View the planning submission for Hervey Road playing field

Published Friday, 09 September 2016

Visit the Royal Borough's Planning Portal website to view the proposed developments.

The submission details plans to largely reinstate the facilities that used to exist on Hervey Road. These include:

  • a single story pavilion containing changing facilities, multi-function space, a café/servery area and a small office
  • a floodlit Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA)
  • resurfaced car park
  • drainage and pitch works that includes reinstating a cricket square

However, there would no encroachment on the current green space, which is restricted by the Deed of Dedication, protecting the site as a playing field.

View the planning application for Hervey Road playing field

Further information

For further information about the proposed development at Hervey Road, please see the Frequently Asked Questions detailed below or visit the planning website.

Select a question to reveal the answer.

How and why have you developed the plans for Hervey Road?

The Hervey Road Sports Field has been used since 1890 for various sports and is listed as a sports field for planning purposes.

The local residents group, the Friends of Hervey Road Sports Field have campaigned for a number of years to both protect Hervey Road as a playing field and to reinstate the facilities that previously existed on the site to enhance the neighbourhood offer and enable more community sports and physical activity to take place that serve local people.

The field was protected in 2015 through a Deed of Dedication with Fields in Trust and the Council has been in regular contact with the Friends group to update them on the plans and listen to feedback, which has helped to shape the project.

A Playing Pitch Strategy undertaken by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and agreed in 2015 showed there is significant demand for playing pitch space in the borough and that the reinstating of facilities at Hervey Road is important in helping to meet that demand. It is not an option to leave the field in its current form and leave the field with only informal activities taking place. Combining formal and informal activities in a community facility that is managed by an operator is the best use of the space.

How is the project funded?

The project is being funded through three sources:

  • The London Marathon Charitable Trust
  • Sport England
  • Royal Borough of Greenwich.

The total amount of funding is £995K

What is included in the plans?

The plans aim to largely reinstate the facilities that used to exist on Hervey Road. The plans include :

  • A single story pavilion containing changing facilities, multi-function space, a café/servery area and a small office
  • A floodlit Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA)
  • Resurfaced car park
  • Drainage and pitch works that includes reinstating a cricket square

The pavilion, MUGA and car parking will be located in the existing hard-standing areas on the playing fields to ensure that there will be no encroachment on the green space, which is restricted by the Deed of Dedication.

Further suggestions have been put forward in the community to include things like a walking track around the perimeter of the field and other enhancements to the landscaping of the field. At present, the project budget only extends to what is listed above. However, if more funding is secured in the future, further additions to the site can be considered.

Will there be floodlights?

Floodlighting will only be in use around the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) which will be located in the same position as the previous floodlit tennis courts. Modern floodlights project the light exactly where it should be and causes very little light pollution of the surrounding area.

Installing floodlights was a key condition to secure the funding.

What about the wildlife on the site. Will all the trees be cut down?

The Royal Borough always tries to protect trees. To enable the development, there may be a couple of trees in the car park which may need to be removed, but this is yet to be confirmed. The trees on the field have recently been inspected by the Royal Borough’s Arborists and approximately 20 Black Poplar trees on the perimeter of the field were cut back and these will all re-sprout over time. The rest of the trees were found to be in good condition. The Royal Borough would only remove trees from the field if they are diseased or a health and safety issue.

A full ecology report has also been produced to accompany the planning application to ensure that any impact on wildlife can be kept to a minimum.

Who will operate Hervey Road?

Blackheath Rugby have been selected as the preferred partner for Hervey Road Sports Field. A full, open procurement process was undertaken to find an operator. This procurement followed European regulations. As such, all procurement documents were publicly available. Any group or organisation could have submitted a bid. The Council also advertised the opportunity to bid in the local press and online.

What are Blackheath Rugby's ambitions for Hervey Road and what activities will take place?

Blackheath Rugby stated in their bid submission that “This opportunity is unique and we would intend the Hervey Road site not to be just a sports centre. We would wish that it will be many things to many different types of people locally. We truly believe that with a solid focus on the site being a central and integral part of the local community where everyone can enjoy the facilities available, the project will be a great success.”

