Calls for Broadwater ground in Berkhamsted to be listed as an Asset of Community Value

An Asset of Community Value is land or property of importance to a local community which is subject to additional protection from development

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 1:21 pm

A Berkhamsted man has called for Broadwater ground to be listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) and continue to be used as a sports ground.

John Waller, of Cobb Road, is appealing for the public's support in his attempt at getting the football ground listed as an ACV.

An ACV is land or property of importance to a local community that is subject to additional protection from development under the Localism Act 2011.

John is appealing for the public's support in his attempt at getting the football ground listed as an ACV

John says the Berkhamsted Sports Ground Charitable Association Limited (BSGCA) plan to sell Broadwater ground in order to partially finance a new sports hub as part of a property development proposal in Bourne End, and the possible relocation plan, will see Berkhamsted Comrades Football Club move from the ground in the town to Bourne End.

But Paul Forster, chair of the BSGCA, said: "There are currently no plans, in any shape or form, to change the use of Broadwater."

John said: "I'm trying to do this so that it cannot be sold to a developer for flats, stays a football ground as it has been for over 100 years.

"I am not a member of the football club but I think it's wrong what they are doing. I am very worried about the future of the club.

"It has been an integral part of Berkhamsted since the War Heroes returned from the 'Great War'.

"People can walk to the ground and youngsters can get there easily on their bikes - keeping car traffic to a minimum.

"It’s a historic sports ground that has produced over the years many footballers who have not also gone on to play for England but also for many major League Clubs.

"From what my grandfather told me and he was born in George Street, in 1890, there was a covenant on the ground that it was to be used for cricket and football in perpetuity.

"It really should remain as a football ground for the club."

The BSGCA is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation formed in 1924 to hold, in trust, land in Berkhamsted for the purposes of leisure and recreation.

Last year, the BSGCA was introduced to Thakeham Group regarding a development at the eastern side of Berkhamsted, that aims to provide housing, a school, a country park and community sport and leisure facilities.

The BSGCA believes that the Bulbourne Cross development provides a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to provide the residents of Berkhamsted with a first-class multi-sport facility.

Berkhamsted FC started the petition earlier this year to save the ground and keep the club in the town, and not relocate to Bourne End.

Tony Noakes, town clerk for Berkhamsted Town Council, said: "I have been liaising with John on his application for Broadwater to become an asset of community value.

"It would need to have the full support of Berkhamsted Town Council, which will be considered at a forthcoming Council meeting.

"I am aware of how important the football ground remaining at Broadwater will be to the Berkhamsted community."