The Foundation have written to local councillors (Robin Brown and Julia Neden-Watts), calling for them to intervene to prevent the secret deal to sell Udney Park being completed behind closed doors at the LBRUT offices at York House.
Udney Park Update
Udney Park Update
In mid-August Savills asked for closing bids for the purchase of Udney Park playing fields. Savills advised Jonathan Dunn that they had received a significantly higher offer from A N Other than that which had been put forward by the Foundation. They confirmed at the time that this offer had been accepted.
Five months have now passed and the Foundation have been advised that negotiations continue with the other party. The Savills website continues to state that the site is ‘under offer’. The identity of the other bidder remains unknown.
In the meantime Teddington Rugby Club continue to lease about one third of the site - primarily for floodlight evening training. Their lease also incorporates use of the tennis courts (albeit one of these is out of commission due to deteriorating surfacing). The other two thirds of the fields including the pavilion remain abandoned and all public access is prohibited. Thus genuine community use remains off the table for now.
In the last month or two further restrictions have been placed on any future development. The heritage status of Building of Townscape Merit has been awarded to the War Memorial Pavilion, an application backed by the Old Merchant Taylors and their War Memorial Trust, the original founding body of Udney Park. Udney Park is also being evaluated as a Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation in the Richmond Local Plan due to the presence of various protected species.
It is now only 10 months until the Centenary of Udney Park opening as the War Memorial Sports Ground in Teddington in November 1922. The hope had been that the current owners would restore Udney Park to community ownership so that the fields and pavilion could be refurbished in time for the Centenary. This is now appears to be a forlorn hope.
Paul Chadwick of LBRUT has responded to the recent letter from the Foundation and the contents of his communication appear disappointing. Please follow this link to view the contents of Pauls letter. Letter from Paul Chadwick
This letter confirms that a deal is being discussed 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. Letter From Jonathan Dunn
I am afraid there has yet to be a response to the letter sent on 26th June to LBRUT asking for action to return the Udney Park playing fields to community use, beyond a brief holding letter. I have updated the Foundation’s letter to include as signatories various individuals and local clubs who missed the deadline before the original letter was sent. All these additional endorsements are very much appreciated.