The content on this page has been produced by Ealing Council Officers in response to questions raised by residents

Comments from consultation carried out and planning feedback from internet sites, Advisory groups and discussion groups:
There has been a large amount of consultation and feedback on this project to date, hence the number of comments received via the planning process and over 50 specific questions
that have been answered by the Frequently Asked Questions Documents since July 2012. Details as follows:
  1. Cabinet Report in January 2011 on original proposal to market the site
  2. February 2012 discussion at Norwood Green Ward Forums and the launch of the Warren Farm Interest Group Website (WFIG)
  3. Public Announcement of the decision to Award to QPR – April 2012
  4. Special Ward Forum meeting – June 2012 over 120 people attending from both Norwood Green and Hanwell Associations
  5. Further Ward Forum in November 2012 held at St Mary’s Church
  6. Individual meetings with local residents and interest groups upon request
  7. Article in Around Ealing delivered to every household in the borough – November 2012
  8. Planning application submitted - 662 neighbour notification letters, several site notices and placed a public notice in the 4 January 2013 edition of the Ealing & Acton Gazette – Ealing, West Ealing, Hanwell and Acton edition. Ealing Civic Society, the Ealing Community Network and all ward cllrs notified of the application.
  9. January 2013 – Further update given at the Norwood Green Residents Association meeting with the public being informed that an extension to the date for which people could submit comments to Planning would be applicable
  10. January 2013 – First Community Advisory Panel meeting – National Governing Bodies (NGB’s), Sport England, Norwood Green Resident Association, Old Hanwell Resident Association (OHRA) and other community representation
  11. February 2013 – Specific meeting with OHRA members
  12. March 2013 – second community Advisory panel meeting
The above communication has been in addition to the numerous emails, telephone calls and letters received by council officers from members of the public; details of which are
captured on both the WFIG site and OHRA Google forum.
The WFIG site has been set up by a member of the community, as an information tool for the community; to date it has given a fair and balanced view of the project. All of the
documents from council meetings, press articles and forum meetings have been circulated via this website and are available for download. The WFIG site has been visited by over
3000 people since its launch in March 2012, with over 900 people visiting so far this year (2013) and on average over 60 people have visited each week.
Warren Farm Sports Ground is a borough wide facility that will also benefit residents of the immediate surrounding area, such as Norwood Green, The Windmill and Havelock Estates
and Old Hanwell. The subsequent sections below are in response to questions either sent directly; via the website forums or have been raised in person at forum meetings.

1. Limited sports development programme and women excluded

There is a vast Community Sports Development Programme (CSDP) that has been put forward for the site, which significantly enhances community opportunities and accessibility to the site. This programme is across a range or sports and recreational activities, over 30 activities in total, ranging from dance, Yoga, aerobics, cricket, rugby, rugby league, football, archery, etc. The three focus areas of the programme, based upon borough need are:
  • Activities for people with disabilities
  • Activities for women and teenage girls
  • Activities for older adults
The CSDP will also involve working in partnership with a number of organisations across a wide range of sports delivering activities for all ages and abilities. The following diagram illustrates the delivery options available as part of the CSPD. In addition to physical activity based sessions the site will also provide, health activities/seminars, NVQ courses, host Ward Forum meetings, general meetings, workshops and training courses etc. This greatly enhances the usage and benefit of the facility beyond just weekend grass based sporting activity, which currently does not
utilise the whole site all year round. The programme will also contribute to meeting any borough activity deficit and will provide a venue for a wide range of activities which will meet the needs highlighted by existing users of Ealing Council’s sports pitches in the consultation exercise carried out in 2010; results detailed in the chart below.

2. Readdress balance of QPR vs community

The proposed range of facilities is beyond the minimum requirements requested by the council as part of the marketing process. The original requirements were based on Ealing’s Sports Facility Strategy and local Sport England Active Places information, when combined this information provides an excellent evidence base for future facility requirements. Further to this in the same consultation exercise mentioned above, existing users highlighted the following facilities as being required as part of any future facility development project.
The current proposal will result in new changing rooms, improved pitches, a floodlit artificial grass pitch for community use, a café/catering function, a multi-use games area with markings for tennis and netball, a flexible indoor space, artificial cricket wickets and space for a range of grass pitches that can be marked out for a variety of sports. The only facility that was requested but is not provided through this project is a bar, as cricket nets are still being discussed. 
The council’s request for a minimum of 8 adult pitches as part of the bid documents in January 2012, the equivalent of just over 40,000m² of playing pitch space has been fulfilled through this project. The space provided can be marked out for a number of sports and a variety of pitch sizes including mini, junior, youth and adult pitches as per NGB requirements.
The exact layout and number of pitches will be determined by the Community Sports Development Plan for the site, currently under discussion with NGB’s, sports clubs and the Advisory group. It is important to note that Sport England and the NGB’s have raised no objections to the range and/or number of facilities that are being proposed, but all agree that the proposed facilities will significantly enhance the opportunities and experiences of those who use the site in the future. Facilities that have historically been on site, such as long jump pits, shot put areas etc. are not required to be provided on this site. The borough already has existing alternative quality facilities available for school and club athletic activities.
You will see from the planning application that the facilities available to the community are as follows:
  • 8 dedicated grass pitches– resurfaced, levelled and enhance quality
  • Full size AGP – equivalent to 80 additional hours of usage per week compared to one grass pitch provision – equates to 3 fill size grass pitches
  • 3 x cricket wickets and outfields – a further 3 wickets will be provided in the local area benefiting local clubs
  • Dedicated 8 changing room block, with social area and café provision – adjacent to pitches
  • 4 changing rooms, community hall, class room space and toilets - adjacent to Astroturf pitch
  • Use of indoor Astroturf indoor pitch

