Council planning new artificial pitch in Brockwell Park

planning CGI
The red lines show the outline of the pitch and the new vehicle access

People living near Brockwell Park have been alarmed by consultation documents dropping through their doors showing that Lambeth council is planning to build an artificial pitch with 12-metre high light-towers between the lido and the BMX track in the park.

The proposed site is partly a compacted gravel area that is sometimes used by Brixton BMX club for training and partly an area of vegetation.

It is close to houses on both the Dulwich Road (including the famous Grand Designs house) and on Brailsford Road, which backs onto the park.

planning application in the name of Dermot Collins, who is Lambeth council’s leisure programme manager, appeared recently on the council’s planning application database.

It includes a “preliminary ecological assessment” that does not envisage serious impacts on plants or animals.

In a planning statement, the application says that the proposed community 3G football turf pitch (FTP) design is sensitive to and preserves residential amenity, and the surrounding environment.

cgi images
Left: the area as it os now from above. Right, computer generated image of the proposed pitch. The lido is in the top left corner

It says the site forms part of a previous playing field area and would transform this part of Brockwell Park into “a valued contemporary all-weather sports facility, facilitating football activities, training, coaching, education, and skills development, as well as youth and junior match opportunities”.

It describes the current area between the BMX track and the compacted gravel area as “a wildflower meadow”.

The application says the pitch would be located close to existing amenities, providing convenient pedestrian access for local groups and football teams, and visitors to Brockwell Park.

It says “local biodiversity” would be maintained.

The pitch would have a 4.5-metre-high fence and six 12-metre-high floodlight masts and access for vehicles.

The application envisages building starting in October this year and being complete by January next year.

The application is open for comments.

Computer generated image of the pitch from above


  1. This seems like turning the gravel pitch into an all weather one. Let’s not get it knockers in a twist. Who can use it? Cars only one the existing car park? If so, a good facility Addington… But ongoing maintenance needed

  2. Brockwell Park has always been one of the most beautiful natural parks I have had the pleasure to use.
    With its hills, lakes, streams, trees and flower garden, it truly is a place to relax and get away from all the daily commotion.
    Why do council’s seek only to destroy all of this by building ‘amenities on them?
    The Lido, the Tennis courts, the bowling green, the BMX track and now a floodlit football pitch.
    I thought you lot at Lambeth we’re supposed to be champions of the environment?…Yet you seek to destroy any natural area that has been the same for hundreds of years for what?…A football pitch?…An astro turfed, floodlit football pitch that will probably fall into decay as the years roll by due to ‘lack of funding’ and then we, the residents, will be stuck with it.
    All I can think of for the reason to build it is that someone on the council is probably going to make a shed load of money out of it because they are probably in with the developers.
    A few greased palms hmm?…A few secret meetings off the record?…
    And don’t give us all this political guff about benefitting the young community and encouraging sports.
    Kids and teenagers will always find ways to play sports without your help and London is already awash with facilities for all sporting activities.
    No…Leave Brockwell Park alone. It already has enough man made scars on it already.
    The way you lot are going, it won’t be long before Brockwell Park will be nothing more than another South London eyesore, cluttered with man made constructions that will inevitably fall into decay.

  3. I haven’t read the full plan but anything which allows more vehicles and parking in Brockwell is a bad idea from an environmental point of view and against the sprit of the Council’s own Climate Action Plan. We should not be encouraging anyone to drive to a sports facility when they should be walking or cycling. No parking allowed at all. Increased light pollution and removing existing wildflower meadows, destroying mature trees and creating evening noise all affects wildlife. Brockwell is also part of the London wide development of the Bee-Line and this needs to be supported through more, not fewer, wildlife habitats. Unfortunately, sports facilities tend to turn parks into dead spaces for everyone else. Having said that, providing good outdoor sports facilities is important. A new search for an appropriate site should be started by Council officers.

  4. Brockwell Park is an extremely popular park among residents and visitors. It attracts walkers of all ages and non-intrusive sports activities. This proposal goes against nearly everything the park has stood for in the past. Intrusive is barely the word for it, intrusive in terms of noise, intrusive in terms of light, the proposed location is also one of the busiest in the park. No doubt it will be popular with the footballing lobby, most users of the park fall outside this category. This promises to be a disaster for a much loved south London amenity.

  5. Can see a significant number of trees being removed from two full sides of the pitch according to the pictures. Trees are sparse enough in Brockwell. Plus the needless light pollution for birds and wildlife. Absolute no from me.
    This could be done (if at all) on the flat grass area by Rosendale Rd / Croxsted road entrance with much less environmental harm and better access via Rosendale entrance (I’m assuming the floodlight relate to play outside of park hours?)

    • I think this would be a disaster for South London as there are so few wildlife spots here. Dulwich wood is too busy and the other parks too manicured.
      The wild flower meadow is alive with insects and some birds in the summer and is only just settling into maturity. It is a good wide and quiet area unlike the strip by the pool. A good part of this would be lost. But equally, the path between the meadow and the gravel area, has mature trees and hawthorn bushes where blackbirds, wrens, robins and dunnocks can be seen. The thick, high bushes at the Brixton end of the path are also alive with feeding and nesting birds in the summer. This good depth of cover may mean we have foxes denning in there. I have seen two White throats in the bushes near here, and another year I saw them come to and from an area, as though nesting.
      The path through uncut grass from the bottom path up to the toilets is part of this haven of peace and touch of wild life. The noise, lights and active youngsters would devastate this for the wildlife and for me, who already feels the lack of nature here, compared to other parts of London.
      The gravel area is always used by someone seeking peace and out of sight of others to practice tai chi, do their star jumps, or teach someone.
      The area where people already play football along Norwood Road with access and a car park could be put at the bottom of Rosendale Road. I appreciate that this is more costly but wildlife is important to the environment, the air quality and the mental well-being of people.
      Please keep it as it is.

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