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Jun 18 2012

Whitchurch Playing Fields – Proposals

Here at iharrow.com, we’ve got a lot of mail concerning the proposals for the Whitchurch Playing Field, and Harrow Council will be considering the proposals at it’s June Cabinet Meeting on June 20, 2012. Rather than place a stake in the ground, and come out in support of, or against, the proposals, we’ve decided to simply publish two opposing views.

The first is this press release from Harrow Council, dated June 18, 2012.

Sports complex breathes life into underused playing fields.

The construction of sports and leisure facilities that will breathe a fresh lease of life into playing fields in desperate need of improvements are due to take a step forward.

Proposals to transform a derelict pavilion in Whitchurch Fields into a modern 21st century clubhouse that will provide a range of first-class sport and leisure facilities will be considered by Harrow Council on Wednesday, June 20.

The major overhaul will be delivered by The Whitchurch Consortium which was selected by the council as the preferred bidder last year. The council’s cabinet members will carefully consider residents’ feedback provided during the consultation process. The Whitchurch Consortium is due to be commissioned by the council to develop the sports and leisure facilities and invited to apply for planning permission.

Under the proposals membership of the clubhouse will be open to all and may include facilities such as a café, restaurant, gym, bar, training room, sports hall, health and beauty clinic, and a child care centre. Money raised by the clubhouse will be reinvested into the playing fields which will provide a full range of sports – at no cost whatsoever to taxpayers. Sports provision will include football, cricket, tennis, basketball, netball, athletics, and sand based sports.

The underused playing fields are in desperate need of regeneration and the pavilion has become a magnet for anti-social behaviour since it was damaged by fire and fenced off. There is clear support for the proposals from 1,265 people within the area. The council is working closely with the consortium to address the concerns of householders in roads surrounding the playing fields.

Harrow Council Portfolio Holder for Property and Major Contracts, Cllr Thaya Idaikkadar, said:

“Our residents deserve excellent sports facilities and these plans will encourage the whole borough to lead healthy and active lifestyles. These plans will provide good quality modern leisure facilities at no cost to taxpayers. There is a shortage of good quality outdoor sports pitches across the borough so I am delighted to see such a tremendous level of support from the community for our plans.”

Opportunities will arise for organisations such as The Prince’s Trust, Age UK, and local council services to run programmes and workshops for the local community. Community sports clubs and schools have joined local residents in showing their support for the project. These include Age UK, Stanmore College, Middlesex County Cricket Club, Pinner Farm Cricket Club, Whitchurch First and Nursery School, Vernon Cricket Club, Pinnacle FC, and Stanmore Baptist Church.

For more information visit www.whitchurchfields.com or email info@whitchurchfields.com

BRIEFING:

Improvements. New drainage will be installed and include levelling and reseeding.

Security. The perimeter fencing will be secured, surveillance cameras.

Flooding. Will be addressed by planting more trees, easing the flow of the stream and creating a natural pool as a possible containment.

Traffic. Additional parking spaces in the immediate roads with the creation of 150 extra parking spaces, looking at the option of another entrance on Marsh Lane, installing secure cycle racks and promoting less car usage.

Woodlands/eco area. New trees planted and landscaped gardens for dog walkers and residents to use, as well as an organic recycling and agricultural area for educational purposes.

Flood lighting. Modern flood lights are designed to minimise glare to surrounding areas. The all-weather pitch is being repositioned to minimise the glare to surrounding areas.

Clubhouse. Will be situated at the centre of the playing field with the clear objective of maximising the distance from as many residential properties as possible.

More information is available from http://www.whitchurchfields.com/.

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