Plan for 3G all-weather pitch in Falcon Park moves a step closer

Published: Wednesday 25th November 15

Councillors on the community services committee have given their backing to a new £1.3m all-weather pitch in Battersea’s Falcon Park to boost sports participation and leisure facilities for young people in the area.

The new 3G artificial grass pitch would replace four existing junior size grass pitches which are regularly deemed unplayable in the winter months because of waterlogging.

Replacing them with an all weather playing surface means young footballers and other sports clubs could use them for around 80 hours a week - compared to the ten hour limit recommended for grass pitches by the Football Association.

The new pitch, which will need planning permission, and would be sited in the south west corner of Falcon Park, would be mainly used for football but could also support other sports like rugby and possibly also cricket. The plans also include the construction of  a new changing pavilion to replace the existing one.

Improving access to sports in this part of the borough is a key public health priority for the council. 

Although Wandsworth as a whole is widely recognised as a borough with higher than average levels of participation in physical activities and sports, this corner of Battersea has low levels in comparison with the rest of the borough with only a third of residents engaging in regular physical activity.

Increasing sports provision here should not only help bridge this gap but also help tackle other health related priorities such as obesity.

According to the National Child Measurement programme this area of Battersea has a higher proportion of young people at both reception year and year 6 that are suffering increased levels of obesity when compared to the Wandsworth, London and England averages.

Increased participation in sport can also offer other young people other health benefits. They are less likely to smoke, misuse drugs and/or alcohol and less likely to be involved in anti-social behaviour.

The scheme has been designed to have the least impact on this valued and important green open space which is regularly used by dog walkers and for other leisure and amenity purposes.

The proposals would leave three quarters of the park almost completely untouched, apart from a series of environmental improvements at the northern end designed to make it more attractive, improve access and encourage greater use by local people.

The proposals were subject to public consultation in the autumn. Of those who took part 55 per cent supported the council’s plans compared to 41 per cent who were opposed.

Community services spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “If we want to encourage young people in this part of Battersea to engage in more healthy sporting activities then we really need to improve the facilities in Falcon Park.

“The existing pitches are no longer fit for purpose which is why the council has set aside £1.3m to provide a new all-weather playing surface which will be available for a wide variety of sports and leisure uses.

“We are of course mindful that Falcon Park is a popular open space, and is particularly well-used by local dog walkers. This is why we are looking to site the new pitch in the south west corner of the park so that dog owners and other visitors can continue to enjoy a large uninterrupted green space.”

These proposals will be subject to planning permission and any application will be required to go through the normal planning process

The council is also planning to build a brand new state-of-the-art leisure centre in this part of Battersea as part of its far reaching regeneration proposals for the York Road and Winstanley estates.

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Recent comments

This is outrageous as we are losing our valuable green spaces in Wandsworth which are there for the peace of the residents so they can escape the noise of London. They are knocking down a sports facility (no doubt to build flats) in York Road and now they plan to sell OUR park to a private concern to build a sports facility that youngster will have to pay a large fee to use. We must stop this! I will be petitioning in the coming weeks. This is the space of the resident and not councillors who think they can sell off our parks.
Rachel Kennedy

7 January 2016

A complete discrace the council has chose to ignore a local petition and conduct their own biast survey that got most of its support from outside the Borough because football mums do not want to drive too far ? Local residents and others use this park everyday for a variety of activities including football. The reason for child obesedy in the area is probably to do with the 11 take always and lack of free /affordable sporting facility's .This proposal had a planning application submitted in March before any survey or residents consulted and this shows the underhand and corrupt method the council will use not to mention the proposal and information provided to the public is very misleading and inacurate and are literally a pack of lies.
Philip kombos

21 December 2015

What is the reason why this Astroturf pitch can not be located West of the railway arches within the area adjacent to the existing school pitch and with far better access from Este Road? Connections to services would seem to be much easier also at this location. It goes without saying that the loss of this amenity of a tranquil green space will be a tragedy. Also if the location considered is meant to alleviate the loss of the sports centre in Hope Street is there not a good reason to locate this amenity in York gardens beside the Winstanley estate and near Falconbrook School and closer to Hope Street
Martin Branston

28 November 2015

Are they really expecting the pitch to be used for "80 hours a week"? Do they think people will actually use it for more than eleven hours each day? The last time I caught sight of a plan it was taking up a lot more than a third of the park. This is an amenity for local children which should NOT be subject to whether you have the money to pay for it. There are all sorts of playgrounds, pitches, courts and now putting available in Battersea Park, as long as it isn't blocked by electric Grand Prix.
Susanna

27 November 2015

This is regrettable. Its clear that the wishes of non-residents, who want someplace to play football, are being placed above the wishes of those who actually live nearby and use this park. Shame on Wandsworth Council! Shame for ignoring your own constituents.
Tara Westover

27 November 2015

This is our park - residents in the area - it is our green space, our flora and forna - we spend may happy hours in there - distressing from work and the day to day grind of city life. Please do not take it away from us.
Lo Winchurch

27 November 2015

Can you give us any guarantees that kids won't have to pay to have a kick-about in Falcon Park once the astroturf arrives. I see that the replacement playground for what was Battersea Park Adventure Playground is re-opening 10th December and charging between £18 and £33 a go. This is shameless selling off of OUR parks and will result in more youth crime, unhealthy kids and a big divide in Wandsworth between the haves and the have nots.
Lois Davis

26 November 2015

This is a disgrace. Par for the course for Wandsworths corrupt Councillor’s and their lies. I am baffled as to how people from outside our Borough even have a say on what happens to our local park let alone get the opportunity to vote for it. I would also urge you to take a long hard look at the plans you have drawn up and explain how this only takes up a quarter of our park! Take your 3G pitch to Wandsworth Common, a huge space that is regularly used for football by LOCAL school kids. People wouldn't even notice this development here due to the size of the area. No trees to chop down, no locals to upset, kids are happy, public transport connections would be better, the list is endless.
Richard Jones

25 November 2015

This is another duplicitous move by Cllr Cook & Co. The all weather pitch AstronTurf pitch is a pay to play facility and local families will not be able to afford it. The only people who can pay are the rich families from Kensington and Chelsea who are using the area now with Bedhead FC. Cllr Cook should stop trying to appear as a good Councillor helping local children. HE IS NOT ! As with Battersea Park and EE racing, he is taking our parks to give them to the highest bidders and to benefit visitors not residents. SHAME ON HIM AND WANDSWORTH BOROUGH COUNCIL He is a dodgy scoundrel !!
Mrs A Jackson

25 November 2015