Mar
10
2012

Does this mean that the ground is moving?

The Future of Stompond Lane Sports Ground

We have submitted to Elmbridge’s Chief Executive our suggestion for a compromise solution to the impasse that has developed with regard to the future of sports activities at Stompond Lane. We believe that it makes sense to relocate Walton Athletics Club to new facilities at Waterside Drive, whilst allowing Walton and Hersham Football Club to redevelop their facilities at Stompond Lane taking over responsibility for all future maintenance. Such a scheme could be financed through Elmbridge managing a modest new housing development of up to 10 houses along Stompond Lane, in keeping with the character of the area. The letter, and Rob Moran’s non-committal reply, is detailed in our posting of 3rd March.

Elmbridge has held an exhibition of its plans for a new “Sports Hub” on the Green Belt land next to the Xcel Leisure Complex, and some of the drawings are now on the Council’s website, www.elmbridge.gov.uk . While the plans show a better range of facilities for users than the earlier outline picture, there has to be a question mark over whether the plans, which include around 240 car parking spaces and covered stands for up to 600 spectators, with a roof 9 metres high, are in keeping with the guidance that governs what is permitted to be developed in the Green Belt. Furthermore, there has been no indication of the likely cost involved.

We are concerned that the Council Plan might lead – unnecessarily – to demands for an overdevelopment of the Stompond Lane Sports Ground, and a further erosion of Walton’s characterful open green spaces. Meanwhile, it seems inevitable that a confrontation between Council and Football Club will shortly take place in Kingston County Court, which may result in an outcome that suits neither party, nor leads to a sensible way forward for our local community.

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