SLC are proud to announce that Barnet Council have approved the outline business case to invest £18.8M into development of a new Community Sports Hub facility at West Hendon Playing Fields. The Council appointed SLC (and associates Southern Green Landscape Architects and Paul Weston Architect) in 2018 to develop a masterplan and feasibility study for the development of a strategic sports hub with a wider leisure and community offer at the site. The project was supported further by SLC through a comprehensive process of public consultation and a post-Covid review of capital costs and revenue implications to inform the final business case.
West Hendon Playing Fields is an important sporting, recreation and community resource with strong links to adjacent areas of significant ecological interest and to the major regeneration of the West Hendon estate. However, the site is currently unwelcoming and characterised by rundown infrastructure, poor quality facilities, poor access and circulation routes and an overarching lack of identity.
The approved masterplan for the site will contribute to the delivery of a series of key strategic documents designed to shape the delivery of sport and physical activity services and facilities across the Borough, underpinned by the Council’s commitment that ‘Barnet’s parks and open spaces will be amongst the best in London.’
The masterplan includes a new Community Sports Hub facility with indoor climbing, soft play, community rooms, multi-purposes activity studios, nursery, changing facilities and café. Planned outdoor facilities include new and improved grass football pitches, 2 x floodlit Artificial Turf Pitches, multi-use games area, tennis courts, wheeled sports facility, bowling green, adventurous play area, outdoor gym and trim trail, adventure golf course, high ropes course, woodland nature trail, sensory and community garden areas and improved cycling and pedestrian routes throughout the site.
The benefits of the scheme include:
- Providing a core placemaking element of the wider regeneration of West Hendon, including opportunities for increased community cohesion and education
- Helping to meet the specific needs of local sports clubs for football pitches, especially junior and artificial turf pitches
- Meeting local demand for free-to-access activities and facilities, including a wheeled sports facility, play areas and community gardens, supporting wider physical and mental health and wellbeing outcomes
- Revitalising and re-energising the site, addressing issues which have made the site unwelcoming and underused, and transforming it to one which is both an attractive local community asset and wider ‘destination’ site
- Providing much improved indoor facilities for existing users and additional indoor activity and community space
- Providing ecological improvements, capitalising on the site’s unique character and designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest – widening awareness through education and improved access, signage and interpretation
- Significant sustainable and active travel improvements within and around the site
- Wider social value through reduced crime, improvements to health, education and wellbeing and additional local employment opportunities.