Plans for new investment at Roehampton Playing Fields
The council has unveiled new proposals to secure substantial investment in new community sports facilities at the Roehampton playing fields in Dover House Road.
The aim is to provide better facilities for the use of local schools, sports clubs and community groups.
What is being proposed
Under the proposed new management arrangements TFC Leisure Ltd would upgrade the pitches, playing facilities and changing rooms at the playing fields in return for a 30 year lease on the 12 acre site.
Subject to final legal agreements and obtaining planning permission, the company is planning to fund the construction of a new pavilion to accommodate six changing rooms with showers and toilets designed to meet Football Association/Sport England standards.
The new pavilion would also incorporate a café along with a children’s soft play area and seating.
The company would also pay for a new full-size 3G all-weather pitch to be installed with lighting and a designated spectator area.
This new playing surface would be available to local sports clubs throughout the year and into the evenings and could be used for five-a-side and seven a-side football matches as well as 11 versus 11. It would also be available for hockey and rugby training.
The company would also fund the resurfacing of the existing multi-use sports area to provide five tennis courts, four netball courts, a junior hockey training area, junior lacrosse training area, tag rugby, kwik, junior and senior cricket provision and a school PE lesson training area.
Under the terms of the proposed legal agreement (see the draft agreement for lease, draft lease and draft operations agreement), sports clubs that currently use the playing fields would have guaranteed access for their fixtures and training sessions. Throughout the entire duration of the lease they would also have the cost of their bookings cushioned by being pegged to the rates charged by the council for pitch bookings elsewhere in the borough.
The plan to invest more in the playing fields has been welcomed by the Putney Primary School Sports Association, who feel they would benefit from the change as they will be getting better all year round facilities at the same cost as before.
Benefits to the wider community
The agreement will also mean the company taking responsibility for the site's running costs including security and grounds maintenance, which currently costs local council tax payers £50,000 a year.
In addition to this cost saving the proposals would also generate an annual rental income for the town hall for the duration of the lease.
The council’s cabinet member for community services Cllr Jonathan Cook said the proposals represent a good deal for both local sports clubs and taxpayers.
He added: "Local community groups, sports clubs and schools will be able to enjoy much better playing facilities along with modernised changing rooms and all the existing users will have their rights and fees protected.
"In addition, a whole range of new sports would be available for the first time, while the introduction of an all-weather pitch means that people of all ages will be able to take part in team sports and health and fitness activities whatever the weather.”
TFC Leisure Ltd
TFC Leisure Limited operate three other grassroots sports sites in south west and west London. For the past 20 years it has managed a sport complex in Rocks Lane, Barnes, plus one at Chiswick Common from 2005 and also at Bishops Park in Fulham since 2011.
Find out more
The council has published two sets of frequently asked questions on the proposals. The initial set has been extended to include more information following a local drop in session for local residents and is designed to address some of the additional questions raised at that meeting, which was held on 13 November.
A full summary of the plans including details of the works proposed by TFC is available to inspect at the council’s customer centre main desk at Wandsworth Town Hall, Roehampton Library and the Pavilion at the Playing Fields.