River Quaggy Trail and Sports Grounds Vision

Within and to the north of the Lee Forum area are a unique, large set of sports grounds which are largely hidden, traversed by the River Quaggy which is largely inaccessible.

These grounds are mostly privately owned but leased to local sports clubs. There is huge demand from clubs to use the grounds for sports and wellbeing, however they are coming under increasing pressure from development. Several have been bought by developers, fenced off, closed to local clubs and the grounds left to become derelict. Aware on pressures on local councils to build housing, several developers have submitted applications to develop the fields, with one just outside the forum area being successful in recent years (the Huntsman field). Other developers are encouraged by a 2019 planning inspectors decision to allow the lifing of Metropolitan Open Land protected status in Bromley for development.

Lee Forum is providing brownfiend sites for development whilst calling for these green sites to be undeveloped and opened up for more community use. We are working to support sports clubs and advocating for these fields to not only remain in community use, but to become a destination for sports and leisure for the wider area, with a new active link along the River Quaggy creating a nature trail between Lee and Kidbrooke for both communities to enjoy, avoiding surrounding busy roads.

Lee Forum is not alone in working for this project. See Friends of the Quaggy Playing Fields here and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England here.

The Quaggy Trail is part of a wider, long term aspiration which Lee Forum are working on with other stakeholders including Quaggy Waterways Action Group. The aspiration is to create a green chain link following the direction of the River Quaggy from Chinbrook Meadows in Grove Park, through Lee Green to Lewisham town centre . The neighbourhood plan does not suggest a route since this needs to be determined through detailed consultation with stakeholders, particularly those living closest to any proposed route. Having the trail in an adopted neighbourhood plan does not make it happen but will mean that land should be allocated for the trail and not built on, should a developer apply to build along the river (as has happened elsewhere). Additional work and collaboration between local people, landowners and the Royal Borough of Greenwich will be needed to drive this project forward. The trail was the most popular policy in the neighbourhood plan during consultations.