3. Access to the designated community space

The community benefits of the scheme, not just in terms of the facilities but also in terms of the Community Sports Development Programme (CSDP) planned for the site are important to note for the subsequent questions in relation to this area. The site will be available for use during the day although it will be closed during the hours of darkness, except for the indoor and flood lit artificial pitches which will be available year round in the evenings. The community grass pitches will be accessible for members of the public under the same rights as now. Clearly when there is activity taking place on the pitches, such as the model flying club, community fixtures, and holiday programmes etc. people will as now need to be respectful of these.

4. Traffic and drop offs at the site

The traffic impact of the site has been assessed using the Traffic Impact Assessment survey submitted with the planning application. This assessment shows that there will
be a number of pick up points within the borough to help with transporting people to and from the site.

5. Site access from Old Hanwell and Trumpers way

There will be enhancements and repairs to the boundary treatment, via Fences that will be 2.1m in height (possibly 2.4m) and made of coated (green) metal, integrated into new soft landscaping such as hedges. It will still be possible to access the site from Old Hanwell and Trumpers way using existing footpaths which link to the new footpath and cycle footway that is to be incorporated along Windmill lane.

6. Traffic impact – Three Bridges and Old Hanwell

The traffic impact of the site has been assessed via the supporting Traffic Impact Assessment survey that has been submitted with the application. This suggests that there are a number of potential pick up points within the borough to help with transporting people to and from the site.

7. Car parking at the front of the site

The Council is sympathetic to residents’ who have been using the existing entrance to Warren Farm for parking. However, this is not a permitted use or agreement and therefore should not be taking place as cars parked in this area create a problem for current users of the site, in terms of turning circles and safe means of entering and exiting the site. The Council will be meeting with residents’ to discuss if there is any alternative arrangements that can be made or support offered to Residents effected. .

8. Lease and protection throughout the life of the lease

There are a number of stages that will be reflected within the development agreement, the planning permission granted pending decision and the lease for the site.
Stage 1
The preferred bidder will need to develop a scheme that is acceptable to the Council, both in terms of physical facilities and community plans
Stage 2
The preferred bidder will need to submit and secure a planning application and any other required consents.
Stage 3
The tender documents and specifications will then be agreed by the Council prior to the building scheme being tendered. This will involve a refinement of the Community Sports Development Programme.
Stage 4
Final completion of the works and the granting of a lease will not proceed without the completion of the works to the satisfaction of the Council and a sign off of the Community Sports Development Programme.
Stage 5
QPR will be required to deliver an agreed annual Community Sports Development Programme and provide community access as part of the lease and planning approval. The Community Sports Development Programme will be a 3 – 5 year plan and will be reviewed and agreed on an annual basis. Failure to deliver this plan will result in financial penalties, a breach of planning permission and ultimately could result in a breach of the lease.

9. General length of the lease

The length of the lease was reviewed by the Council’s scrutiny panel and upheld as a up to 200 year lease. Given the above controls, the fact that the site is a sporting facility and will only ever be used as a sporting facility, it was felt that a lease of this length was acceptable and protects the sporting interest of the site.

10. Are people making a large amount of money and pricing local people out?

This site is not a money making scheme for QPR and this was confirmed by the football club at the Ward Forum public meeting in January 2013. The community will not be priced out of the site and the Development Agreement and lease will include clauses on facility pricing, which will ensure the prices charged are comparable to other Council or other facilities of a similar quality.

11. Revenue and capital values of the deal/project

Through the partnership with the Premier League football club QPR, Warren Farm Sports Ground is set for a £30million makeover. The Council has entered into an agreement with QPR and negotiations are still on-going. The land has certainly not, nor will it be, ‘gifted’ to QPR. At a time when budgets are being cut and other Councils are being forced to close sports facilities, Ealing Council has been looking at innovative ways to not only keep facilities open but to improve the quality of facilities available for community use. This development will secure long term community access to excellent facilities. QPR will be responsible for constructing, maintaining and operating the redeveloped facilities at no cost to the council or taxpayer.