Blackheath Rugby have stated that they want to build up the range of activities gradually on the field but as they become established they aim to deliver a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities. In addition to core sports such as junior and adult, football, cricket and rugby, activities like athletics (through school sports days) to rounders and wheelchair sports on the proposed Multi-Use Games Area will take place.

Away from sport, Blackheath Rugby have also suggested that they would like to hold and establish community fun days so that local residents and families have more opportunities to actively enjoy the field.

Will local residents still have access to the field?

Yes, Blackheath have been clear that their ambition is to operate Hervey Road for community sports and activities.

The community will still be able to access the playing fields to do things like walk or for children and young people to play informal games.

Will dog walking still be allowed on the site?

The Royal Borough’s dog control orders has a no dogs allowed policy in areas used for sport or play including all children's playgrounds, multi-use areas, sports fields etc. Hervey Road is included on the Council’s existing list of areas where dogs are not permitted.

We understand that as the field has not been used for formal organised sports and has been left open, that residents with dogs are currently using the field.

We hoped to try and find a compromise where dogs could still be allowed. However, through negotiating with the operator and considering issues of liability, the Council and Blackheath have concluded that the re-establishing a no dogs policy will need to be enforced when the facilities are completed.

When will the field be open to the community?

Blackheath Rugby have initially committed to opening the gates to the field from 9am till 5pm each day (this may be earlier in the winter due to shorter hours of daylight). However, they plan to open the field for longer in the summer months to at least 7pm.

It will be necessary to secure and lock the field to secure the facilities overnight.

When will the pavilion and Floodlit Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) be open?

The pavilion and MUGA will be open when there are games or matches booked. The space in the pavilion can also be booked for a range of activities and meetings by the public.

The opening hours of the floodlit MUGA will be subject to planning approval but we expect that it will be available until 9pm.

How can the Royal Borough ensure that Blackheath Rugby run Hervey Road Sports Field in the Community interest?

The Royal Borough aims to provide Blackheath Rugby with a 30 year lease for Hervey Road. However, Blackheath Rugby will also have to enter in to a Service Level Agreement with the Royal Borough of Greenwich that sets out how we agree what activities will be run on the field. The SLA will be linked to the Lease. This means that if Blackheath Rugby break the conditions of the SLA then the Council has the power to break the lease. Clearly an action like this would only be taken as a last resort but agreeing an SLA gives important protections to the community that the field will be operated for the purposes of community sports and physical activity.

How can local residents be sure that the pavilion will not encourage noise and disruption?

The club house and bar will be subject to licensing laws as set out in the licensing Act 2003 and the noise Act 1996. Blackheath Rugby club will have to abide by these rules or they would be subject to the same penalties as any licensed premises.

How will the extra traffic and parking be managed?

After taking initial advice from the planning department and to protect green space, we have decided to restrict the development to the existing hard standing areas. Within that space we expect to provide up to 30 car parking spaces and one to two mini buses. The development also includes only two changing rooms (with some room to expand to four). This will restrict the number of games that can take place at the same time and should help to prevent an influx of cars at any particular times.

We understand that a number of residents have expressed concerns about the availability of parking. As part of the planning application, a transport statement will be submitted that will set out how things like cars will be managed.

It is important also to note that the size of the proposed pavilion will mean that activities and matches will have to be programmed and phased. This will help to ensure that there are not large influxes of traffic at particular times.

Will residents be given an opportunity to be formally consulted on the plans?

Once the plans have been submitted to the planning department, as part of the consideration for a planning application, consultation will be undertaken with interested parties, you will then have 21 days from the date of the consultation notification to make any comments regarding the plans and designs that are submitted. Your comments will then be taken into consideration as part of the application.

For more information please visit the planning web page

What type of security will be on the site?

The site will be in operation most days with Rugby Club Staff on site from morning till night. Where possible, mesh security perimeter fencing will be used to deter vandalism and break-ins.