Local Plan

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West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan


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View Comments (1) 17. Sport and Recreation

17.1 Objectives

  • Promote increased opportunities to get active and participate in sport and informal recreation.
  • To develop our recreational facilities to meet the needs of an expanding population.
  • To tailor facilities to the needs of all ages.
  • To make best use of our sports and recreational facilities.
  • To consider the need for new areas of land for organised sports.

17.2 Background & Intent

The formal sports and recreation facilities in West Bergholt are limited in the main to the village although there are plenty of opportunities for informal recreation through areas of open space and public rights of way which allow the public access to the countryside. There are also signed cycle routes in the area within easy access of the village. In the appraisal of this area of the plan it has become apparent that it is the open spaces in the village which are in danger of becoming inadequate to serve the needs of a growing population and one whose demographic is changing. Coupled with a need to allow people increased opportunities to improve their health and well-being the Neighbourhood Plan has identified the following areas where improvements are needed:

  • Formal sports facilities
  • Areas and management of open space

17.3 Evidence

17.3.1 Lorkin Daniell Playing Field and Poor's Land

The adult football pitch together with its associated clubhouse dominates the Lorkin Daniell playing field limiting realistic expansion and enhancement of the village hall footprint, children's playground, Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) and tennis facilities.

The people of our parish should have access to the very best affordable facilities both now and in the future. However, the location of the football pitch limits expansion and enhancement of family recreation and play facilities sited on the Lorkin Daniell Playing Field. West Bergholt Football Club has previously attempted to purchase land for a new site, and to enlarge and improve its clubhouse but has been unsuccessful due to the prohibitive cost.

There is a lack of informal recreational areas for ad hoc non-team-based sports use and too much emphasis on open spaces being used for football. Even for formal sports use there is a lack of good "clubhouse" facilities as demonstrated by their absence on the Poor's Land. Other drawbacks for these areas include: lack of a zip wire or teenage outdoor play areas and lack of an adventure playground for children past the age where they would enjoy the playground that exists. Although the MUGA is popular, the tennis courts are too few in number to form the basis for a tennis club which would need three courts to allow competitions and club tournaments.

Historically the Lorkin Daniel Field has been used by West Bergholt Football Club and the Poor's Land by Heathlands School and Bergholt Heath Youth Football Club, on an informal but mutually agreed basis. There is though, a perceived need to actively manage the use of the fields to improve their accessibility to other groups, e.g. fitness groups, family recreation/social events, etc. and formal arrangements put in place to ensure, for instance, reinstatement of the fields by users after an event. This process has begun but a community policy is deemed needed to ensure this process continues, being one that requires that the fields are increasingly actively managed by the Parish Council as Trustees of the fields for the benefit of the community as a whole.

17.3.2 Changing the emphasis of current sports areas and introducing new facilities

It is evident that not everything can be accommodated on the current sites. It is therefore proposed to look for a further site so that there could be a differentiation between informal sport and children's play areas and the formal team sports. New sports areas and purpose-built facilities such as clubhouses and changing areas could be incorporated into a new site. The relocation of the football pitch and associated clubhouse to a consolidated and centralised team and dedicated recreational sports area, would benefit the entire community. This would release a significant part of the Lorkin Daniell Playing Field for improved child, teenage play and generalised recreation use. The Lorkin Daniell Playing Field and Poor's Land sites would then provide the opportunity for more planting and seating together with expanded provision of children's adventure play area equipment with zip-wires and similar provisions for older children. Although consultations will need to take place and funding sought, relocating the football pitch and clubhouse would open up the Lorkin Daniell Playing Field to more diverse family uses including providing space to expand the already heavily booked village halls as well as affording the MUGA additional space for an additional tennis court and the provision of an all-weather 5 aside football area. The children's play facilities could be vastly improved and expanded to appeal to children of all age groups.

