Legacy 2020

Saltdean United Football Club is delighted to announce some exciting plans to regenerate our grounds and improve our facilities as part of our Legacy 2020 project. We will be submitting a planning application for Hill Park in the near future that includes a new 3G playing surface on the main pitch, improvements to our stands, a new clubhouse and changing facilities.

Please read on to find out more about our Legacy project and our ambitions as a football club. You will find more information regarding our planning application in our FAQ’s below.

Thank you to the local residents for your feedback and comments via the online form and public consultation meeting which we will be taking into consideration as we finalise our plans.

Our Plans FAQ's

One Community

One Club

Working Together For Future Football

Our Club

Saltdean United is a thriving football club, run almost entirely by dedicated volunteers. A community club that brings generations together through our passion for grassroots football.

Recently awarded as an England Football Accredited 2 Star Club, we take great pride in developing our youth and senior players. The club has enjoyed significant growth over the years and is now proud to be fielding three adult teams and thirteen youth teams for the 2021/22 football season, more teams than ever before in the club’s history.

With Men’s and Women’s First Teams making great progress in their respective leagues, there are fantastic opportunities for young players coming through the club with our Women’s Development Squad and the Men’s Under 23’s team, providing a clear pathway into senior football. Our Youth Teams range from Under 7’s all the way up to Under 18’s giving young local players a great foundation from which to learn, and most importantly, enjoy the sport.

With over 200 young players registered at the club, we strive to provide a family friendly environment with facilities for everyone in the local community to enjoy.

Our Home

Deep in the suburbs of Brighton & Hove, Saltdean United Football Club nestles into the hills on the edge of the South Downs, boasting one of the most spectacular views in Non-League Football.

Formed in 1966, the club first took on the lease of Hill Park from Brighton & Hove City Council in 1970 and set about levelling the land at the foot of the slope to create an 11-a-side football pitch including the iconic stand in the West bank. In parallel with this the club acquired additional land and built a clubhouse and dressing room facilities on the opposite side of the bridleway. A training pitch and mini-football pitch were subsequently created above the main pitch for training and youth football matches and in 1996 floodlights were installed.

Saltdean Utd have recently secured a third consecutive 25 year lease from Brighton & Hove City Council for the 7.5 acres of land at Hill Park, ensuring football will continue to be played here for many years to come.

Our Aspirations

As the club continues to develop it is essential that we can provide the best possible facilities for our teams, that meet The FA’s Ground Grading Requirements, so that we can continue to progress as a football club. Our long term vision is to provide a future-proof facility for all our senior and youth teams, to increase our offer to the community and to leave a legacy for generations to come.

Currently our youth and senior teams train and play their home games in up to ten different locations across Brighton & Hove and East Sussex. Our aim is to provide access for all teams to train on a 3G pitch. This new surface will allow us to host several matches and training sessions on one day, reducing travel implications for all of our players and parents.

The regenerated grounds will also provide a much improved match day experience for our supporters, without losing any of the beauty and charm of our current setting.

Our Vision

Our regeneration project will provide:

  • A state of the art 3G playing surface
  • Training facilities for all teams in one location
  • A new clubhouse with fully accessible facilities
  • New gender-neutral changing facilities for players, coaches and officials
  • Increased covered seating and standing for spectators
  • A sports venue capable of hosting tournaments and competitions
  • Meeting and function rooms available for use by the local community
  • Education facilities for training and development
  • Improved security to minimise anti-social behaviour
  • Improved parking and new cycle racks
  • Better access to the public recreation ground
  • A club that is more sustainable in the long term
  • An increase in wildlife and biodiversity on site

Our Plans

Artist impression: View of new two storey clubhouse from the Bridleway

Our plans include:

  • Fully enclosed main pitch
  • Turnstile access to the grounds
  • A state of the art 3G Pitch
  • New covered spectators stand
  • Open terraced seating
  • Spectator toilets on each floor of the clubhouse
  • Changing facilities leading directly on to the pitch
  • Medical Room
  • Officials changing rooms
  • Home and Away team Dugouts
  • Storage for goals and equipment
  • Bar and Function Room
  • Outdoor food servery hatch
  • Improved parking and access
  • Biodiversity net gain:
    • New landscaping and planting across site
    • Improvements to the landscaping of the youth grass pitches

All plans in this document are for reference only and are subject to amendments during the design phase.

