Foundation ask Council to consider a CPO

It is now a year since Mr Wu announced his intention to sell the community playing fields at Udney Park.

Any dialogue that there has been has come to an end.

  • Mr Wu has rejected a reasonable bid.
  • He has not appointed a selling agent.
  • He has not named a price that he is willing to sell at.
  • He has accepted zero hope value for residential development.
  • He has turned down a suggestion that in the absence of other bidders we jointly seek independent advice on a land valuation.
  • In the last year no potential bidder has come forward to seek planning advice .
  • Mr Wu is sitting on this land whilst community clubs remain homeless.
  • Water continues to pour through the damaged roof of the 1922 War Memorial pavilion adding huge costs to the refurbishment of the toilets and changing rooms and facilities. This is despite a promise in November 2022 to rectify this problem.
  • Wider sporting use of the fields is rendered impossible due to zero investment in the facilities.  Use is restricted to night-time training by Teddington Rugby Club which simply masks the underlying problems.
    • One of the three tennis courts is now too dangerous to play on, and there is surface cracking to the other two courts.
    • The cricket square would require digging up and reconstructing to allow use.
    • The playing fields need relaying.
    • There remain no changing or toilet facilities apart from a single Portaloo provided by Teddington TFC.

Against this backdrop the Foundation asked local Councillor Robin Brown to consider a CPO of the land, as is envisaged by the ACV legislation. An extract of this request is as below. No doubt the politicians will be diverted by the unexpected calling of a General Election, but hopefully a momentum will gather in the summer to bring this issue to a head.

Letter to Cllr Brown -

As you know I have taken a different stance from the local Trust and not suggested a CPO of Udney Park playing fields until every stone was turned to find a solution via discussions with Mr Wu. That moment has now passed.

It is almost a year since we all met at Normansfield to discuss Mr Wu's stated intention to sell Udney Park. In the interim period all we have heard is waffle.

The promised action to repair the roof has not been undertaken so the changing rooms continue to fall apart.

Your suggestion that Mr Wu should be asked to extend use of the fields to other community groups is not viable. Is he going to rebuild the cricket square? Will he resurface the three tennis courts, one of which is already too dangerous to play on? Will he provide changing rooms and toilets to facilitate daytime sport? Will he bring the fields back to a playable condition? He has not invested a penny over the last two years of ownership and is not going to start now.

I have given this all some serious thought and have decided to fully support the request from the Trust that a CPO be initiated by LBRUT. I believe this is now the only option to concentrate minds and force some proper dialogue. 

The floodlight training by Teddington RFC masks the reality that there is no proper access for community sport, and this will not change under Mr Wu's ownership.

Hopefully, you will understand why I am taking this stance. If you have any alternative suggestions, then I am happy to hear them, but I it seems to me that all other options have been exhausted.

I have had enormous support from Munira over the last few years, and now am asking that you seriously consider this proposition and get behind the CPO proposal.’

Other recent news

Pavilion Building allowed to fall apart

Pavilion Building allowed to fall apart

Posted on 7th Jun 2024

The tragedy of the War Memorial Pavilion has been revealed by arial photos taken by residents. These reveal that under the ownership of Mr Wu the building has fallen into such disrepair as to render future renovation work hugely expensive. The project had been to bring the changing rooms back into early use for the community clubs playing on these fields. There were relatively new boilers and heating systems installed just before Imperial College sold the site. The building interior had been dry – even if the changing rooms needed to be brought up to modern standards.

Alternative bid submitted for Udney Park playing fields.

Alternative bid submitted for Udney Park playing fields.

Posted on 7th Jun 2024

It is hugely disappointing to report that Udney park is now under offer from another group of investors headed up by local resident, Keith Williams.

Udney Park is an Asset of Community Value, defined in the Localism Act (2011) as "Land is an asset of community value if its main use is to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community." The Localism Act states that ‘social interests’ include cultural, recreational and sporting interests

Planning noose tightens at Udney Park.

Planning noose tightens at Udney Park.

Posted on 22nd May 2024

Quantum spent £4m trying to overcome the planning restrictions at Udney Park playing fields before selling the site against a backdrop of total losses of around £6.5m. Since their sale of the land two years ago to Mr Wu, planning restrictions have continued to be tightened.