Historically Shelton Sports Club was owned by a private Insurance Company for the benefit of its staff and private members to use. In 2006 the existing owner purchased the site but after numerous attempts failed to run it as a viable business so the club closed its doors for the last time over a decade ago and has been left vacant, laying idle ever since. On occasion it has become the target of anti-social behaviour and numerous arson attacks. It has always been privately owned i.e. no access to members of the public, although it can be viewed from a private footpath to the north east of the site. As part of Tandridge’s preparation for their draft Local Plan 2033 they produced a ‘Playing Pitch Strategy’ to assess all sports facilities within the District naming a total of 64 facilities but Shelton Sports was defined in the document as “disused”. Given the former Sports Club has been vacant for over 10 years it also meets the definition of “lapsed” within the same document so it cannot be said that the development of the land would be a ‘loss of playing pitch provision’.
Disused – provision that is not being used at all by any users and is not available for community hire either. Once these sites are disused or five or more years they will then be categorised as ‘lapsed sites’.
Lapsed – last known use was more than five years ago (these fall outside of Sport England’s statutory remit but still have to be assessed using the criteria in paragraph 74 of the National Planning Policy Framework).”
Despite this definition, Chartwell are a local company and are keen to improve sports provision within the area of Warlingham therefore any planning application submitted will include:
On-site provision – a new play area for children and new jog trim trail which will be opened up to locals to use and benefit from.
Off-site provision – financially support Warlingham Rugby Football Club with three of their objectives (highlighted below) to enhance and improve their well-known local Rugby club. Consultation will take place with the ‘Rugby Football Union’ (RFU) and Sport England for comment / approval.
Relationship with Warlingham Rugby Football Club and meeting the needs of the Playing Pitch Strategy of TDC.
Chartwell have an existing, well-established relationship with Warlingham Rugby Football Club, having sponsored their Junior Section within the recent years. We are therefore, discussing with WRFC how Chartwell can support Warlingham RFC in achieving a number of their key objectives along with meeting the needs of the Playing Pitch Strategy of TDC. Any joint agreement will be a condition of any future planning consent granted and legally secured within a s106.
Shelton Sports is located less than 500m from Warlingham RFC. Rugby and Cricket are two of the four main sports highlighted (Football and Hockey being the others) within Tandridge’s Playing Pitch Strategy. Warlingham Rugby Football Club is primarily a rugby club offering five grass pitches and club facilities on site. The club has also been the home of Hillcrest Netball Club since 1985 and the grounds also offer cricket facilities to local clubs.
Chartwell have been in discussions with key decision makers within Warlingham RFC over the last few years and will now engage with them more formally to explore whether key objectives of the PPS match the needs of WRFC and whether there are any other areas to explore. We believe there are at least three key areas within the PPS which WRFC will benefit from and will enhance sport participation for the club. We believe that the three highlighted areas not only align with the individual needs of Warlingham RFC, but also meet with those areas highlighted within the Tandridge Playing Pitch Strategy which in turn, the whole local sporting community can benefit from.
Until Chartwell understand other objectives of WRFC the three specific areas that Chartwell will focus on with WRFC are:
There is a high demand for junior playing pitches given large junior (‘minis’) section with WRFC – currently mini rugby is played width ways on some of the adult rugby pitches at Warlingham RFC but due to demand, the club have to utilise pitches located at near-by Warlingham School on a pre-arranged basis. The school does not have any toilet facilities nearby and the location of the Warlingham School pitches involves crossing a busy road which is not ideal for parents and juniors alike. Often siblings are playing junior rugby within their different age groups and are located on different pitches raising safeguarding concerns when a parent is caring for more than one child. The objective is to have additional pitches connected to the existing pitches and create two dedicated junior pitches that are located side by side which would are within walking distance to the existing clubhouse facilities and changing area. The youth policy of any good sports club is key to the future survival and success. By providing more dedicated junior area attracts more junior members to the club.
Chartwell have purchased a plot of land to the rear of the clubs existing ground (approximately 3 acres) which they have identified to Tandridge District Council as being used for the enhancement of club facilities, by the redevelopment of the site with 2 minis/youth playing pitches (as shown on the plan to the right). By pitches being located side by side allows parents to watch siblings on different pitches. The proposed pitches being located close to the clubhouse allows access to changing and toilet facilities. No longer will there be a need to cross a busy road to use the temporary ‘overspill’ pitches located at Warlingham School.
Given the uncertain weather in England, training and matches get cancelled due to water logged pitches. Warlingham sits on a mainly clay bed and therefore surface water remains on the pitches making them unplayable. The existing drainage systems on some pitches are either not in place or inadequate. This means that quality of use can vary, year on year, dependent upon the prevailing weather and levels of rainfall. The object is to improve drainage to certain pitches which will improve the playing surfaces at Warlingham throughout allowing additional floodlit matches which will increase bar revenue and make the club appeal to the wider village with the potential for additional lettings.
With the assistance of a dedicated Sustainable Drainage System, Chartwell will implement a drainage strategy to some of the pitches to ensure that cancelled training sessions and matches are a thing of the past.
Enhancement of Women’s changing facilities – The club changing facilities have not been upgraded for a number of years and would massively assist members if this area is addressed. There are no dedicated ladies/girls changing facilities or adequate disabled access/use.
It is proposed that the existing clubhouse can be reconfigured to provide segregated changing areas for the women’s section helping support the growth of women’s sport at the club which Chartwell will contribute the funds to achieve.