Residents told their Labour councillors how the important part Norwood Park and its sports pitch or MUGA (multi sports games area) plays in the local community. People like to drop in for a run or a kick-about or learn to ride a bike or practice trick cycling.
In particular, we heard concerns from local residents about the proposal for the MUGA by Elder Road. The planned proposal had been to redevelop the pitch in order to increase sporting activity in the area and provide a venue for local schools and sports team to play. The redevelopment would have involved replacing the current surface with astroturf.
However, one of the impacts of the proposal would have been the loss of free regular access for local residents and visitors to the park to this local community space. Only one hour each week day morning & one hour on weekday afternoons would be free access. We heard from a number of local residents how the loss of access would impact them and their children. We know that residents and visitors to the park use it for all different kinds of sporting activities. Concerns were also raised with us regarding the lack of toilet and changing facilities, the impact of floodlights and noise, and increased traffic.
Having listened to local residents we have worked hard on this issue to see if changes could be made to increase community access and to tackle other concerns raised by residents. However, it became clear that these concerns could not be reconciled with the planned proposal.
As a result, we are pleased that the plans for the sports pitch will not now be going ahead. This local MUGA will remain open to residents and park visitors to use all day and all year round.
We are committed to ensuring the future of the sports pitch and ensuring it remains in a good state of repair whilst remaining open to the local community and visitors to the park to use. We look forward to working with residents, the Friends of Norwood Park and other community groups over any future plans for this vital community space.
Luke, Jennifer and Matthew
If you would like to get involved with Norwood Park why not check out The Friends of Norwood Park www.friendsofnorwoodpark.co.uk.