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London Fire Brigade Sports Pitch (Grotto Place/Sawyer Street)

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Wednesday 30 November 2005 1.45pm
Will the London Fire Brigade's plans to move into Union Street backing onto their Southwark Bridge Road training centre have any implications for the sports pitch(es) within their existing complex?

I'm confused as to exactly what pitches remain and where, following the LFB's Firehouse development for "real fire" training.

The availability of a pitch for hire is currently scandalously under-publicised, compared to when I worked around the corner fifteen years ago.

I was told there was some legal covenant on at least one pitch that requires the site to be available for sporting use. Is this the pitch known as Grotto Place?
Grotto Place
94 Southwark Bridge Road

Travel Info:
Nearest tube is Borough (Northern Line), or alternatively Southwark (Jubilee Line) and parking is easy on the street near the pitch. Please note that the address above is for the Fire Station, but that the pitch is nearby on Great Suffolk Street/Grotto Place,

Out/Indoors .......Pitch Rating......Facilities Rating
Outdoor...........................8.......................... 8

Rubber crumb pitch with changing rooms located in a very secure location surrounded by fencing. Teams finishing at 9 PM must be off the premises by 9.15. There is a problem with balls going into an adjacent fenced Fire Brigade training area - it is difficult to retreive them on the night, although it should be possible to pick them up the following week.

Wednesday 30 November 2005 2.07pm
Funnily enough I've just (yesterday) submitted some FOI requests to the LFEPA and Southwark Council to find out whether there were any covenants regarding community use attaching to the Grotto pitch after the transfer of the site to the LFEPA (I was told there were) and whether these covenants are being enforced (I can't believe that they are).

I've played on the pitch a lot but always as a guest of some corporate social club or another - I live just around the corner and never see any local kids getting to use the facilities (even early in the evening when the pitch is not otherwise for hire).

If there are covenants attaching to the site then I've got the agreement of a member of the LFEPA board to press the authority heavily to open the pitch up to local kids. (Even if there are no legal requirements this seems like something they should be doing anyway - they are a public authority after all.)

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