– Rosa Curling, Lawyer for London Charity Softball League
Having asked the Royal Parks to reconsider their decision to introduce fees to access the Old Football Pitches to play sport, we are very pleased to get this result for our clients as we believe the Royal Parks should be open and free for all, supportive of the Government's commitment to an Olympic legacy.
We welcome the consultation but remain of the view that the Secretary of State does have the power to prohibit activities but that they do not have the power to charge and any future efforts to make a profit from the sporting activities in the park will result in further legal action.
So far more than 20,000 people have signed a petition calling for the fee in Hyde Park to be scrapped, arguing the site has been used free of charge for decades.
Vanessa Furey, of the London Charity Softball League, said: "My first response was simply, wow. We are all so proud to have stood up for what we believed in and couldn't have imagined that this unfair and unlawful decision could have been reversed so quickly."
- Royal Parks says the fees will be suspended until a final decision, which is expected by Christmas
- People who want to play organised sport at the Old Football Pitch in Hyde Park will not be charged during the review
- Royal Parks argues the fees are aimed at managing bookings more effectively to promote fair use of the area
The Royal Parks are temporarily suspending a controversial fee which would have forced charity softball players to pay to play in Hyde Park. The London Charity Softball League estimated it may have to pay £6,000 in charges and threatened to take legal action.
– Colin Buttery, Royal Parks
Although some consultation about the charging regime was undertaken prior to its introduction The Royal Parks has taken the decision to suspend the charges and undertake wider consultation before re-considering its decision.