Work begins on new 3G all-weather pitch in Battersea

Published: Friday 2nd November 18

Work is now underway to provide a new £2.1m all-weather pitch in Battersea’s Falcon Park which will boost sports participation and improve leisure facilities for the area’s young people.

The new 3G artificial grass pitch will 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 with floodlights means young footballers and other sports clubs will be able to use them for around 80 hours a week - compared to the ten hour limit recommended for grass pitches by the Football Association.

Where the pitch will be installed

The new pitch is being sited in the south west corner of Falcon Park. It will be used mainly for football but will also support other sports like rugby and cricket.

It will leave three quarters of the park almost completely untouched, apart from a series of landscape and environmental improvements at the northern end. The scheme has been designed to have the least impact on this important green open space which is regularly used by dog walkers and for other leisure and recreational purposes.

As part of the scheme a modern new changing pavilion is also being built to replace the obsolete and vacant existing one.

The need to provide good quality sports pitches in this part of Battersea has been identified in the council’s Playing Pitch Strategy and there have also been requests for better facilities from local sports clubs, including BedHead Junior Football Club, one of the most popular and best attended in the area.

BedHead FC and its charitable arm, The Guy Mascolo Football Charity, run many football coaching programmes in the local community and manage more than 25 youth teams. The club also offers free drop-in sessions and works closely with local schools and with the council’s youth service to deliver a Positive Lifestyles programme to young people in the area aged 14 to 16. The club also runs a girls’ development coaching centre and its women’s team has been competing since 2013.

Due to high demand from children and young people to play in their competitive teams, they also run a player development league where anyone can come along and be part of a team on a Saturday. BedHead FC is an FA Charter Standard Development and Community Club that has recently won county and regional awards.

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

Wandsworth’s environment spokesman Cllr Steffi Sutters said: “The start of work on this long-awaited and much-needed leisure improvement scheme is good news for everyone in this part of Battersea who wants to play football and other sports and stay fit and healthy. 

“It is a particularly welcome for young people. If we want children and teenagers in the area to be active and engage in healthy sporting activities then we need to improve local sports facilities.

“Falcon Park’s existing pitches are no longer fit for purpose which is why the we are providing an all-weather playing surface which will be available for a wide variety of sports and leisure uses.

“When we asked local people if they supported the plans a clear majority were in favour. One of the conclusions of the public consultation was the need to make sure that Falcon Park remained open and welcoming to other local groups, especially dog walkers which is why we have sited 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.”

The £2.1m cost of the scheme has been secured from The Football Foundation, which has provided £480,000 and The London Marathon Charitable Trust which has approved a £150,000 grant. The remaining £1.4m is coming from council budgets.

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 regeneration proposals for the York Road and Winstanley estates. 

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Recent comments If only people did more research into rubber crumb. Tyres are being crumbed so we don't have a tyre mountain but toxic chemicals (really nasty ones) from the petro chemical industry are added to natural rubber as softeners and you are happy for your children to play on this toxic waste? Please do your own research on line. Nigel Mcguire is a good name to put in alongside rubber crumb. Link above is to an article by Pitchcare.
Pauline Noble

16 November 2018

Could you confirm whether the pitch is going to be a full sized football pitch? I had been led to believe that the pitch has been restricted to a nine a side pitch therefore restricting the Bedheads Club use to only the much younger children.

5 November 2018

It seems that this Council will stop at very little to make money from its green spaces, depriving the rest of the community from the ability to take informal relaxation in Wandsworth's green spaces free of charge, which is just as important for health and mental well being as kicking a ball about. It it noticeable that no mention was made, of course, of the fact that people will have to pay to use this space, whereas before they could access it free of charge. When will people realise that this Council will not rest until they have privatised everything that we residents used to use for free?

3 November 2018

No doubt this facility will be sold off in time Another example of short term political gain for the Council and long term pain for the owners of this land i.e.the people of Wandsworth

2 November 2018

If you look at the grass area taken and the other areas compromised by this 'pay for play' facility as a proportion of the total usable grass area it is more like 50% subsumed into a pay only private area. Was this another one of your usual consultations where you failed to consult? Can we expect Cllr Sutters to continue in the footsteps of Cllr Cook to seek to privatise our public areas as more green space is lost. Wandsworth holds this space in Trust for the people of Wandsworth. You appear self-congratulatory and have no doubt worked out your return on your investment for permanently selling off this land by leasing it only for use by those paying for the privilege and who can afford the entrance fee.

2 November 2018