IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Why we want a new hybrid surface for Tufnell Park Playing Fields

20 March, 2020

• I AM writing in response to letters published in the March 13 Tribune expressing concern about the proposal to install a new hybrid surface at Tufnell Park Playing Fields.

This winter has seen roughly double our typical average rainfall, and this has resulted in the fields being out of action for football for many weeks.

The drainage to which your correspondents referred was carried out in 2013 and resulted in a great improvement to the state of the fields but, sadly, as we see the effects of the climate emergency lead to more unpredictable weather we are seeing more rainfall which the drainage cannot cope with.

Tufnell Park Playing Fields have been in use for over a century and for many of those years have been used for football.

Indeed the Friends of Tufnell Park Playing Fields was originally set up, nearly two decades ago, in order to ensure that this would continue.

There is huge demand for football in the borough, including a youth league with over 220 teams playing at Market Road, an adult midweek 11-a-side league with over 30 teams, plus a recent surge in participation in women’s football.

The fields now host a thriving football school with dozens, if not hundreds, of children playing every week.

As a council we are keen to encourage participation in sport. Playing games regularly is proven to improve both physical and mental health, as well as harbouring community cohesion.

Tufnell Park Playing Fields, while being specifically for football, has also benefited from improvements for other sports, such as the tennis courts, the walking milestones, and the green gym (funded by the Friends of Tufnell Park Playing Fields).

We are proposing a solution that guarantees usage of the pitch for existing and new users and to protect the longevity of playing opportunities going forwards.

I can assure your correspondents that an environmental impact assessment and a feasibility study will be carried out before any work is done.

CLLR JANET BURGESS
Executive Member for Health & Social Care

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