Stadium to get new lease of life
given to plans for a new inclusive health club and tennis courts
rejuvenate a historic sports ground in Chiswick have been given the final
go-ahead by councillors.
The unanimous vote by Chiswick Area Committee (Planning) will bring new
life to the Polytechnic Stadium on Hartington Road.
It was once home to British Olympic trials, an athletics club, and other
local clubs and schools, as well as Fulham Rugby League Club. But over
the last few decades the stadium and its grandstand have fallen into disrepair.
Construction work is now set to start within months to upgrade the derelict
grandstand, which cannot be used at present because it does not satisfy
the requirements of the Safety of Sports Ground Act. It will form part
of an intermediate, inclusive health club with associated sporting facilities.
These will include seven new tennis courts, replacing six worn-out hard
courts at the other end of the site - the home of local community club
Chiswick Poly Tennis, which
has fully supported the development. The vast majority of its members
are residents of Grove Park and other parts of W4.
The club has seen the loss of ten grass courts as part of preparatory
plans to switch to new tennis facilities in the long-awaited new development,
which reverses years of decline on site.
Planning permission was originally granted in 1997. The first phase, now
completed, involved construction of two international hockey pitches with
floodlighting. Work on this second phase is expected to take 12 months.
The new development incorporates and retains the grandstand, now a Grade
II listed structure. English Heritage were consulted and say the scheme
will bring a threatened building back into use.
Both grandstand and stadium form part of the much larger Quintin Hogg
Memorial Ground, a multi-sports site managed by the University of Westminster
- formerly the Polytechnic of Central London - but ultimately run by a
In agreeing Listed Building Consent, Hounslow Council’s planning report
pointed out: “This development will enable the sports ground to be a centre
of sporting excellence as it was for many years.”
October 23, 2003