After more than 100 letters of support signed by members of London Scottish FC were submitted to a major development application in Teddington, the club has pulled its support.

Quantum Group, a “retirement living specialist”, intends to build 107 apartments adapted for elderly people on the Udney Park playing fields, as well as a GP surgery and underground carpark.

Included in the plans are two pitches, one of which will be 3G with artificial grass.

Concerns were raised about the number of formatted letters with the rugby union club stamp, signed by many who are not from Teddington, or even Richmond Borough.

Some addresses were in Scotland.

Wandsworth Times:

The letter circulated to members 

London Scottish FC’s secretary, Paul McFarland, who originally signed one of the letters, submitted a comment on April 13 to “distance” the club from the application.

It read: “It has come to my attention that the London Scottish office has indicated support for these plans, and been actively rallying support from our members.

“I am writing to formally distance London Scottish FC from this application.

“As a sports club we will always be enthusiastic about provision of additional and better sports facilities.

“However this is part of a wider development; neither the club’s executive committee, nor the board of London Scottish International which runs our professional 1st XV, were briefed on this; had we been, we would have consulted members in the area.

“As it is, the club is simply not competent to offer an opinion on this development and therefore cannot be seen to be offering support.”

He said emails were sent to members asking them to support, and that a petition was circulated at a match.

The club secretary added: “You should be aware, as I now am, that Quantum has authorised financial support (£4,000) to one of our community projects.”

Wandsworth Times: Mr McFarland distancing the club from the application 

Speaking to the Richmond and Twickenham Times, Mr McFarland said the reasons for retracting it were “simple”.

He said: “I was under the impression we had been asked to support the improvement and extension of the sports facilities and the addition of a 3G pitch.

“We were not specifically asked about the development itself- it would be improper of us to comment on this.

“We have members who oppose the development and those who support it and it is not our place to take sides.”

Mr McFarland said he doesn’t know who wrote it, adding: “The letter was circulated at a rugby match so I’m sure people weren’t paying attention.”

A spokeswoman for Quantam denied there was a petition circulated at the match and that the club “emailed all its members” encouraging support.

She said: “London Scottish Management originally agreed to support Quantum’s proposals for the new sports facilities at Udney Park Road in November 2017.

“The reasons for supporting the proposals were outlined in the letters that were pre-written by London Scottish Management - which members were invited to sign.

“The prepared letters were also used by club members to gain support during half time at one of their home games, and also at a pre-Match lunch.

“Before anyone decided if they wished to add their name and address to an individual support letter, they were each shown a visual and background to the proposals. It was made clear that there was no obligation to sign a letter.

“The Club has been using the ground under the Quantum ownership and both organisations have been in discussions about opportunities for future use.”

She added the £4,000 was made as a contribution to a community outreach programme and training facilities for young people.