Review begins to see if more playing fields are needed before 25,000-home influx
PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 February 2018
A ‘comprehensive’ review into playing fields is being carried out across North Somerset as it prepares for thousands of new homes to be built.
North Somerset Council is looking at the number of sports pitches throughout the district to work out if there are enough facilities to cope with the thousands of extra homes set to be built over the next 18 years, as outlined in the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP).
If more playing fields are found to be required, the council will use funds from the new community infrastructure levy, which replaced section 106 this year and requires developers to pay a certain amount to improve an existing need in a community, to create extra space.
A council spokesman said: “We are looking at all the playing pitches in North Somerset, who owns them, who uses them and then apply regional and national standards to see if what exists at the moment is sufficient to cater for future needs with proposed housing developments up to 2036.
“This is a comprehensive piece of work which is about making sure there are enough facilities and will put us in a position to draw down funding from the community infrastructure levy if necessary to provide additional facilities.
“We are speaking to town and parish councils, schools and sports clubs, and expect the review to be completed late this year.”
Clevedon United Junior Football Club has recently been given a £10,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund to improve its facilities as it expects demand for places at the club to grow even further with new homes planned for Yatton, Congresbury and Backwell.
Committee member Steve Sheers told the Times: “We are a lot better off than a lot of clubs but for a club of this size with our aims and ambitions we really need to bring this up to spec.
“The ultimate aim is to have a new ground somewhere with proper facilities that meet our needs.”
The JSP has been formed by North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol City councils and outines where more than 100,000 homes will be built across the region by 2036 – with North Somerset providing 25,000 of them.
It is due to be submitted for examination in the spring.