Rosendale Playing Fields Redevelopment

The redevelopment appears to have been shelved although no one has formerly told us. Watch this space!

Given the difficulty of obtaining information from council officers it is even more important that councillors are contacted by anyone with an interest in primary schools.

Contact details of councillors are as follows:

Cllr. Steve Reed, Leader of the Council, 020 7926 1709, sreed@lambeth.gov.uk

Cllr. Jackie Meldrum, Deputy leader of the Council, 020 8671 5595, jmeldrum@lambeth.gov.uk

Cllr Rachel Heywood, Cabinet member for Culture and Communities, 020 7733 7300, rheywood@lambeth.gov.uk

Cllr. Paul McGlone, Cabinet member for children and young people,
020 8674 3250, pmmcglone@lambeth.gov.uk

Cllr. Mark Bennett, Cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport,
020 8769 8541, MEbennett@lambeth.gov.uk

Cllr. Ashley Lumsden, leader of Liberal Democrat opposition,
020 8674 4371, alumsden@lambeth.gov.uk

Cllr. John Whelan, leader of Conservative opposition and Rosendale ward councillor,
020 7926 2149, john@whelan.net

Cllr. Irene Kimm, Rosendale ward councillor, 020 7926 2149, IKimm@lambeth.gov.uk

Cllr. Clare Whelan, Rosendale ward councillor, 020 7926 2149, cwhelan@lambeth.gov.uk

Councillors can also be contacted by post at Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, London SW2 1RW and if you live in Lambeth you can also speak to your ward councillor at their local surgeries. Details from Lambeth Council, Democratic Services Unit 020 7926 2170.

For more information contact Gary Cornforth - Lambeth & Southwark Primary Schools Football,
07905 910575 - gary.cornforth@tiscali.co.uk

Most recent communication sent Friday 3 April

Cllr. Malley,

thank you for sending on to me the response you had from Charles Booth re the proposed redevelopment of the playing fields. My apologies for the delay in expressing my gratitude for your interest in the matter. I have been rather tied up recently with my day job and various personal matters including ironically a sports injury. Unfortunately I have no reason to express any thanks whatsoever for two out of my three ward councillors who have not responded in any manner. Cllr. Reed has in fact not responded to any of the e-mails or written requests for his involvement despite his visit to our activities last year and subsequent complimentary blog on his site. This is in marked contrast to the ward councillors in whose contituency the playing fields are sited.

Be that as it may, I would like to take the opportunity to point out that we, (Lambeth Primary Schools Football League) remain unconvinced by the arguments put forward by Charles Booth and his consultant.

As we are not surveyors it is of course difficult for us to contradict the assertion that space on the site does not permit separate pitches of the sort we require. What I can say from my long experience of using the site is that the previous lay out did accommodate one full size and two junior football pitches. Although I am not able to claim knowledge of the exact dimensions of these pitches I am certain that the senior pitch was within the FA guidelines and was used by adult football teams. The two junior pitches were used by primary schools and were more than adequate for that purpose.

Our contention has always been and remains that it should be possible to achieve the previous usage and that this redevelopment provides the council with a great opportunity to increase the scope of the site. We had thought that removal of some of the raised bank would confirm this possibility and are disappointed to say the least to be told that work on the bank is not possible. This is compounded by the new long jump pit and proposed storage facility being sited on the main field instead of on the bank which is otherwise redundant.

Even if we were persuaded that space constraints really are as we have been told we still have major reservations about the future management of the site which will be needed with such a system of overlaid pitches and portable goals. I have recently had conversations with an Elmgreen governor and with the contractors responsible for pitch markings and grass cutting on the site. Both conversations have reinforced my view that Elmgreen are not now and will not in the near future be able to provide the sort of management of the site required and that the contractors ability to mark out pitches as envisaged by Charles Booth is doubtful to say the least.

" Whilst different coloured lines may appear to cause confusion, the position of the goals and corner flags etc help denote the pitch very well and this situation is actually very common."

This statement from Mr Booth displays an ignorance of the subject and is not in fact true. I am not aware of any amateur grass sports facilities marked out in such a fashion and yes confusion will be the result even if the contractors are able to maintain such markings. Some professional sports stadiums are used for both football and rugby but the pitch remains in the same rectangular configuration and the dedicted groundstaff are able to "green" out lines not needed on a match by match basis.

