Frequently Asked Questions​

Change for good

Your Questions Answered

everything you need to know before, during & after the development

Is this a commercial venture?

This project is a venture that is being undertaken by Rocks Lane Multi Sports Centre on behalf of Wandsworth Council. It is the same process as occurs with the tennis facilities in the borough. Rocks Lane will invest in the facilities and manage the facilities for the borough. Rocks Lane has 30 years experience of working with local authorities, governing bodies, charities, local clubs and the community.
Any business on the common is a commercial venture – The Lido, The All Star Tennis Courts, The Cafe. Like them we are a commercial business with community at our heart.
Our co-founders, Chris Warren started his career as a Sports Development Officer and Liz Bolton as a Social Worker. Therefore, we understand the importance of being open, inclusive and providing opportunities for all whilst at the same time being sustainable. If any local volunteers , clubs or groups wish to further develop our work in the community, we are always open to working together to increase sporting participation in the local community.

Yes, The footprint will remain the same.

The same area that will be upgraded is already designated for Sport and Recreation. We are simply proposing to refurbish, improve and make safe the existing area with open access for all.

Why is it necessary to enclose the sports pitch?

Our stated aim is to encourage as many people to play sport as possible. This means creating a safe, easily accessible, affordable and sustainable facility. The re-instatement of fencing to this area will achieve a safe environment for all, allowing children to play sport without the disruption of people and animals entering the playing area whilst providing safe spectator areas for parents, family members and friends. This will also allow the pitch to be maintained to a satisfactory level to enable year round play for more of the local community.

What about paying to access?

We charge affordable fees for activities and services including soft play, holiday camps, buying a coffee, a sports coaching session or booking a court or a pitch.

However we also provide subsidised sessions for children eg £2.00 to play for as long as you wish and free to access sessions throughout the year for state schools and targeted community groups.

At our other centres, local businesses sponsor regular sessions for any child to turn up and kick a ball about free of charge and we have benefited from Sport England and Football Association funding to host teenage specific sports sessions and female focussed sessions such as being nominated a Wildcats centre to further develop girls football in the community.

Question posted by Matt & Tom on Nextdoor

How much will it cost to hire a pitch or use the facilities . A pricing breakdown would be useful ?

We have had a lot of interest from local clubs and we will be building on our success at our other centres where we are focussed on running community multi-sport spaces, and with that comes different rates (depending on local community priorities) as you can see from our other centres. If we are successful through this stage of the planning then costs for hire are very much part of the operational set up process along with discussion with local user groups, scheduling, pricing, equipment purchase, hiring staff etc. Our pricing structure will be based on the charges for comparable public facilities in the borough. We will begin this process and run it in parallel with any build process. We don't run a one price fits all model and I am confident to say we will have different rates for different groups depending on their circumstances as well as some free access.

Where are all the cars going to go?

We have a Green Transport Plan, it forms part of our management policy for all of our centres. As there is no parking provision, we encourage walking, scooting or cycling to the venue. It will be part of our booking policy, we do not have parking at two out of three of our centres and it is great. Adding a car park would encourage driving which we actively discourage.
It is sometimes the case that the space adjacent to the railway bridge at the entrance to the Triangle has cars parked, this area is controlled by TFL and we do not and will not have access to this area.
We welcome any concerns that our neighbours and the local community may have.

Floodlights will be in use every night until 9pm through autumn, winter and spring radically changing the aspect of the common for local users.

The current pitch is rarely used as it is in such a bad state of repair. The floodlights are antiquated and would not pass any current fit for purpose test. Therefore, if we are to provide the local community with more opportunities for healthy exercise and a safer space in which to do this, we must invest in the facilities and provide more energy efficient and environmentally friendly floodlights.

Will the facilities be open access?

Yes, absolutely. All of the facilities will be open to the public. There have been no exclusive rights or access agreements with any local teams or clubs at amateur or semi-professional level.

Question posted by @nathanielwalters on Instagram

Will the facilities be open access?

