This report concerns the provision of sports facilities in Felpham. The development at Blakes Mead in Felpham (formerly known as Site 6) has a S106 Agreement that is set to provide sports facilities on site. The policy for the provision of outdoor sports provision has been updated alongside other sporting bodies such as Sport England to improve existing facilities and develop them as hubs to benefit the wider community.
The developer will instead provide an off-site sum for outdoor sports facilities in Felpham, will transfer the site as landscaped public open space to the council and provide a commuted sum for future maintenance. In addition, a sum will be provided for the project management of delivering those facilities.
[During discussion of this item Councillor Madeley re-declared her interest as Felpham Ward Councillor]
Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Group Head of Environment and Climate Change presented the report to Committee, which was regarding the provision of sports facilities in Felpham. The development at Blakes Mead in Felpham (formerly known as Site 6) had a Section 106 Agreement that was set to provide sports facilities on site. The policy for the provision of outdoor sports had been updated alongside other sporting bodies such as Sport England, to improve existing facilities and develop them as hubs to benefit the wider community. If agreed, the developer would instead provide an off-site sum for outdoor sports facilities in Felpham, and would transfer the site as landscaped public open space to the Council and provide a commuted sum for future maintenance. In addition, a sum would be provided for the project management of delivering those facilities. The report sought approval to accept the proposals.
Since the development had gained planning permission, the Council had developed guidance for sports provision through a playing pitch strategy to support the Local Plan, which was in line with sporting bodies’ policies including that of Sport England. This review took into account the strategies which supported the Local Plan, including an audit of the existing facilities. The study found there was potential to improve the quality and capacity of nearby existing facilities. This aligned with the Playing Pitch Outdoor Sports Strategy Action Plan.
The Group Head of Environment and Climate Change drew Members’ attention to the sums in 4.3 and indicative plan illustrating the proposal at Appendix 2. Concern had been raised regarding the previous planned location of a changing facility which could be subject to vandalism, being located away from the natural surveillance provided in residential areas. This proposal removed this risk. The proposal would enable additional tree planting, which would not be possible if there was a sports pitch at the location. The Arun Local Football Facilities Plan, developed with the Football Foundation, had recommended improvements of the facilities at King George V at Felpham, specifically improvement of the grass pitches to improve capacity and the provision of a new changing pavilion. The Group Head of Environment and Climate Change explained this was an opportunity to use the sum to improve sports facilities in Felpham, which were long overdue.
In the development of a project to use these Section 106 sums, the Council would carry out consultation with the public and stakeholders including Felpham Parish Council. King George V was an obvious starting point for this. This would then be brought back to Committee for update or approval.
Members then took part in a question-and-answer session and the following points were made:
· Felpham Parish Council felt let down on discussions prior to this report.
· The previous suggested location was at risk of vandalism.
· The Pavilion on King George V needed a massive update and the opportunity for a franchise to serve refreshments/meals.
· How could it be guaranteed that the field turned into open space would not be built on? The Group Head of Environment and Climate Change explained the land would be transferred to the District Council and maintained as public open space, which would be protected under the Local Plan.
· There were many trees on site that were dead. How would this be monitored and ensured they were replaced? The Group Head of Environment and Climate Change explained they were working with the developers to ensure these trees were replaced prior to the land being transferred to the Council.
· It was felt stakeholder consultation was important.
· One Member was unsure how they felt regarding this, as did not feel they had a good understanding of resident opinion regarding this issue.
· The parking at King George V was very bad and it was very important this was considered.
· Were there plans for a 3G pitch? The Group Head of Environment and Climate Change confirmed there was not.
A non-Committee Member given permission to speak said that the parking around King George V was a real problem, and it was hoped this would be taken account of during any renovations.
The recommendations were proposed by Councillor Goodheart and seconded by Councillor Chace.
1) The provision of an off-site sum in lieu of provision of sports facilities on site at Blakes Mead, Felpham to support local outdoor sports facilities whilst retaining the site as public open space, which aligns with the Council’s outdoor sports strategy, be approved
2) The drawdown of the off-site sum, the project management sum and Public Open Space commuted maintenance sum be approved. The off-site sum expenditure will follow further review of the local facilities for the development of the sports facilities projects in the Felpham area.