Sir James Altham 3G Pitch

Up to date information on Sir James Altham 3G pitch. Page last updated on 12/06/2024.

Update 12/06/2024

Joint statement from Three Rivers District Council and Oxhey Jets Football Club

Three Rivers District Council and Oxhey Jets Football Club (OJFC) wish to clarify misunderstandings that have been circulating and to explain that both the council and Oxhey Jets are continuing to work together to secure the long-term future of the OJFC at their existing ground.

As has been recently reported, the 3G pitch (a synthetic surface that replicates natural grass) adjacent to the OJFC ground was reluctantly closed by Everyone Active, which manages council leisure facilities, in conjunction with the council. This followed an assessment that its condition posed a direct health and safety risk to users. The 3G pitch had unfortunately been subject to regular and sustained vandalism, which led to the playing surface becoming unsafe for use. This has impacted the football club, as the 3G pitch was used by them and others predominantly for training. The council recognised that closing the 3G pitch was not an easy decision to make and that it would have adverse impacts on users, however, the cost of re-laying the damaged playing surface is substantial and also the district council will no longer be responsible for the 3G pitch once it is handed back to Hertfordshire County Council at the end of the lease in April 2025.

The district council is continuing to work with the football club to find alternative training facilities for it in the short term, whilst the OJFC’s bid for Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Football Foundation funding is considered for its existing playing pitch near the 3G pitch. The longer-term ambitions are that OJFC secure funding to refurbish its existing clubhouse and playing pitch, converting this to an approved Football Association 4G surface, which will allow the OJFC to meet all of its current playing and training needs on the current site. This would allow all the Jets Teams to come home and be reunited on the site for the first time since 2002.

The district council has created this page on its website to clarify the current position and this will be updated periodically so that our residents can obtain, current, factual information regarding the plans for the site.

The district council remains committed to ensuring that the OJFC continue to play in its present home ground in South Oxhey and in helping to secure the long-term future of the club.

Update 20/05/2024

As a result of health and safety concerns identified from an inspection on Friday, April 26, the use of the 3G pitch at Sir James Altham field in South Oxhey had to be suspended for the foreseeable future by Everyone Active, which manages the site on behalf of Three Rivers District Council (TRDC).

The 3G pitch’s surface has deteriorated over time, primarily owing to multiple and repeated acts of vandalism over the years, a recent example of this was arson damage in June 2023, which was patch repaired by the council. However, the inspection showed that the pitch was no longer safe to use and that considerable expenditure would be required to bring it back into use and this was not feasible given the return of the lease to Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) in April 2025.

The site’s owner, HCC, leases the entire site to TRDC (headlease). The district council sub-lets a grass pitch and clubhouse to Oxhey Jets Football Club. The entire site will be returned to HCC when the headlease ends in April 2025. In the interim, Three Rivers District Council is supporting the transitional arrangements of immediate re-provision for the 3G activities in the short term (to April 2025) following the closure.

The 3G pitch was available for hire on a ‘pay to play’ basis by local groups and individuals, and was used by the Oxhey Jets, although it does not form part of the sublease agreement with the council. No local groups or individuals have exclusive use of the 3G pitch.

The council and Everyone Active are actively working with the Oxhey Jets, who use the 3G pitch for training purposes, and other 3G user groups affected to support them in finding suitable alternative pitches for their activities where possible.

No long-term decisions on the 3G pitch have yet been made. In the short term Oxhey Jets are still able to access the additional grass pitch (shown in cross-hatched purple in the plan below).

  • Headlease – edged in red
  • Sublease (grass pitch and clubhouse) – edged in blue
  • Astropitch/3G pitch/MUGA – edged in green
  • Grass pitch - edged in cross-hatched purple

Sir James Altham 3G pitch lease plan: