Working with Developers
We have a long track record of working with developers and their surveyors and agents on sport and leisure related projects.
The National Planning Policy Framework requires that:
‘Existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land, including playing fields, should not be built on unless:
- An assessment has been undertaken which has clearly shown the open space, buildings or land to be surplus to requirements; or
- The need for and benefits of the development clearly outweigh the loss’.
We have worked with a range of clients to undertake these sports and open space needs assessments to support planning applications for developments that involve the loss of sports facilities, including identifying appropriate mitigation packages where necessary.
Our clients include large organisations such as BAE Systems, Cadbury plc and Coors Ltd. as well as smaller, local companies.
We work with companies in a number of ways: –
- To ensure that their S106 and other obligations are met in a way that meets the needs of the local sporting communities
- Working with them to define the sports and leisure offer in planning applications
- Compiling local needs assessments to support development proposals for sites which include the possible loss or replacement of facilities.
- Site specific work looking at the details of facility design and location.
Some examples of our work include: –
- Former Coventry Colliery Sports Ground, Keresley: We worked with Partner Construction on a sports needs assessment and mitigation package in respect of a proposed development of affordable homes on part of a former sports ground. The project will involve the loss of two bowling greens and a football training area, so we developed proposals to replace the facilities with provision of at least the same quality, quantity and accessibility, to meet Sport England’s requirements. The scheme has been agreed and is progressing.
- We completed a local needs assessment for BAE Systems to define proposed sports facilities improvements at their Sports and Social Club at Hoo St. Werbergh, near Rochester. We assessed the sporting benefits of the proposed improvements, securing Sport England support for the proposals, provided technical advice on floodlighting issues. We liaised with the Council’s leisure management operator to agree the long-term operation of the site.
- We carried out a needs analysis for local proposals to reinstate sports facilities at BAE Systems’ former sports ground at Bragbury End in Stevenage. This was part of a wider scheme involving residential development of part of the site. The commission involved undertaking a local supply and demand assessment, consulting with local sports interests and identifying a scheme that would meet local sporting needs.
- A sports needs analysis for Coors Brewers, to support an outline planning application for residential development at the Bass Sports and Social Club in Alton in Hampshire. The project involved reviewing the Council’s emerging playing pitch and green spaces strategies, to establish the impact of the loss of facilities at the project site and the benefits presented by the proposed mitigation package.
- We worked with BNP Paris Bas and their client Cadburys to define and agree the site location and facility mix for the redeveloped Fry Club in Keynsham. This involved establishing what new and improved sports and related facilities will meet the needs of the club and the wider local community. We provided evidence to demonstrate that the proposed loss of some pitches would be more than offset by the sporting benefits of the improved provision. The new centre is now up and running and trading successfully.
- We completed a market analysis and options appraisal for Stamford Homes North of proposed sports facility improvements at the Stamford Club in Grimsby. This was with a view to improving the overall sustainability of the operation. The project involved establishing local need and examining options that could be funded by an enabling development, to include local community provision.
- Land Securities: Land Securities was seeking to develop a viable mixed-use scheme involving the creation of new housing, employment opportunities, shops and open space at Harrow View, formerly the Kodak site in Harrow. Because the development will involve the loss of playing pitches from Kodak’s former Sports and Social Club, we have worked with a team from CB Richard Ellis to develop a scheme that ensures there is no net loss of greenspace within the site itself and includes a package of improvements to the number and quality of pitches at two key playing field sites nearby. The development went ahead in line with our recommendations.
- Acetate Products Ltd.: In another collaboration with CB Richard Ellis, we produced a needs analysis of playing pitch provision as part of another mixed-use development on a former industrial site in Little Heath in Coventry. The work involved examining the impact of the loss of three disused football pitches and devising a scheme involving the provision of junior football pitches, a cricket pitch and changing facilities, in line with deficiencies identified in Coventry City Council’s Playing Pitch Strategy. The proposals were agreed with the planning authority and the development went ahead in line with our recommendations.
- Ford Sports Ground, Newbury Park: We worked with Iceni Projects to support written representations to the London Borough of Redbridge Local Plan Main Modifications consultation, in respect of the Ford Sports and Social Club, Newbury Park. The work involved assessing the sports needs for retaining the site and the case for releasing the land from the Green Belt to enable development.
- Former Rileys Sports and Social Club, Leigh-on-Sea: We undertook a leisure needs assessment for Property Generation Services Ltd. to evaluate the case for replacing a former sports and social club with a residential development. Our analysis formed part of the evidence to support the planning application and enabled the proposals to proceed.
- Former Flitwick Leisure Centre Site, Central Bedfordshire: We produced an open space needs assessment for a site in Flitwick, to support proposals for a mixed residential and care development. Our client was Central Bedfordshire Council acting as developer. The study identified a mix of on-site and off-site provision to comply with local planning standards. The scheme went ahead in line with our recommendations.