We are also wholly unconvinced by the proposed storage facilities for thousands of pounds worth of goalposts and related equipment which seem ludicrously insecure given the non secure nature of the playing fields.

Lambeth Primary Schools Football League has stated previously that the great opportunity afforded by the redevelopment will be missed if the plans as proposed go through. If cost is a factor why has there been no exploration of grant funding? Capital funding or even match funding is surely available for projects such as these if sought. Is there no capacity in the council for such finance to be applied for?

Finally and without wanting to deny the needs of secondary pupils to have access to outdoor sport we feel that the interests of a great number of primary age children are being sacrificed to meet the demands of a strategy aimed solely at older children. The Schools Premises Regulations (SPR) which Charles Booth mentions apply equally to primary schools. It is also disconcerting to realise that the site plan which we believe disadvantages primary children may not be of great use to Elmgreen which I understand will have outdoor and indoor sports facilities on site at the school. I have serious doubts that during the wet Autumn and Winter months there will be much usage of the field for games lessons given that there is no hot water on site and the changing facilities are minimal. We would feel even more cheated if the senior pitch is set up for rugby with the limited use this would entail.

Thanks once again for your interest. Perhaps our observations could be brought the attention of Cllr. Reed, Cllr. Paul McGlone, Cabinet member for children and young people and Cllr. Mark Bennett, Cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport.


Gary Cornforth

Lambeth Primary Schools Football League (www.lpsfl.com)
116 Branksome Road

---Original Message----
From: SMalley@lambeth.gov.uk
Date: 04/03/2009 12:57
Subj: FW: ME - Rosendale redevelopment ME 109083

Dear Mr Cornforth

Thank you for coming to my surgery a few weeks ago. I’m not sure whether this email was forwarded to you separately but thought you might appreciate sight of it just in case.

Kind regards

Councillor Sharon Malley

From: Booth,Charles
Sent: 25 February 2009 20:30
To: Malley,Sharon Cllr
Cc: Handzlik,Henryka; CYPS Members; Warman,Sarah; Paul.Eaton@FGould.com; McGlone,Paul Cllr; Pocock,Mike
Subject: RE: ME - Rosendale redevelopment ME 109083

Dear Councillor Malley,

Thank you for your ME regarding Rosendale Playing Fields.

The project team have consulted very extensively with Mr Cornforth of the Lambeth Primary Schools Football League (LPSF) and all the queries he has raised during the consultation have been carefully considered and a detailed response provided. Rosendale playing fields is bounded by residential properties and the Rosendale road which ultimately restricts the size. Plans to increase the size of the fields by removing the earth embankment alongside the road was considered but would require substantial civil engineering stabilisation works with costs far exceeding the budget and yet provide very little advantage over the current design.

If the pitches are to meet The Football Association standard sizes, the field can only accommodate one single senior and one junior pitch without overlapping of the pitches or just two junior pitches. However, the overall sports strategy for the fields is wider than just junior pitches as the main usage will be the ElmgreenSchool which would require a senior pitch. Not withstanding this, the senior pitch can still be subdivided to provide a second junior pitch by marking it out in a different line colour. Whilst different coloured lines may appear to cause confusion, the position of the goals and corner flags etc help denote the pitch very well and this situation is actually very common.

In addition to the above, I have attached a briefing note which contains more details about the project and includes a detailed response to Mr Cornforth concerns by our Sport consultant

Best regards


Charles Booth
Deputy Programme Director
Building Schools for the Future
London Borough of Lambeth
6th Floor International House
Canterbury Crescent
London SW9 7QE
D: 020 7926 3219
M: 07889 904190
E: cbooth@lambeth.gov.u k

Letters and e-mails

Letter from LPSFL to the project managers.
30 January 2009

Paul Eaton
Project Manager
Project Management

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your most recent communication by e-mail dated 21/1/09 in response to my letter dated 16/1/09. I have now been able to discuss the matter with my Executive Committee.

We note that you accept our great need to continue to have the use of two junior pitches at Rosendale. Notwithstanding your concession, however, we remain concerned that there has been no re-appraisal of your original design. You have merely added further line markings in order to satisfy our request without addressing the salient issues we raised in support of our contention that three separate pitches can be accommodated.