Club House and Changing Facilities

As we prepare to submit our planning application to Brighton & Hove City Council we will continue to update plans and information on our website: www.saltdeanunited.co.uk/legacyWe welcome all feedback and would be happy to answer any questions. Please contact us at communications@saltdeanunitedfc.co.uk

Our Future

Women’s football has become a hugely significant part of the club since Saltdean United Women was formed in 2017. The team have quickly progressed through the FA Women’s Football Tiers and are now sitting just one below the National League.

In 2020, Saltdean United Women introduced a ‘Development Squad’ which enabled more women and girls to compete at a lower level. The team has a direct link to the Women’s First team with the aim of progressing the players every season.

A partnership was recently formed with BHASVIC college and Withdean Youth to enable a pathway for girls to progress from U16s in to college football and then in to open age football. As a result, in the past two seasons we have seen a dramatic increase of players joining Saltdean United Women.

Whilst we currently offer opportunities for girls to play in our mixed youth teams, the long term plan is to introduce girls youth teams from Under 10s all the way through to Under 16s as we continue to develop and expand the women and girls network at the club.

Our Community

Saltdean United play a vital role in the local community, with close links to schools, sports clubs and community groups, and several hundred local families directly involved in the club through our youth and senior football teams.

Improving our facilities will not only benefit our current football teams but it will enable us to offer football sessions to a wider demographic in the future, from toddlers and pre-schoolers to walking football for senior members of the community. Our aim is to offer our facilities to the local Primary, Secondary Schools and Colleges, providing a local, affordable all-weather facility for football and sports education.

The current facilities have been used by the Saltdean and Rottingdean Youth Club for several years and more recently we were able to offer outdoor space to the local Cub Scouts and other community groups. Our new facilities will enable us to expand our offer to the community through the use of our flexible function and meeting rooms.

Having recently hosted a development session for youth football coaches in conjunction with the Sussex FA and eCAN, we look forward to being able to offer facilities for more training and development in the future.

Our Commitment

Recently described as one of the most picturesque football grounds in the country, we appreciate how lucky we are to find ourselves playing football in such a stunning location and therefore Saltdean United is committed to building a new clubhouse and facilities that are not only sustainable and efficient but also sympathetic to our natural surroundings.

Our plan is to improve access to the public recreation grounds and the National Park, providing better parking whilst also encouraging cycling and the use of public transport to reach our grounds.

As part of our commitment to improving our sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment we are currently in consultation with experts to help us with our plans to increase wildlife and biodiversity on the site with the planting of trees, hedges and wildflower banks within the grounds.

With an aim to become more sustainable in the longer term, the club will also be conducting a full review of our energy and water usage, travel plans, waste management and recycling with a view to making improvements in all areas.

Our Values

Saltdean United is committed to providing a platform for everyone to play, watch and enjoy football at the club. Having recently signed up for the Kick It Out Equality Charter we have now appointed an Equality Lead and several members of our team are undergoing training, giving us an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion within Grassroots Football.

As part of our Legacy plans we are taking several steps to provide a more inclusive facility for our players, guests and supporters including:

  • Gender-neutral changing facilities for players, coaches and officials
  • Accessible toilets within the grounds and in the clubhouse
  • Accessible viewing area for disabled spectators
  • Accessible parking and drop-off point

Our Team

The Saltdean United Legacy 2020 has been brought together by a team of volunteers from the football club, some of which have been involved for more than 30 years. As managers, coaches, committee members, parents and former players, the Legacy team share a passion for football and a commitment to deliver this facility to the highest standards to be enjoyed by generations of players, fans and the local community in the future.

