New study into sports pitches and facilities

07/11/2022

Banbury United’s new ground and indoor tennis at Hanwell Fields are highlighted

The long-discussed relocation of Banbury United’s ground to the Oxford Road is noted as an area for Cherwell District Council to focus on within a new report on sports pitches and facilities within the District.   The Cherwell Sports Studies report is due to be considered by the Council’s Executive tonight.

Exploring how to create a new indoor tennis facility at Henwell Fields and another 3G artificial pitch at the North Oxfordshire Academy are amongst other recommendations.

The study looked into how many football pitches, tennis courts and other sports facilities the district will need in the coming years.   If accepted as a strategic document the Council will be able to use it to seek developer contributions, influence capital bids and seek external funding for projects.

For football, focusing on what is currently available – and what is likely to be needed by 2040 – the report notes the rural areas around Banbury currently have enough provision for adults, but only some of the required youth provision is covered.   By 2040 none of the current provision will be adequate for any age group.

In Banbury town the report highlights a current lack of provision for both adults and most youth age groups.  

For rugby, the study notes that provision in town is not enough, with an increasing shortfall expected.   The availability of 3G and hockey pitch sessions is also underserved.

Councillor Phil Chapman, Portfolio Holder for Healthy Communities, said: “Playing sport and staying active has profound benefits for people’s health and happiness, and we’re determined to make sure everyone who wants to get involved in their chosen sport can access a suitable facility.

“As the district continues to grow in the coming years, we think it’s essential to have up-to-date projections of which facilities will be needed where. These studies have been independently commissioned and when we come to reach legal agreements with housing developers or apply to national funding bodies, the Cherwell Sports Studies give us the hard evidence we need to make a strong case.”

The Cherwell Sports Studies will be used as an evidence base in the ongoing preparation of the council’s new Local Plan, the policy document which allocates land for the future development of housing and infrastructure.

Cllr Chapman added: “As part of the process of approving applications for planning permission, the council routinely negotiates legal agreements with developers which can secure funding for facilities such as sports pitches. Having updated information about future need strengthens our hand when we are making our case, both to developers and the other external bodies we may apply to for funding.”


Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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