Council to review playing field needs for district
PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 February 2018
A ‘comprehensive’ review of North Somerset’s playing fields is being carried out as the district prepares for thousands of new homes to be built over the next two decades.
North Somerset Council is looking at the number of sports pitches across its area to work out if there are enough facilities to cope with people expected to move into 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 judged to be required, the council will use funds from the new community infrastructure levy to create extra recreation space. The levy replaced section 106 contributions this year and requires developers to pay a certain amount to improve an existing need in a community.
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.”
Some new playing field space has already been earmarked, with North Somerset Council’s plans for more than 700 homes at Parklands Village also including proposals for sports pitches, as well as a primary school and retail units.
Documents on the playing fields review are expected to be made public in April as part of a consultation period.
The JSP has been formed by North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol City councils and outlines where more than 100,000 homes will be built across the region by 2036.
North Somerset is being asked to provide 25,000 of them.
The JSP is due to be submitted for examination in the spring following its final period of consultation.
North Somerset Council is also working on a local plan which will give greater detail on the housing, jobs and infrastructure requirements set out within the JSP.