A report from the Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment will be circulated as soon as possible. (Key decision – reference number 4654)
(6.05 – 6.10 pm)
Councillor Daniel Anderson (Cabinet Member for Environment) introduced the report of the Executive Director – Regeneration and Environment (No.184) seeking approval to the adoption of the Playing Pitch Strategy.
1. That this was a substantial, important and exciting document which sought to guide future investment, development, and improvements for the Borough’s sports pitches and associated facilities. The Strategy focussed on the five sports of cricket, football, hockey, rugby union and tennis. In addition, the Council’s sole netball facility was included within the Strategy because the Broomfield Park courts were a dual netball and tennis court facility.
2. The Strategy considered a range of factors including current provision, the level of demand, potential for growth, any limitations and future proposals going forward.
3. Councillor Fonyonga expressed her support for the Strategy which had been developed in partnership with a range of agencies including Sport England, the national sports governing bodies, and local sports clubs. The Strategy would assist the Council in attracting investment into sports pitches from regional funders and through Section 106 contributions and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
4. The importance of such sports provision and the positive impact on public health, as recognised within the Strategy. The Strategy was commended to Members for adoption.
5. The popularity of basketball in areas of the Borough was noted together with its positive community benefit. A request was made for future consideration of this sport within the context of the Strategy whilst acknowledging that it was a wider issue that the specific matter of sports pitches currently being addressed within the document. Members were advised of the investment that had been made for basketball provision in the Borough.
6. Members sought clarification on the methodology used in assessing current levels of demand as outlined within the Strategy and proposals for use of the facilities at times of low demand. Members were advised of the extensive discussions which had taken place and the national data available. The Strategy would be subject to annual review, as outlined in the report, and would be important in applying for external funding to support such sports provision.
7. Councillor Taylor noted his membership of the London Sports Board as a representative of London Councils. The Board was encouraging all local authorities to have such a Strategy.
Alternative Options Considered: NOTED, that the alternative option considered was not to develop a Playing Pitch Strategy, although this had been discounted because that approach would not allow the prioritisation of future pitch improvements or access to external sources of sports funding.
DECISION: Cabinet agreed to
1. Approve adoption of the Playing Pitch Strategy (2018-2023), that included the action plan for the five sports and the site-by-site recommendations that encompass the priorities for protecting sites from development, pitch maintenance improvements, and investment to upgrade facilities.
2. Delegate authority to the Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment to approve the allocation of capital funding sourced either externally or from developer contributions (including Section 106 Planning Agreements) to the priority projects detailed within the strategy.
3. Approve the formation of a steering group that would be chaired by the Council’s Sport and Physical Activity Team and meet biannually, to review and update the Playing Pitch Strategy in line with Sport England’s guidance.
Reason: A Playing Pitch Strategy provided an evidence-based approach to current and future supply and demand of pitches for five sports provided within the Borough. The Playing Pitch Strategy set out an action plan with site-by-site recommendations that would guide a programme of improvements for the Borough. An up-to-date strategy approved by Sport England and the sport’s governing bodies was required to secure a number of different sources of sport funding.
(Key decision – reference number 4654)