Community initiative plan for Roehampton playing fields
Published: Friday 8th December 17
People living in West Putney are being given the chance to work on a community based solution for the running of the popular playing fields in Dover House Road.
At Wednesday evening’s council meeting Wandsworth’s deputy leader and cabinet member for community services Cllr Jonathan Cook announced that local residents would be given the chance to get involved in planned improvements at the playing fields.
He announced that the local community would now have an opportunity over the coming months to work through options on management proposals for the 12 acre site.
Cllr Cook said: “The overarching aim is to provide better facilities for local schools, sports clubs and community groups.
“The site is popular and well used but does need investment to upgrade its facilities. We recently published proposals that would have secured substantial improvements funded by a private sector partner in exchange for a fixed period lease on the land.
“Some local residents and community groups told us they were not happy with these proposals and asked us to consider alternative plans including letting the local community take over the day to day running of the playing fields.
“We have listened very carefully to what they’ve said and agree they should be given this opportunity. This means we will offer local people and groups the professional advice and help they need to provide the kind of high quality sports and training facilities that meet the needs of local schools and sports clubs in the years ahead.”
The current proposals for the site will now be paused pending the outcome of this community initiative.
These plans involve a local community based sports and leisure company upgrading the pitches, playing facilities and changing rooms in return for a 30 year lease.
The company, TFC Leisure Ltd are planning to build a replacement pavilion to accommodate six changing rooms with showers and toilets designed to meet Football Association/Sport England standards.
This new pavilion, which would replace the existing rundown changing room building, would also incorporate a café along with a children’s soft play area and seating.
Their proposals also include a new full-size 3G all-weather pitch to be installed with lighting and a designated spectator area. This would be available to local schools and 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 also plans to resurface and upgrade 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 with TFC Leisure, schools and sports clubs that currently use the playing fields would have guaranteed access for their fixtures, training sessions and PE lessons throughout the entire duration of the lease and would have the cost of their bookings pegged to the same rates charged by the council for bookings at other sites elsewhere in the borough.
TFC Leisure Limited operates 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.