Mythbusters - response to Quantum/CIC Addressing Opposition
The developer that wants to build on Udney Park has recently updated their web site. They have created a new section labelled “Addressing the Opposition” in which the Friends of Udney Park are heavily criticised and misleading statements are made. We answer those questions here, and back up our statements with the independent quotes from elected representatives and Planning officials.
Friends of Udney Park said...
``Some things in life are just wrong ... building on playing fields is one of them``
Quantum (AHH) claim...
We are opening-up 9.5 acres of private, gated land for the whole of Teddington, enabled by a small amount of development which is itself needed. The community will have access to brand new community and sports facilities, significantly increasing the amount of sport played on the site. (Grass pitches can only be played and maintained through periods of rest, repair and reseeding). The existing clubhouse is in a state of disrepair and is no longer fit-for-purpose. Whilst the existing pitches cannot provide the hours or income to break even, the proposed balance of artificial and grass pitches plus a modern community facility will enable the CIC to run a sustainable facility in perpetuity.
In addition, the site will provide access to healthcare for 13,000 local patients and help address Richmond’s under provision of affordable older people’s accommodation
Friends of Udney Park respond to Quantum's (AHH) claim...
Sir Vince Cable MP said “while I was in Government I lobbied Imperial NOT to sell to the highest bidder – Quantum – but to support bids which kept all the fields as open space for public use. I originally agreed to join the CIC promoting sports use of Udney Park, but when against my advice they decided to pursue a joint Planning Application with Quantum and join Quantum in opposing the Council’s designation as Local Green Space I severed my connection”
It is clear in Imperial College documents obtained with Freedom of Information requests that Quantum acquired Udney Park with the only unconditional bid by a developer, submitted 3 weeks after the Imperial College tender had closed. When the tender closed there were three different community-based bids committed to a future for Udney Park without residential development, per the two Planning Briefs attached to the sale tender. Before the sale completed the Mayor of London said: “I note Udney Park was donated for amateur sport, it would be a scandal and outrage if it were lost for that purpose”
The existing Udney Pavilion can easily be refurbished with grants bodies such as the FA and turned into a community facility for the same purpose as offered by the CIC. Ironically, the two sports clubs that share a Director with the CIC both have brand new “home” pavilions in Bushy Park that cost over £2million in total (all raised from members and grants without any “help” from a developer).
The development will result in fewer pitches and therefore the inability to play as many matches simultaneously, essential for any community usage which focuses on evenings and weekends. To try and imply the use of 3G pitches when the number of pitches will be majorly reduced will increase sports usage, is simply incorrect.