Agenda item

Indoor and Built Sports and Recreational Facilities Study - Final (Agenda item 10)


Report by James Mann, Planning Policy Officer (Capita).


Due to their size, appendices B, C and D will be sent as separate supplementary agendas.


James Mann, Planning Policy Officer (Capita) presented the report which asked Members to consider and agree the Indoor and Built Sports and Recreational Facilities Study to form part of the evidence base for the Local Plan and to publish the document on the Council’s website.


Members had already accepted the findings of Stage 1 of the Study subject to the addition of further wording around the value of the village hall sport offered within the District.


Stage 2 of the report sought to build a bigger picture of the provision within the District based around location, quality, quantity and management.  The key findings and the implications for the Local Plan were highlighted.


Mrs Bunning, Watton Town Council, was disappointed as it looked as if Watton had fallen off the radar once more as far as sports facilities and a swimming pool was concerned notwithstanding that the current facilities in the town were in need of updating.  The Planning Policy Officer (Capita) advised that there was not enough demand for a new sports centre but it the Study did include an upgrade to the existing facilities.  Mrs Holmes, also from Watton Town Council asked if there was a firm commitment that the Astro turf would be replaced and paid for by Breckland Council as the town clearly needed assistance.  The Director of Planning & Building Control (Capita) pointed out that artificial grass pitches needed to be considered in the wider pitch provision.  In response, Mrs Holmes felt that this did not provide the town with a commitment and Watton was the only market town that was not being mentioned or helped.  The Executive Manager for Growth & Prosperity advised that the Council was seeking discussions with all the market towns in the Breckland area about their aspirations outside of the Local Plan.  He pointed out that this document was not in any way promising to deliver; all that was contained in the document were observations and reminded Members that in Stage 1 of the Study, Watton had definitely been included.  Councillor Webb drew Members’ attention to page 51 of the agenda pack, section 2.10 under the heading ‘What Watton Wants’ and read aloud this section which stated that Watton was completely restricted with its sports facilities due to the PFI arrangement.  The Strategic Planning Manager explained that again this was not for the Local Plan.  The Chairman reminded the meeting that there were three Breckland Councillors who represented Watton and these matters could be addressed through another forum. Councillor Robinson alluded to the Executive Manager’s point in relation to the market towns initiative and urged the Town Councillors to lobby the three Breckland Ward Representatives.


Attention was drawn to section 9.16 of Appendix D of the report where again it stated that the options for Watton had been considered but it was decided not to model provision options in the town as the town was on the edge of the drive time catchment areas of Dereham, Swaffham and Thetford.  In the opinion of the Watton Town Councillors, this information in relation to drive time was incorrect. The Planning Policy Officer (Capita) explained that Sports England facility modelling had been applied but further investigation would be had.


RESOLVED that the Indoor and Built Sports and Recreational Facilities Study be agreed to form part of the Council’s evidence base for the Local Plan and published on the Council’s website.

Supporting documents: