Major Kent football pitches project challenge for Speedcut Contractors

Mike Beardallin Industry News

Speedcut at work on pitch three at Kings Hill, Kent (2)The Kings Hill pitches being created near West Malling are part of a major project by the developers, Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd, who are putting money into producing high-class sports facilities for local residents.

These include five natural turf football pitches, one artificial pitch, associated changing facilities and large areas of amenity grass and wildflowers. Kings Hill already has an 18-hole golf course and cricket pitch.

Speedcut used their LGP (Low Ground Pressure) fully-automatic laser grade bulldozer to produce level surfaces to the required grades. Primary drainage systems were installed before two stone-picking operations were carried out. This was followed by a third stone picking and light grading before ameliorating the topsoil with 380 tonnes of approved sand on each pitch.

A BAR7 seed mix of dwarf perennial ryegrass was then sown after a dressing of fertiliser (10-15-10). Germination on the first two pitches took place within a week and after a fortnight excellent grass cover was established.

Kevin Smith, Speedcut contracts manager, on the first of five pitches at Kings Hill, Kent, two weeks after seedingKevin Smith, Speedcut contracts manager, said: "The setting for the pitches is superb, with the backdrop of mature trees providing a wind break and natural segregation to some of the pitches.

"When the amenity turf areas and wildflowers are established this will be a splendid facility for residents of Kings Hill.

"Despite the very challenging soil conditions and some heavy stone content, we have done a thorough job of removing any debris to leave clean and level playing surfaces.

"Following full grass establishment a secondary drainage system will be installed comprising sandbanding and sand topdressing"

Kevin said that Speedcut had been delighted to work with Liberty Property Trust, who are overseeing the project - including the construction of a pavilion building.

Kings Hill is set in 800 acres near West Malling and is just two miles from junction 4 of the M20. It was a former airfield and is now home to around 6,500 residents and more than 100 businesses employing some 5,000 people.

As well as the 18-hole golf course and cricket pitch there is a David Lloyd leisure centre and further recreation and sports amenities. There are also schools and a village centre with shops, restaurants and cafes as well as a doctor's surgery, veterinary surgery and opticians. (visit

Derek Lloyd, Liberty Property Trust Construction Manager, said: "Speedcut have carried out a very professional job and their attention to detail is remarkable. We can see some superb football playing surfaces developing with good grass cover on the first two that have been completed."

Speedcut's current summer project line-up includes constructing new training pitches for Colchester United FC and Worthing FC, with completed projects at King William College on the Isle of Man and at Kingswood Golf and Country Club, Surrey, in time for the PGA Men's Senior Open Qualifiers at the end of July.

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