The council responds – and the news is disappointing

Paul Chadwick of LBRUT has responded to the recent letter from the Foundation and the contents of his communication is disappointing. Please follow this link to view the contents of Pauls letter.

This letter confirms that a deal is being discussed with an alternative bidder behind closed doors at the council offices, without any community engagement, or indeed engagement with local elected representatives. The Foundation has responded correcting Mr Chadwick on a number of points and requesting an immediate meeting, rather than wait another six months as he proposes to do. This link allows you to read this response.

All of this leaves the playing fields in limbo as another ACV period approaches in a couple of weeks’ time. An ACV is intended to encourage engagement with a qualified CIC. The Foundation remains the only qualified CIC with a funded proposal. An ACV requires that the "the main use (of Udney Park) is further the social well-being of the community’. It is difficult to see how this is going to be advanced by Mr Chadwick and his council colleagues engaging with a pre-applicant who is non-qualifying in ACV terms, and who is proposing a development with only ‘some degree of public benefit’

The aim of the Foundation remains to purchase the fields in order to guarantee them in perpetuity for the playing of community sport. Contrary to the statements of Mr Chadwick, Udney Park playing fields were open for hire and use by community clubs and schools before the sale of the land to AHH.

Regarding powers of enforcement, the Foundation will seek advice on what action might be possible to ensure that the fields and the pavilion are not allowed to deteriorate at an accelerating pace. Hopefully a Public Space Protection Order or similar might focus minds, rather than the continuing denial that the grounds are deteriorating

In the meantime I will keep everyone updated via this website should a meeting be convened and any advances made.

Other recent news

Foundation submit bid to Mr Wu and support in Parliament

Foundation submit bid to Mr Wu and support in Parliament

Posted on 6th Feb 2024

I have now attended two positive meetings with Mr Wu’s representatives, together with my fellow trustee, Philip Barnes. The most recent meeting was the week before last. An offer to purchase the fields has been submitted. More information has been requested. The Foundation is providing an executive summary as to why the land should be sold, in order that Mr Wu’s representatives can go back with to Mr Wu with a recommendation. This submission will go in this week.

The second meeting was also attended by our local MP, Munira Wilson, who made several robust statements in support of the bid. Munira left all attendees in no doubt as to her position. Her position has also been set out in Parliament on more than one occasion, most recently as link below.

Discussions on purchase of fields due to commence

Discussions on purchase of fields due to commence

Posted on 27th Sep 2023

The ACV for the sale for Udney Park playing fields was finally triggered on 15th September 2023, when the owners formally confirmed to LBRUT that they intended to sell the fields. A moratorium of six months now commences during which time the fields can only be sold to a Community Interest Company (CIC).

Foundation to submit bid AND receives a mention in parliament.

Foundation to submit bid AND receives a mention in parliament.

Posted on 14th Jul 2023

Confirmation of the sale of Udney Park playing fields was confirmed in the local press igniting hopes that the fields can be returned to community use

The Foundation have contacted the representatives of Mr Wu in order to put in motion an offer for the purchase of the playing fields. The site is designated as an ACV, and is currently under a moratorium which prevents the sale of the land to anyone other than a Community Interest Company (CIC) for a six month period.