A year or so ago we confirmed the club's support to the principle that LGS status should be granted to the playing fields at Udney Park. This site comprises 12.5 acres of playing fields and a pavilion. A developer (Quantum) has sought to build luxury flats and a doctors surgery on the fields, both for private profit, and to convert the historic pavilion into further flats. As a result, 50% of the playing fields would disappear. A couple of weeks ago LGS status was confirmed for Udney Park which is a huge step in returning the site to community playing fields.
Any move to Udney Park would always have been purely aspirational for a club like Thamesians, but there is a proposal that the fields be purchased by a Charitable Trust, who would not make any call upon sports clubs using the facility to pay for the acquisition. This Trust would buy the site and then guarantee Udney Park as community playing fields for perpetuity. This trust is funded by a private benefactor. Any such purchase may or may not happen as it is subject to the developer agreeing to sell. That said the site has lost ‘hope value’ to the developer as a result of the LGS decision so this is no longer a prospect that can be dismissed.
Subject to the sale of the land to the Charitable Trust (a very big ‘IF’), the proposal is that the club moves to Udney Park. Thamesians would then become key stakeholders in the operating company in line with the detailed business plan (The Future Secured ‘Plan B’ Proposal) and would operate under a 99 year lease from the Charitable Trust. This proposal is to be put before an EGM for agreement (or otherwise). The formal EGM calling notice is available here: EGM Calling Notice, please contact Sam Burlinson (contact Sam) for any questions on the EGM. Key components are that Thamesians would need to budget to contribute £25k pa towards the use of the fields for playing and training and the use of the pavilion. This sum has been calculated to be broadly in line with what is currently paid for the rental and maintenance of various pitches and the cricket pavilion.
Thamesians currently play at Waldegrave School and Marble Hill, and train at Whitton Fields and St Marys. The clubhouse is on Twickenham Green. If the motion is accepted these facilities would all be at a single location at Udney Park.
In the meantime please channel any queries on the specifics of the business plan to club Chairman, JD (contact JD)
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