The reservations about a multiplicity of line markings on what is effectively one pitch remain. This is exacerbated by the complete lack of any detail as to the future "Management and Maintenance regime for the site" (your words) which you put forward as a means of resolving the problem of varying sizes and types of goal posts being used on one pitch. The use of one particular part of the field to serve as a playing area for games with different pitch dimensions and goals will require a high level of "customer" service on any day of use to have any chance of success.

With such a system there is also the added wear and tear of the grass to be considered. It is quite likely that this pitch will become damaged over time due to over use. In terms of cost benefit fixed goals produce savings both in terms of not having the considerable cost of acquiring a large number of new portable goals and the cost of moving and erecting these at every use. We also are not convinced that the security of these expensive pieces of kit is guaranteed within the proposed storage area. It has also been our experience that line marking can present problems and your proposals add greatly to the chance that satisfactory pitch marking will not always be realised.

Accordingly LPSFL feels very strongly that a means of achieving our desired aim of having three separate pitches should be found. You may not be aware that this was in fact the situation when LPSFL first used Rosendale Playing Fields. Two junior and one senior football pitch were situated on the field within the current space constraints. We would direct you to point 7 of our initial response as follows "we feel that with a little imagination and by increasing the size of the playing field by adopting the measures described above two junior football pitches could be accommodated". Your response to this was in effect that you feel unable to remove more of the bank to achieve our aim and even cast some doubt as to how "level" the playing field will be after redevelopment. You also continue with the idea that the long jump pit has to be on the field behind the proposed siting of a pitch instead of to the side, and that a new storage area should also be sited in a position where it will take up valuable playing space. By restricting the siting of the long jump pit and new storage area the possibility of finding a solution that meets our concerns is greatly reduced.

We are also very concerned that work is scheduled to begin in March when we are still, as recognised stakeholders, in discussion with Lambeth over the details of the redevelopment. Has the tendering process been completed and contracts awarded before the satisfactory resolution of such discussions? We also note that worryingly, Lambeth have already or are about to order new sets of goals to meet proposals to which we do not agree and which followed a meeting at which we were not present or indeed told about.

LPSFL feels that the redevelopment of Rosendale Playing Fields is a great opportunity for the local community to gain an extremely useful addition to much needed sports facilities. We are saddened that by ignoring our arguments and pressing ahead with your original plans Lambeth Council will miss an opportunity to put in place a much improved facility that will have lasting benefit for all their schools.

Once again we ask that you go back and look at means by which a simpler and more effective layout of the field can be achieved. We feel that we have provided you with cogent arguments to support our aims and that you have not produced a suitable response.

If it would be helpful we would be more than happy to attend a site meeting. On behalf of LPSFL I would also be willing to enlarge on the points made in this and previous communications.

I look forward to your early response.

Yours sincerely

Gary Cornforth

Rosendale Playing Fields Briefing Note to Councillor Clare Whelan 16th February 2009

1. Background

1.1 Historically, Lambeth’s secondary schools have been unable to meet with the BB98 and Schools Premises Regulations (SPR) requirements in terms of the provision of school sports facilities. Although this situation has been deemed acceptable by the DfES/DCSF, on the grounds that these schools are located on ‘confined sites’, the advent of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and Academies Programmes will place a further strain on the available resources due to the increases in pupil numbers.

1.2 The advent of the Lambeth BSF Programme has served to prompt a reconsideration of the current sports provision across the borough.

2. Lambeth BSF Sports Strategy

2.1 A BSF Sports Strategy has been developed to provide the strategic basis for the management of Lambeth’s secondary schools’ access to sports facilities. The Strategy seeks to address the issue of how adequate sports provision can be provided to secondary schools, both in order to meet the requirements of extended pupil numbers and, to make improvements to areas in which provision has historically been lacking.

2.2 Investment in the boroughs playing fields to provide improved outdoor sports facilities which will benefit secondary schools and the local communities is one of the three strands of this work and Rosendale Playing Field is of particular importance.

2.3 As part of this approach the authority plans to invest up to the amount of 250,000 into Rosendale Playing Field aimed at bringing all of the onsite facilities up to a high and usable standard, with drainage installation and levelling of the grass pitches being prioritised. This investment should serve to make the field an attractive proposition to secondary schools within the Borough.

2.4 The Elmgreen School will be designated primary user of the Field, with approximately 20 hours of programmed access per week, which is equivalent to two-thirds of the total school time allocation. This proposed usage will be integrated with that requested by other users including Rosendale Primary School, Lambeth Primary Schools Football League and Brixton Bulls Rugby Club.

