Further to gaining planning consent for the club’s Academy plans at Cutenhoe Road on September 30th, we are delighted to confirm further details for our proposals to realise our crucial ambition to invest in the Academy and raise it to Category 2 status.
In setting out on this project we have wanted to collaborate closely with the four nearest schools (Surrey St Primary, Linden Academy, Chiltern Academy and the Avenue Centre for Education). We have also listened closely to the views of local ward councillors and recognise the opportunity to utilise the site to advance the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan and raise environmental awareness amongst local school children.
To help in this ambition we are proposing to plant 1,442 new trees and shrubs on the site - one for every pupil on the register of our four partner schools. Within that planting programme we can also encourage a positive new environmental initiative with the local schools to raise awareness and learning. There will also be an opportunity to look at what can be done to improve the bio-diversity of the site. An illustrative plan of the site is below, and a pdf can be viewed by clicking on the image.
This plan is of course in addition to our primary objective, which is to invest approximately £1m into the site and bring it back into use for the benefit of our Academy children and local schools. This investment would see new pitches created to a high standard and an indoor air dome built into the corner of the site.
A usage agreement has been provisionally agreed with the aforementioned schools where they would get primary access to use the new pitches whenever they are needed Monday to Friday through the school day, and in the evenings. The club would in turn play its Academy matches on a Saturday and Sunday morning.
The final hurdle for the project is for the Council to agree a lease with the club for the site and a decision here is expected further at an Executive meeting of the Council.
Michael Moran, Chief Operations Officer of 2020 Developments, said: “This is a unique opportunity to deliver a valuable community project at a time of crisis across the country. We are not seeking any money from the Council to deliver this plan and indeed a commercial rent has been agreed with an independent valuer.
"The site is currently locked and in a poor state of repair. Being sited under a flight path, its alternative use is limited, however the lease proposal does include a provision for the club to hand back the vast majority of the site at any time should the Council need it for an educational purpose.
"If we are successful in agreeing a lease we will then work with the schools, environmental organisations and relevant authorities to ensure our plans are safe and accessible. ”