Major Ground Improvement Works

 

Elmbridge Eagles Rugby Club, Oaken Lane, KT10 0RG

 

16 Jan, 2019

 

Journey's End

 

Only a few will recall this journey that started in 2010.

 

Many will benefit for years to come.

 

Elmbridge Eagles was a proud but neglected club. It operated on a yearly renewable licence. There was only one operational pitch and a clubhouse held together with hope and blu-tac.

 

It was decided that we should be the first port of call within the Rugby League family.

 

The process started and naively we envisaged a three-year start to finish,

 

With Elmbridge Borough Council's support, we raised enough funds to invest circa £130,000 from a multitude of sources, into the restoration of the clubhouse building. Eventually, the work was completed, and a seven-year lease was secured.

 

Initially, Rugby League is a summer sport, made it's home in Oaken Lane as it was the only type of sport, which could be played at the club. Each year, the pitches are waterlogged from mid-October until the following April and are far too dangerous.Located in Claygate, there is only a thin layer of soil, and then you hit CLAY!

 

Until we funded and installed a French drain around the clubhouse, if there was a deluge, we were flooded out. This was due to the downhill gradient and of course, the composition of the land.

 

To remedy the problem, funding was applied for and gained, providing our lease was extended to 25 years. This was eventually granted after about two years. Planning permission then took a further 13 months to secure and finally EA permits took an additional 19 months to obtain.

 

In essence, a "herringbone" drainage system will be installed. The land will levelled by building up from the lowest point.Asphalt car parking will be laid throughout, and we will end up with two LEVEL, DRAINED pitches which can be used all year round.

 

With this type of land engineering, the settlement is an issue, and a cycle of 4 seasons (Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer ) will need to be experienced before the pitches can be played on again.

 

A funding committee is already in place investigating options for when we return to our new home.

 

In the meantime, we will relocate the club as near as possible to our current home, from the end of this season until the end of the 2019 season providing it all goes to plan.

 

Elmbridge Eagles will be temporally "RE-NESTING".

 

Work commenced on 2-07-18 to level the land in order to install drainage so that the local community can enjoy superb Sports Facilities all the year round. Currently the pitches are only playable safely for 5/6 months per annum.

 

The operation is dictated by the weather and no further materials will be delivered until the plant has spread and compacted into place what has already been brought in.

 

The recent deluges of rain have rendered the use of earth moving equipment unsafe. It has therefore been decided to suspend all operations until after the Christmas period.

 

Subject to outside factors beyond the operator's control, it is hoped that the settlement process will commence mid-spring.

 

The site will be secured by the end of this week. The ten foot wide pathway around the perimeter from the front entrance to the railway bridge stairway will still be accessible to pedestrians.

 

Charlie Tavener (Chair)

 

UPDATE 16 Jan 19

 

The ground improvement works are currently in “close down” due to inclement weather. There had always been provision made not to import material for January and possible February. We were advised by the operator pre-contract that this would likely be the case due to viability of imports at this time of year.

 

There is also a consideration of where the imported material is sourced. During the next couple of winter months the quality and quantity of material is harder to obtain.

 

Charlie Tavener (Chair)