The Beveree Stadium football pitch

State of the art redevelopment of The Beveree Stadium approved by council

A state-of-the-art redevelopment of The Beveree Stadium, with new LED floodlights and an artificial 3G pitch, was approved last week by Richmond Council.

The Beveree Stadium is the home of Hampton and Richmond Borough FC (HRBFC) and Richmond Park FC Women’s 1st team, both of which play in the sixth tier of their respective football pyramids.

HRBFC argued to the council’s Planning Committee that the regeneration of the pitch will allow matches to go ahead all year round, preventing regular cancellations due to waterlogged or icy conditions.

The work is due to begin after this season ends, and is hoped to be completed by the start of the 2023/24 season.

The club’s owner, Rafaele Petruzzo, told SWLondoner: “The new pitch and floodlights will allow us to achieve our vision of integrating our youth and academy teams with the first team. 

“It will also allow the local community schools to have access to state-of-the-art facilities just a stone’s throw away from their grounds.”

There was a small amount of opposition from neighbouring residents regarding concerns about environmental impact and increased light and noise pollution.

The Beveree Stadium is surrounded on all sides by Beveree Wildlife Site, a conservation and nature reserve.

Environmental concerns included microplastic pollution and the replacement of natural turf with artificial turf, with the resultant loss of habitat for insects. 

Martin Elengorn, Lib Dem councillor and vice-chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee, said: “I don’t feel easy about people turning their own private lawns into artificial grass because it’s not good for nature.

“But in this particular case, the sports and local-activity considerations out-deeped the concerns about loss of natural habitat.”

When asked whether there are plans to mitigate the environmental impact, he said: “They’re going to provide stag beetle loggeries and I think a bat box – it obviously doesn’t directly relate to the loss of green turf but it is a nature-plus.”

The redevelopment is also welcomed by Richmond Park FC, coming at a time when the state of women’s football facilities are in the spotlight.

In January, Chelsea Women’s match against Liverpool at their home ground, Kingsmeadow, was cancelled only six minutes after kick-off due to icy conditions.

Petruzzo said: “Richmond Park Women are equally as excited about the developments, as it will provided a more sustainable pitch… with less risk of games being postponed.”

It is as yet unknown how much the redevelopment will cost, which depends on which type of 3G is used, along with other factors.

The club hope to be able to provide rough figures towards the end of the season.

Featured image from Katie Chan via Creative Commons, license: CC BY-SA 4.0

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