Overall consolidation of sports and recreation areas to optimise usage would allow the following benefits to accrue:

  • Teenage and child play and recreational facilities could be expanded across that part of the Lorkin Daniell Playing Field currently occupied by the adult football pitch, allowing potential enhancement of facilities similar to those provided in Marks Tey, Great Horkesley or the Maldon children activity centre.
  • Expansion and enhancement of the village hall facilities would be possible which are currently limited and unlikely to meet demands for the next 15 years.
  • Allow dedicated areas of the village hall complex for Pre-school activities.
  • Allow more indoor club and pastime activities to operate from the village hall complex located centrally within the main village residential area.
  • Allow expansion of the village halls car park to safely accommodate future needs for Pre-school and Heathlands School drop-offs, use of the MUGA or for
    • car parking whilst adults and their children enjoy the child and teenage play facilities.
    • Future proof team sport within the village. New and existing sport needs can be met through a purpose designed and designated area.
  • The junior football team could be relocated subject to appropriate consultation to the new area releasing Poor's Land for more generalised recreational or school use activities as required. Poor's Land is held in Trust with the Parish Council as Sole Trustee.

17.4 Summary of SWOT

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Good recreational opportunities for popular organised sport.
  • Open spaces allow informal recreation.
  • Team sports and children's play areas provided.
  • Network of PROW and cycle routes.
  • Popular allotments based at central location in the village.
  • Variety of indoor recreation clubs for various ages.
  • Well-established team sports clubs for all ages.
  • Floodlight Multi Use Games Area based at village hall.
  • Hillhouse Wood recreational facilities in local woods
  • Sporting areas often confined to single usage.
  • Sporting areas not available due to regular bookings.
  • Lack of changing and toilet facilities.
  • Poor vehicle access and parking inadequate at some sites.
  • Overuse of existing facilities leads to degradation.

Opportunities

Threats

  • New development areas may allow further areas of open space and opportunities for further sports pitches.
  • Possibility of amalgamating formal sports in one area.
  • Reallocation of space in the Lorkin Daniell and Poor's Land sites for informal recreation.
  • Development of PROW and cycle routes.
  • Development of Bridleways.
  • Online booking system for floodlight MUGA.
  • Purpose-built changing & toilet facilities.
  • Parish Council uses expertise & contacts to support clubs with grants and managing the bureaucratic process.

  • Lack of opportunities for all members of the community.
  • Lack of facilities leading to depleted health of the community.
  • Requirement to travel away from the parish for some sport and recreational facilities.
  • Lack of volunteers running sporting clubs.
  • Vandalism of facilities.

17.5 The Plan's Approach

As a fundamental first step towards future sustainable and planned village growth it is important to identify and reserve an area that can be dedicated exclusively for team or specialist sports. In meeting this objective any future potential housing and business development areas could be planned and implemented in a co-ordinated manner which would not compromise the earmarked village recreational areas. Any land chosen should be capable of meeting the immediate needs of football clubs in the village and be enhanced in phases to meet future sporting needs. Taking into account the nature and gradient of land in and around the village, an appraisal of a number of different sites was undertake. The analysis appears in the evidence report of such in supporting documents (see Appendix 2).

As the objectives relate in part to the use and development of land and wider community aspirations both Planning Policies and Community Ambitions have been developed.

17.5.1 Proposal for a site to the rear of Site B

Map PP1/2 shows an ideal location for any future consolidated team ball sports. This land is outside the settlement boundary and is used for arable farming. There are several advantages to this site

  • Within easy reach of the main residential areas which is largely located to the south and east of the site with agricultural land lying to the north.
  • Adjacent to the existing cricket club and pavilion.
  • Space available for car parking.
  • Site can be developed for sport in phases to meet evolving demand.
  • Plenty of space to accommodate adult and junior football, rugby other team sports, practice facilities and teenage play facilities.

17.6 Policies and Community Ambitions

Policy No.

Sport and Recreation Planning Policies

PP30:

New Sports Facilities

Land to accommodate new sports facilities will be provided adjacent to the cricket club as indicated on Map PP13/2 as part of the development of Site B.

Consideration will be given to the need to accommodate adult and junior football, rugby, other team sports, practice facilities and teenage play facilities. The site can be developed for sport in phases to meet evolving demand. The applicant will be expected to demonstrate how the proposal meets existing demand. Early discussions with Sport England and the Parish Council are encouraged.

Ambition No.

Sports and Recreation Community Ambitions

CA6

New sports activity areas will be developed as opportunities arise. Consolidation of sports activities may take place as a result.

CA7

The Lorkin Daniell Playing Field will be actively managed so as to allow improved access to recreational activities.

CA8

The Poor's Land will be actively managed so as to allow improved access to recreational activities.

CA9

New consolidated sports activity areas will be expected to promote a wide variety of sports. Clubhouse facilities and parking must be provided, and the facility must have good accessibility to other parts of the village.

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