All weather pitch in Norwood Park

Cllr Pickard on the tarmac pitch

Cllr Pickard on the tarmac pitch

The council and the Football Foundation have plans to jointly invest over £350k in Norwood Park – by updating the tarmac pitch  by Elder Rd SE27 9ND.   The pitch will be astroturfed for all weather football as one 9-aside, two 7 aside or three 5-aside pitches and have new floodlighting so it can be used 8am  to 10pm. There will be a locked container at the side of the pitch for equipment.

A planning application has  just been submitted (ref  16/01130) for formal consultation.  To see the details and comments  go on-line :  http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-applications/search-planning-applications.

Management of the pitch will pass to Norwood School who need the extra pitches for their pupils during the school day . Community sports clubs will book the pitches for weekends and evenings.  There will some time slots for commercial lettings . This means the pitch will have enough income to  cover the costs of  maintaining the pitch & facilities in good condition. The pitch changing rooms & toilets will be in the school.

This pitch is  the only sizeable level space in Norwood Park and local councillors want to see some free community access to for local people . The plan is for  community use on weekdays 8am to 9am and 5pm to 6pm. A group of local people & pitch users will be set up to help manage the lettings  with the school.

There has been consultation with Friends of Norwood Park, community groups and future users of the pitch . See our earlier posts:  27/5/15 and 4/10/15

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4 Comments

Filed under Community / voluntary, Environment, Health, Lambeth Council, Leisure, Parks, Planning, Schools, West Norwood, Youth

4 responses to “All weather pitch in Norwood Park

  1. Aidan Hardy

    Can someone please explain to me how use of the pitch until 10pm, seven days a week benefits the local residents? There is a similar facility in Kennington Park that is well away from houses that closes at 6pm (according to a Lambeth website). Couldn’t the hours be extended there to give Norwood residents some respite. The fact that Norwood School needs the pitches isn’t surprising given the amount of development that they have been allowed. Can I build on my garden and take over some of the park to compensate? Is it one rule for them and another for us? And don’t get me started on the suggestion that all of the users will arrive by green or public transport. That is naive at best! Finally, there is reference above to earlier posts, these being notices about public meetings, both of which I attended. The feeling at both was that the development was not required. When will Lambeth listen to the locals, rather than chasing every penny and to hell with the consequences.

  2. Aidan Hardy

    I thought that Norwood Park was in the Gypsy Hill ward, and not Knight’s Hill, so why the interest from the Knight’s Hill councillors? Where are the Gypsy Hill councillors on this matter? I note that there is no reference to the planning submission on their website.

  3. This ‘development’ is a significant change in how the space is used and cannot be allowed to go ahead. The area is very residential and no consideration has been made regarding the impact of extended hours, impact of lighting due to the extended hours, impact to traffic flow on an already congested road, proper practical toilet facilities, proper practical parking facilities, additional noise due to spectators. It’s almost as if someone has put this plan together to be as disruptive as possible to the people who live nearby the site. If there’s money to spend the space should be maintained as is so that all the varied groups and local residents who use the space, can continue to enjoy it, not build a mini stadium in the middle of dwellings.

  4. Martin Jones

    itially pleased last year to hear that the facilities were going to be improved and developed. However, after initial consultation with local residents, it seems that the suggestions and desires of local residents have been largely ignored.

    I am angered to discover that local park users will only been able to use the facility on weekdays 8am to 9am and 5pm to 6pm. Whilst I am happy for the Norwood School to use the facilities during the school day, as it does at the moment, the idea of preventing the local community from using the space, apart from 10 hours a week, is a disgrace, and completely in opposition to the idea that improving the facility will improve the health of the local population. At the moment the football courts are used by a range of users, including joggers, bike riders and personal trainers, as well as people playing football. These users are from all ages and backgrounds, male and female. The new management would put a stop to this usage, effectively removing the local community’s ability to use the facilities unless they wanted to pay to play an organised football match.

    In addition, the ‘upgrade’ will still not provide adequate facilities for those who do wish to hire the space. There are no plans for changing facilities on site, or toilets – nor indeed any consideration of providing adequate parking. These factors are likely to dissuade casual teams and leagues from hiring the facilities, as better are available in the local area, for example at Brixton or Tooting. I play and organise football regularly and have also worked in the outdoor leisure sector in the past: in my considered view it is unthinkable that a single use facility, remote from public transport, with no car parking provision and no facilities for players to change, shower or go to the toilet will be a marketable proposition. In addition, the lack of on-site toilets will obviously do nothing to address existing problems with public urination by some users of the pitch, especially as the current toilets in Norwood Park are speculated for closure. Equally, the absence of any provision for an on-site management presence is virtually unheard of for a facility of this nature – illegitimate and antisocial use of the pitch will be an inevitable consequence. As a result, I am concerned that the space could become a white elephant: neither hired out by private users due to its continued inadequacy, and longer accessible to informal use by the local community outside working hours.

    A further objection is a concern regarding light and noise pollution, as the space is planned to be hired until 10pm each night. As my house backs onto the football pitch, I was concerned when looking at the plans that there would be ‘spillage’ from the artificial lighting system into my back garden if the pitch is hired out in the evenings. In regards to concerns about noise levels, as I have three young children, it will be difficult especially in the summer months to stop them being disturbed when sleeping in the early evening, and to prevent them from hearing football pitch banter being shouted out.

    It is also a major concern that there appears to be no consideration of where the pitch users might park. Elder Road is already highly congested, and Norwood Park Road also becomes parked up completely most evenings. The suggestion that users will park at the school is unworkable: the church on Elder Road makes the same demands of its patrons yet they continually park on Elder Road and Norwood Park Road. No evidence is put forward by the council to suggest that users of the football pitch would behave in any way differently. Again, this seems ill thought out.

    I fully support the council’s view that the development of adequate sports facilities offers a range of health, social and community benefits and I would be delighted to see increased use – properly managed – by the local and wider borough community of all the facilities in Norwood Park. However, I find it difficult to see how the imposition of this poorly-thought out development of an inadequate facility largely inaccessible to its local community will achieve any of its aims. Given that these proposals will blight residents’ property and restrict our existing use of the park for no attendant benefit, it is hardly surprising that this consultation has attracted a significant and overwhelmingly negative response from the local community.

    I have no option but to add my voice to those objecting to the plans and I urge the council to reconsider this fundamentally flawed scheme.

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