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F A Q s
What is happening at Roehampton Playing Fields?
Wandsworth Borough Counce (WBC) has been attempting to bring in a suitable outside body to manage the playing fields for some years. It would like to reduce the current annual cost to the council of managing the playing field (understood to be around £50,000) and to find a partner with the capability of raising the large amount of capital investment needed to modernise the dilapidated facilities on the site.
After seeking expressions of interest for Roehampton Playing Fields for several years the Council received an expression of interest from Roehampton University which led to leasehold negotiations between WBC and Roehampton University with the intention of developing the site to include the construction of a new pavilion and artificial pitch that would provide an improved focus for football and other outdoor sports provision. In July 2010 the Council Executive recommended the authorisation of a 99 year lease to Roehampton University who would proceed, at their expense to improve the current facilities.
Under the arrangement the existing community use of the playing field would have continued with the council setting the pricing policy and the University remodelling and improving the playing fields at their own expense. Roehampton University subsequently withdrew their interest in the site that was re-advertised in 2014. A new Heads of Terms was then prepared by the council.
In November 2017 WBC announced that it was intending to grant a lease of 30 years to TFC leisure Ltd for the management and maintenance of the playing fields and the redevelopment of the existing sports pavilion and sports facilities. A consultation period was announced and that process revealed extensive local opposition to the proposals. Residents complained that the installation of floodlighting and intensive, noisy night time use extremely close to residents’ homes would be extremely intrusive whilst sports clubs using the site were concerned that the remaining grassed playing field area will be too small and inflexible to allow them to operate effectively. There was a widespread feeling that a more community based solution should be sought.
WBC recognised the level of concern among the community and agreed to put the grant of a lease on hold for six months (now extended to 9 months) to allow the local community to develop an alternative proposal. It undertook to provide professional help and support to enable the community to do this. This has prompted the formation of the Roehampton Playing Fields Community Trust. The Trust has been set up initially as a limited company but, if granted an opportunity to manage the playing fields, will seek to become a charitable trust or public interest company.
What are facilities at Roehampton Playing Fields?
The Roehampton Playing Fields sit between Putney and Roehampton. They are located in, and owned by, the London Borough of Wandsworth, (Freehold title No. TGL34299). The site occupies approximately 4.75 hectares (11.7 acres) and currently provides the local community and schools with facilities for sports including football, cricket, lacrosse, athletics, netball and tennis.
The fields comprise three full size football pitches, four junior football pitches, a cricket square and an area with five dual use tennis / netball courts. Lacrosse pitches are overlaid on the football pitches and an athletics track is painted on to the grass in the summer.
The site is currently used by a number of schools in the local community during the week, both in the private and state school sectors. At the weekends, it is used by independent football clubs and cricket clubs. The tennis facilities are little used and, save for limited school use, there is little participation in athletics or other sports on the site.
The pavilion and changing facilities are basic, in poor condition and are in need of renovation or, more probably, replacement. The perimeter of the site has secure fencing on all 4 sides. There is no provision for parking on the site and so coaches and cars using the site park in adjacent residential streets. Although the site adjoins a large car park belonging to NHS Property Services for Queen Mary Hospital no agreement has been made to allow those using RPF to park on the hospital car park site.
The immediate local area is home to a highly diverse community embracing a wide range of residential property in London and one of the largest public housing estates in the country. It lies within the Westmead Conservation Area and is close to the Dover House Conservation Area, London's first Council housing estate, created on garden city principles. Putney Heath and Richmond Park are also very close by.
How can I book any of the facilities?
The facilities can be booked via the current booking system operated by Quadrilla on behalf of Wandsworh Borough Council. This can be accessed directly on the 'idverde' website.
What is the trust raising money for?
Currently the trust is asking for commitments to donate funds if the trust achieves the contract to manage the playing fields. Following this the Trust will be raising funds via grant funding, corporate sponsorship and private donations to improve the facilities and rebuild or refurbish the existing pavilion.
Can I contribute to help the trust?
We welcome any offers of support and it would be very supportive of our bid if written pledges can be supplied.
Who should I contact if have any queries?
Please email any enquires to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will endeavour to get you a prompt reply.