As well as our love of the beautiful game, between us we have experience and expertise in design, construction, project management, IT, education, sports development, marketing, events, catering and hospitality. The Legacy is very much a team effort and we would like to thank everyone within the club, local community and wider football community that continues to support Saltdean United FC both on and off the pitch.

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope that the information below will answer some of your questions about our Legacy project and the football ground. Please read through our FAQ’s before completing the online feedback form.

Parking & Transport

What provision is being made for improved parking?

Marked out parking spaces at the club are a part of the plan to better manage the current ‘random’ parking along the bridleway.

When completed, will there be more traffic generated with additional use of the ground?

The grounds themselves are not being increased in size so the number of vehicles around at any one time is not likely to increase from that which occurs at present.

What plans do you have to prevent local streets becoming clogged up – it is a bus route?

We already have a traffic management plan, especially for match days and that will continue. There is structured and articulated travel and traffic information on the club website to help alleviate such a problem. Additionally, on every match day the limitations of parking in surrounding streets are communicated to home and away supporters via social media and we have a volunteer advising car drivers where to park carefully leaving space for buses to pass and with consideration for  neighbours’ driveways.

Additionally we will also provide guidance and expected behaviours for our  members and their families so that those that live close by are encouraged to walk or cycle to the ground or, for those further away, to park responsibly away from the ground and walk the rest of the way. We will also encourage the use of car sharing and public transport.

Artificial Turf Pitch / Ground improvements

Why do you need an Artificial Turf Pitch? Surely grass is better?

We have numerous games called off owing to waterlogged pitches every season with associated disruption to the competitions in which our teams play. In addition, thousands of pounds are spent by the club on hiring floodlit, artificial turf pitches at other facilities around Brighton so that they can practice/train. These funds can be saved and invested into our own facility and club.

Artificial pitches lead to more injuries and there are concerns that some children have suffered effects from carcinogens in the rubber crumb.

There is no good evidence that with the current 3G pitches there is any increased risk of injury.

Why is the main pitch going to have a big fence around it? How high will it be?

This is an FA requirement. The fence will be no higher than 2metres, and is simply aimed at managing access for players and supporters to the new 3G pitch.

Are you going to fence in the upper/top pitches?

No – our plans do not include any provision for fencing of the upper/top pitches.

Will there be disabled access facilities in the new clubhouse for watching games?

Yes, we are aiming to provide fully accessible facilities both within the clubhouse and the ground including a dedicated accessible viewing area, parking spaces and accessible toilets. The clubhouse itself will be fully compliant in this regard and the balcony has been specifically designed to also afford disabled persons an unobstructed view of matches from an elevated position.

Club Questions

Will the cost of watching Saltdean United Men’s and Women’s 1 st XI matches increase

Currently the cost of watching the Women’s and Men’s matches has deliberately been kept well below that of our counterparts. Whilst there may be slight increases to admission fees in the future the club will continue to encourage families and local supporters to attend these matches and therefore charges will remain either equal or less than other clubs in their leagues.

Will signing on fees / subs for youth players increase?

The club heavily discounted player registration fees for 2021-2022 due to the disruption of the previous season as a result of the pandemic. It is anticipated that these player registration fees will increase slightly in the future. However, they will always remain affordable and in line with others in the local
area.

If my child is playing a match on the upper pitches will I be able to get food / drink from the new clubhouse even if no game is being played on the bottom pitch?

Yes – we are aiming to open our new café facilities when youth matches are taking place on the upper
pitches.

When Saltdean teams are training on the new pitch will the dressing rooms be open?

The new clubhouse dressing rooms will remain for priority use by our senior teams during their match days and training requirements in line with FA requirements. Any further use of the changing facilities will be agreed by the club at the time of booking.

Will the café be open during training sessions for all teams?

We are aiming to open our new café facilities wherever possible during training sessions.

Funding

How is this being funded public money, grants, donations?

The funding for the project is being provided by a small number of private individuals, together with additional grants and public funding from football and sports related organisations.

Planning

How long will it take to determine the application once it has been submitted?