12. Who will be able to book the facilities – open access etc. and the times of usage/noise & light

Open access: The facilities will be bookable through QPR sports Trust and will be open access bookings. There will not be a membership system or affiliation required. The indoor hall could be available for use by the local community through arrangement with the Club.
Light and noise: The light spillage diagrams from the proposed floodlights on site have been submitted with the planning application and they show no impact upon surrounding properties. The only boundary of the site were light does spill beyond, is onto Windmill Lane and this level of spillage is less than normal street lighting, under 10lux level.
Times of use: The operational hours of the grass pitches will remain the same, year round daytime use. Currently the grass pitches can be used from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. seven days a week by community groups/sports clubs, schools etc. The additional evening usage of the site will be focused upon the indoor astro turf pitch, indoor community spaces, outdoor astro turf pitch and occasionally the grass “show” pitch. These areas are a significant distance from the Olde Hanwell borders and the noise impact assessment shows no impact beyond the existing levels of sports usage by the community; the majority of evening usage will be by community sports clubs. The community will benefit greatly from the proposed floodlit playing facilities and the indoor facilities which will be open for use until 10pm on weekdays and 9pm on weekends. In the 2010 consultation exercise, sports clubs identified a floodlit pitch as a new facility that would be beneficial to teams playing at the site. As mentioned the noise and light impact of these facilities and their additional usage has been shown to be of no detrimental impact to the community.
Site security: The site will have 24 hour security and a presence from the Local Safer Neighbourhoods team. This will ensure that users of the site are safe and that the antisocial and criminal activities that currently take place on the site will stop. This will provide a safer environment for children, adults and people with disabilities who will use the site, as well as the academy and professional teams. The rights of way around the site will not be affected.

13. Spectators and press at site

It is not the case that large numbers of press and spectators will be standing at the entrances of the site. However, to further allay people’s concerns on this, this site will have 24 hour security and should any people gather by the entrances or car park areas, they will be moved from the site. QPR has made provision within the plans for press areas, that will be used on a Friday morning or when an announcement is being made.
Should the security team and/or CCTV etc. not detect trouble then local residents will be able to contact the facilities management team on the site and inform them of undesirable activity, so that it can be dealt with by the Security and Facility Management teams.

14. Employment initiatives for wider borough, and specifically those surrounding areas such as Norwood Green and Olde Hanwell

The site will offer opportunities for employment and apprenticeship schemes for all residents of Ealing borough, including Olde Hanwell and Norwood Green. These apprenticeship opportunities could become available during the construction and also the operational phase of the site, in the following areas:

i. Coaching roles
ii. Community Sports Development Roles
iii. Site and Facility Management
iv. Site Security
v. Site management, pitch management/grounds maintenance etc

15. The aesthetics and size of the building, views, landscaping and wildlife along the canal

Changes have been made to the highest points of the building and all materials/colours will be selected to further mitigate any impact on the surrounding area as a whole, and in accordance with the conditions imposed by the local planning authority and the Greater London Planning Authority.

The site boundary will be enhanced, therefore improving the surrounding boundary landscape. The site is currently a large open space of sports pitches. The levelling and tiering of the site, to accommodate the revised pitch layout, will enhance the landscape quality; provide opportunities for green roofs on buildings and increase hedge and bank planting.
There will be no impact upon the wildlife along the canal as the proposed changes all relate to within the site. The enhancement of the boundary should enhance wildlife opportunities, as will the additional hedge rows and proposed green roof.

16. The withdrawal of MOL and limited access

The site will remain designated as Metropolitan Open Land. The planning specific matters in relation to MOL and its protection are addressed in the GLA and Ealing Planning committee reports. The following is an extract from the GLA’s Stage 1 Report which was published on the 21st March 2013:
The site is within Metropolitan Open Land (MOL). The London Plan indicates that MOL should have the same level as protection as designated Green Belt. The London Plan outlines that ‘The strongest protection should be given to London’s Metropolitan Open Land and inappropriate development refused, except in very special circumstances; giving Essential ancillary facilities for appropriate uses will only be acceptable where they maintain the openness of the MOL’.
In this context, the application has been accessed by the Greater London Authority (GLA) against the provisions of both the London Plan and National Planning Policy Framework. The GLA agreed that their is a need for this development, it would be to the benefit of the local community, it would constitute ‘very special circumstances’ and it would have a minimal impact on the openness of the MOL. Accordingly, the GLA accepted the principle of the development in strategic terms. Whilst the site is designated as MOL, which will remain, it is not designated as Public Open Space.
The community facilities and site development as a whole, will offer excellent opportunities for community usage and participation beyond what is currently available on the site. Community sport and physical activity participation will therefore increase on the site, beyond the current levels, through a combination of the new facilities and more importantly the delivery of the Community Sports Development Programme.


Source: Ealing Council