Teddington: new progress update on Udney Park community bid as deadline approaches

  Posted: 21.07.21 at 19:45 by Ellie Brown

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A community bid for Teddington's Udney Park Playing Fields is due to be submitted early next month, as the expiry date for its protection from commercial bids fast approaches.

Jonathan Dunn, a local resident and leader of the Udney Park Community Fields Trust which is making the bid, told Nub News that his group will be making an offer before 2 August.

This is just 14 days before a ban on commercial bids for the site will no longer apply due to its status as an Asset of Community Value .

But the Trust has little say in the timing of their bid as estate agents Savills , who are marketing the site on behalf of owners Quantum, have extended their sales campaign for the site - including the deadline for offers to be made.

In a a new advert on their website the estate agents have made the property listing available for anyone to see.

Last month, these details were only sent out to around 70 of its developer contacts along with a controversial brochure which was later leaked to Nub News.

The brochure attracted criticism from local residents and political figures for its perceived over-optimistic selling of the site as having development potential despite its many protections which have resulted in unsuccessful development bids by the owner Quantum.

This included Teddington MP Munira Wilson who said: “The brochure from Savills Estate Agents which advertises the site for sale suggests that elements of the site could be developed.

"There is strong protection in place to prevent development of the fields including designations as a Local Green Space, an Other Open Land of Townscape Importance and an Asset of Community Value.

"These and other pending protections will make any commercial development very difficult."

Jonathan Dunn said: "My dialogue with Savills has continued.

"Extending the date for bids to be considered to 2nd August takes us nearer to the end of the ACV period.

"This expires in mid August so the window for meaningful discussion on price is now narrowed to the first couple of weeks of next month.

"Hopefully this will concentrate everyone’s minds and a figure can eventually be agreed that is palatable to everyone.

"I guess this will also depend on whether any other serious bids emerge as a result of this latest sales effort."

He added: "The Charity Commission have now approved the status of the Udney Park Community Fields Foundation to buy and operate the fields.

"This was quite a laborious process and I owe my thanks to Munira Wilson for oiling the wheels to push this through.

"Behind the scenes I’m taking specialist fields advice on how to bring the pitches back to a playable standard.

"I’ve also had really positive discussions with a number of charities on how to make best use of the pavilion building."

More updates on the bid

News on progress can be found on the Trust's website

In its most recent post from June 2021 the Trust revealed that it has developed a "Masterplan" for the sporting use of Udney Park so that if a sale is agreed upon, they can start with their plans as quickly as possible.

Volunteers have already stepped forward to help manage the Trust's Operating Company, and there is a "real enthusiasm" among the local sports clubs that maybe this may all become a reality.

"This will be at the perfect time as we come out of the pandemic and there is a real focus on both physical and mental health," the Trust wrote.

"There have also been some exciting conversations with local charities about how the Udney Park Community Trust could contribute beyond simply sport.

"A refurbished pavilion that retains its historical heritage can hopefully provide the space to put some of these ideas into practice."

Click HERE to learn more about the community bid, or visit its official website .

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