Yes, absolutely. All of the facilities will be open to the public. There have been no exclusive rights or access agreements with any local teams or clubs at amateur or semi-professional level.

Who will benefit from the upgrading of the existing facilities?

The whole of the community will benefit! The sports facilities will be available to individuals, casual groups of friends, local junior and adult football clubs, tag rugby groups, lacrosse clubs and hurling clubs to name but a few. What makes community sports facilities successful is a mix of different groups of people from all backgrounds who can play and socialise together with the aim of living a well balanced healthy lifestyle - physically, mentally and emotionally. The idea of any single club or group monopolising this community facility is total at the odds with our philosophy of sport for everyone. The indoor facilities will benefit parents with younger children who can join in with Stay and Play sessions or play with their children in the soft play or simply take time out and relax with a cup of coffee for 5 minutes. If the weather is bad, parents and children can shelter in the clubhouse and there will be a cafe for all the public to use and public loos and baby changing. The Boxing Club will provide improved facilities for their boxers including upgraded training, changing and social facilities.

Question posted by @nathanielwalters on Instagram

There doesn't seem to be access to the boxing gym aside from through a men's changing room? And there's no women's changing room? And the currently free daycare centre is turning into a pay to play space... So does 'everyone' mean men who can afford it? Certainly not women, children or the boxing club, who oppose the plans.

Our current multi-sport centres are used 80% of the time by children and families. We are not a 'Powerleague' or 'Goals' centre. The 1 o'clock club went out of service in 2014 and the only children's care provision there at the moment is for a max of three hours on three mornings a week as a 'stay and play', we will be open longer and provide more sessions if the community want them but to be clear this won't be an all day creche. We are improving the changing rooms that already exist. There are both male and female changing rooms, but these changing rooms can be adapted internally according to Sport England flexible designs for changing facilities, depending on the nature of the event. Regarding access to the boxing club, it is proposed to have a ramp and double doors on the outside of the building leading to the current entry/exit point. The boxing club are in support of the plans and we are working with them to improve the gym, changing and social facilities for all. After further discussion with the Boxing Club there will be a minor adjustment of the internal layout thereby increasing the size of the smaller changing room and shortening the soft play a little to allow for a 'hallway’ to connect the two buildings.

The commercialisation of such a significant area of common is not in keeping with the history and character of this area.

This area of the common is enclosed by two busy railway lines. The buildings, sports pitch with floodlights, boxing club and playground already exist and will be improved and upgraded for the benefit of the whole community. Our plans are to refurbish the facilities and to complement the excellent children’s playground with facilities that can be used by existing users of the common and improve the area in keeping with its history of sport and recreation. It is also our aim to help prevent the flooding of the playground and surrounding area so that the facilities can be used year round which is not the case at present.

​What about the concerns that have been raised?

It is really encouraging that people are actively interested in the space even though it has been only used by a few people for many years.

It can sometimes be daunting for people to wade through all the information in a planning application. We did feel that the wording on one particularly vocal petition was misleading and didn’t truly reflect the plans that we had laid out in the Design and Access statement in our planning application.

That is why we have compiled this information website to bring together all the important points regarding the project so that we can avoid a minority of people who are against the upgrading of the existing sports facilities spreading misleading information. The petition was also open to the general public nationwide so we don’t know how many of those that signed would actually be affected by it.

There have been many democratic consultation processes over the last 5 years regarding this project. The main objections have centred around the loss of common land, enclosing the sports pitch, stay and play provision and transport. We have clearly answered all of these points at all of the stages of consultation and we are reiterating these answers on this website. We have consulted with local interest groups, groups of parents, sports clubs, charities and schools as to what they want from the space and welcome contact from any local groups who would wish to use the facilities.

Quick Questions

01.

When will a decision be made?

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02.

When will you start development?

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03.

When do you plan to open?

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04.

What are the opening times?

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05.

How much will it cost to hire a pitch?

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We want this to be your community Hub so we need your input.

If the planning process is successful we will be asking the local community, who want to use the space, to join us in discussing how to shape the centre to benefit all who want to use it.