Green light for Tooting Triangle redevelopment with 'improved facilities'

Wandsworth Times: Part of the refurbished building will be given over for use by The Balham Amateur Boxing ClubPart of the refurbished building will be given over for use by The Balham Amateur Boxing Club

A key part of the scheme would see part of the refurbished building given over for use by an amateur boxing club.

However, this was met by resistance from some members of the community, who highlighted that locals would have to pay to use the pitch.

A petition to ‘stop the commercialisation of Tooting Common’ gathered over 7,000 signatures after its creation last year.

SEE MORE: Council approves plans for controversial Tooting Triangle football pitch

Concerns included building onto a green space, a lack of access to the public, increased traffic and pollution in the area and damage to wildlife.

Wandsworth Times: Aerial view of existing Tooting Triangle sports pitchAerial view of existing Tooting Triangle sports pitch

The inquiry is expected to take place in autumn this year.

A tweet from @TootingTriangle, an account promoting the site's redevelopment welcomed the meeting.

The tweet stated: "It’s all been quite quiet as we waited for the Planning Inspectorate to make their decision.

"We are now going to a public inquiry, be great to put across our side and listen to some of the concerns from objectors that haven’t been answered already through this process."

The council’s community services spokesman Cllr Steffi Sutters said: “If the minister approves these plans it will be great news for schools, sports clubs, young people and parents in this part of Tooting.

“We have drawn up plans to refurbish and improve the facilities at the Triangle which can be achieved without losing a single blade of grass on the common. This scheme covers only land that has already been built upon – there is no loss whatsoever of any of the common’s green space.

“There will be no impact at all on the natural open spaces of Tooting Common which local people rely on so heavily for their leisure, recreation and mental well-being.

“Not only would the common be protected from any encroachment but the Triangle would get a new all-weather pitch, which would be available for local schools to use free of charge during school hours and the boxing club a new permanent home.

“Parents and carers would still be able to bring their very young children to the Triangle and continue to enjoy the supervised play facilities and socialise with other mums, dads and toddlers from the area in a safe and secure setting from morning to early evening seven days a week.

“The plans would also enable us to address the flooding issues that have plagued the Triangle site for many years and which have often meant its community facilities have often had to remain closed.

“A further benefit would be the introduction of public toilets that would be open to anyone visiting the common.”