Hounslow Council has retaken control of Green Lane sports ground to ensure its pitches can reopen to the community as soon as possible following months of closure.
Published: Wednesday, 16th June 2021
Council officers secured the premises this morning and will now begin restoring the damaged football pitches with the aim of making them playable by the start of the football season in August.
There will be a public meeting next week to discuss how activities will resume for the community and the Council will hold engagement events over the summer to hear how clubs, other users and the local community think the site and facilities should be run, as part of the Council’s portfolio.
Last month the Council announced its intention to terminate the lease with Hounslow Sports Club following breaches of their lease agreement, including failure to adequately maintain the pitches and continuing frictions with local groups, and to bring the site’s management back in-house. It followed a breakdown in relationships between individuals and organisations managing and using the site, which saw the pitches fall into disrepair meaning they did not re-open after restrictions eased in March following the second Lockdown.
Following service of a letter on 17 May of the Council’s intention to terminate the lease and a legal notice to that effect, the Council had hoped a timely and constructive agreement of transfer could be reached.
Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of the Council, said: “It is deeply regrettable that despite our best efforts to negotiate an amicable solution we have been unable to agree a lease termination and handover process within a reasonable timescale.
“We have no confidence that Hounslow Sports Club are making necessary arrangements to properly manage the grounds, and we are simply unwilling to allow such a valuable community asset to languish in an unusable state while there is such great demand from the community for its use.
“Our priority has always been the local community and getting grass-roots football and other sporting activities back on the pitch. Under our stewardship this will be by the start of the season in August. We will engage with local teams and other users within the local community so they can help shape how the site and facilities will be run.
“The Council has worked hard to find ways to resolve issues and bring the pitches back into use, including setting up a steering group with all parties involved, including the Football Association. Unfortunately, fundamental issues remain and we see little prospects of them being resolved. We must now all look to the future, to what benefits our residents and sports teams, and move on from the past.”
Users of the site have been invited to the public meeting and information on the future engagement sessions will be announced later this month.