2.5 As part of the future sustainability of the site, the authority recognises the importance of ensuring its future upkeep and maintenance. Early discussions have taken place about the possibility of the general management of the site being transferred to The Elmgreen School. Under this proposal, the authority’s site maintenance budget would be transferred to the school, with the annual rent due on the site remaining with the authority to pay.

2.6 The AMPD maintenance budget allocation for Rosendale Playing Fields is currently 40,000. The current agreed contract costs for grounds maintenance amount to 7,500, which covers basic regular cutting of the amenity grass, an annual cut of the rough/meadow grass, litter collection and pitch marking.

3. Project Progress

3.1 Proposed field layout have been discussed with the key stakeholders and the latest revision provides Senior Football and Rugby pitches, 3 No. Junior Football pitches (2 No. crossing the Senior Football and Rugby pitches), 300m Athletics track, new cricket nets and a new long jump facility. The layout is included as Appendix A.

3.2 Formal responses to the proposed field layout have been received from both Rosendale Primary School and the Lambeth Primary Schools Football League (LPSFL). Details of this correspondence and the subsequent replies from the Project Manager are included in Appendix B.

3.3 The LPSFL’s latest response dated the 29th January (Included in Appendix B), essentially raises the following key points:-

1. That, in the LPSFL’s opinion 1 No. Senior pitch and 2 No. Junior football pitches could be accommodated on the playing field without overlapping and that this has been achieved in the past.

2. The LPSFL are concerned about the multiplicity of line markings, security and erection of mobile goal post equipment, and over use due to the 2 No. Junior Football pitches crossing the Senior Football and Rugby pitch.

3.4 With regard to the LPSFL’s points above we offer the following reasoning behind our design proposals:-

1. Accommodating these pitches is not possible within the FA guidelines. If the cricket nets, storage area and long jump pit were all moved to the top of the banked area, the available lower length would be 193m. The minimum size for rugby is 91m with 9m in-goal and 3m safety margin, thereby totalling 115m. Using FA safety margins for U9/U10 leaves two pitches at 33m in length compared to the FA minimum for U9/U10 of 45.75m in length. Even if rugby were not played here, the '1 senior, 2 junior' pitch possibility does not meet FA guidelines. Clearly undersize dimensions were used previously when the available length was around 190m. The cross fall on the pitch is designed at 1:60, which is within the FA guidelines and will be a considerable improvement to the playing surface. The LPSFL’s confusion with regard to how level the playing field will be is because our previous response advised that the length of the playing field cannot be extended lengthways because of level differences. This is due to the level differences outside of the proposed pitch areas.

2. It is envisaged that there will only be one other Senior sport played on the main pitch, whether it be Rugby or Football, and that this Senior use is limited, dependant upon weather conditions, to between 4 to 14 hours per week. There would therefore only be one other set of lines so far as the main pitch or cross-pitch players are concerned and is a system commonly adopted within Sports Halls. Fixed posts for all sports are not possible when accommodating the different uses. A resource for carrying out the erection of this equipment is being factored into our maintenance costs estimates.

3.4 The design for the construction works associated with levelling of and drainage to the playing field, new access steps, long jump, storage area and cricket nets has been completed in readiness for tendering to suitable contractors.

3.5 The planning department have reviewed the design information and are of the opinion that the works require planning permission. This has meant a revision to the programme, which now schedules construction from July to September 2009. Seeding of the turf pitches is best carried out in either April or September in order to allow suitable weather conditions for them to become established. Therefore the construction works are now programmed to achieve seeding in September 2009, which depending on the weather conditions thereafter, may allow use from May 2010.

4. Future Use

4.1 An audit of current usage has been carried out. Planning the usage of the site will be carefully undertaken balancing the needs of the school and community use, including the current users.

4.2 It is envisaged that the usage of the playing fields will at large remained unchanged, with use by schools and the wider community operating in a similar way to how they are currently used. Whilst the current users have free access to the site, The Elmgreen School will be permitted to levy usage charges commensurate with proportionate maintenance costs.

4.3 Discussions are taking place with the existing users of the site to ensure any loss of provision over the course of the works to the site is managed, and alternative facilities are provided.

Paul Eaton
Project Manager
01892 775006

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