It is anticipated that it will take some 4 months from submission.

Will there be the chance to comment on the application?

Yes – by requesting direct feedback from the club on its website, completing the feedback form which can also be found on the club’s website or direct contact with B&HCC. In all cases you are encouraged to review all the ‘Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)’ about this project as any queries you have will hopefully be answered here as the club have invested time in trying to anticipate such questions.

How is a decision made on the application?

Brighton & Hove City Council will ultimately make the decision based on their planning policy criteria for such enhancements to community services within their area.

What other plans does the club have to improve it’s facilities?

The club has no plans for any further development(s) beyond this Legacy 2020 project.

Public Access

Will parking be improved?

Yes; the provision of marked out parking spaces are part of the plan.

What will happen to the bridleway while the new pitch is being constructed? Will horses, dog walkers, farm owners / workers be able to access the Downs?

The bridleway will remain open to all those who wish to take advantage of the route to the Downs. We will work with the contractors to help them appreciate the needs of local people and minimise disruption.

Can people still use the upper recreational areas for activities eg. playing informal games such as football , rounders etc?

Yes – the upper recreational area will still be accessible to the general public as normal, with priority use for football on the playing surfaces in line with our current 25 year lease.

Will there be better / improved lighting along the bridleway?

Unfortunately not – the bridleway is under separate ownership and the club has no control over its maintenance.

Will the bridleway surface be improved?

Improvements to the bridleway approach to the club do not form part of our plans. However, we will continue to undertake minor repairs to it on occasion as we have done in the past.

Facilities

Which teams will have access to the new pitch for training and matches?

The intention is that all Saltdean United teams will have access to the new facilities to overcome the current need to hire facilities elsewhere. Matches will continue to be played on both the upper grass pitches plus the new 3G pitch at the club.

Will the pitch be available for hire?

It is anticipated that on occasion the facilities will be hired out to others. However, the primary objective is to serve Saltdean United teams and the Saltdean community at large.

Will the clubhouse facility be made available for community groups?

Yes – the club’s intention is to provide a facility that serves the whole community.

Will the Youth Club still be able to use the clubhouse?

Yes – we plan to support community groups within our new facilities.

What is going to happen to the existing clubhouse and dressing rooms?

These are separate to our plans, but as they are wholly owned by the club they will be re-purposed to continue to provide facilities to both the football club and the local community.

Will the café be open during the week?

Yes – we plan to have this open when there are activities taking place at the club.

I live nearby - will the facility create more noise in the evening?

As the use of the grounds is not changing, we anticipate there being no more than that which exists at present when the facilities are in use.

Floodlights

Are the floodlights going to be on every night?

The floodlights are not to be amended and are currently used most evenings during the autumn/winter months for training and matches and this will not change.

Build Construction

How long will the construction take, and what will you do to minimise disruption to the neighbourhood?

Construction will take place mainly during the close season (May to August). During this time we will work with and ensure the contractors appreciate the needs of local people and manage access appropriately to achieve minimum inconvenience.

Biodiversity

What is the impact on the local wildlife environment?

We have commissioned and had conducted a range of surveys in order to ensure that our new community resource has no adverse impact on the environment and we will ensure that the construction takes account of any recommendations.

Are there any opportunities as part of this development to enhance the biodiversity onsite?

Yes. We are working with a range of consultants to ensure we maximise the opportunities to do so.

Sustainability

Artificial Turf Pitches are not very environmentally friendly. What will you do to minimise impact on the environment?

We will have a detailed plan of maintenance for the pitch itself which will ensure the maximum life we can expect will be achieved. When the time comes to replace the pitch surface we will use an appropriate company to ensure that the surface is separated into its component parts and properly recycled, re-used or disposed of responsibly.

Will the new clubhouse be designed with sustainability in mind? What measures will be implemented?

Yes. We are working with consultants to maximise the opportunity to do so including consideration for power usage/generation, heating, insulation and ventilation along with using sustainable materials during construction of the facilities in accordance with BHCC planning policies.

Our Partners