Sports provision and parking at the Pavilion

Overview

Lighthorne Parish Council wish to encourage sports provision in the village. The sports field is already used by Khalsa Cricket (who maintain the field). Another initiative to establish a basketball hoop is also underway. Approaches to the Parish Council have been made to re-establish football on the sports field, subject to the pitch condition being acceptable.

Additionally, limited parking at the Pavilion is seen as a limiting factor to increasing sports provision. A grant of £19000 has been received from Stratford District Council to improve parking.

Improvements to resolve both issues are being investigated by the Parish Council.

Status

A summary of updates provided in the minutes of the Parish Council meetings can be found below.

14 November 2023

As previously agreed, the car park area and entrance are being cleared next week of  undergrowth, overhanging branches and dead wood – this will prepare the car park area and improve visibility at the entrance – £1,170. The car park will then be tarmacked, spaces marked out and the bell mouth surfaced – £16,000. It was suggested that the cricketers could move their container to the far corner of the outfield and screen it (currently over grown shrubland) this would be within budget.

10 October 2023

Quotes are being obtained for all of the proposed works – as it is improving the area, planning permission is not required (SDC have confirmed). Trees are being pruned around the edge of the parking area and shrubs cleared. The visibility splays are being opened up. It is hoped that quotes will be available to chose a provider and refurbish the car park imminently.

12 September 2023

Quotes are being obtained for all of the proposed works – as it is improving the area, planning permission is not required (SDC have confirmed). Works will include moving the metal container and creating a grass area of overflow parking between the current parking and the coppice. It is hoped that funds can stretch to assisting Khalsa with some of their improvement works. It was explained to Khalsa that nothing can be done re: drainage at the outfield until the ownership of the old quarry has passed to the management company (and it becomes a managed ecological reserve) – it is hoped that arrangements to prevent cattle damaging the drainage pipes can then be agreed and the works to restore the drainage system can then be considered.

13 June 2023

The pavilion has been cleared of undergrowth, substantially increasing the area available for parking.

9 May 2023

The new Parish Council chairman (Councillor Langhorn) gave the following statement:

The Parish Council has no intention in pursuing an initiative to develop sports and, consequently, parking facilities, at the village playing fields without sufficient community support. As a consequence and in light of objections from residents, the Parish Council intends later in this meeting to formally decide to withdraw its recent planning application.

The Parish Council has in good faith sought to find a response to the request from many residents seeking the development of sports, particularly children’s football, at the playing field. In the course of developing the current planning application it was judged that increased parking provision would be required. A range of options for parking were examined and rejected as either impractical or that they would encroach on the use of the playing field for cricket and/or football, and or fall foul of planning considerations and the important opinion of Sports England.

At the time of developing a scheme and of conducting the survey the parish council was unaware of the historic community project to develop a woodland adjacent to the pavilion. The council did endeavour to address this oversight in the survey by soliciting further resident opinion via social media and the parish magazine. The LPC apologies should those efforts be judged inadequate to properly address the impact on the woodland.

As a consequence of withdrawing the planning application there will be issues outstanding that the community will need to consider. These include:

  1. The provision of parking to enable the playing of children’s football
  2. Responsibility for and plans and resources for the management of the woodland 
  3. The potential loss of a sizeable grant from SDC to facilitate development of parking and sports facilities

The LPC welcomes community input and action to address these and other relevant matters.

11 April 2023

A planning application has now been submitted for the parking area, awaiting validation. Full tree survey submitted with the application. (basketball court has been removed from the application as it will be built in isolation). Questions from the public were asked concerning the trees, the veracity of the survey conducted and the effectiveness of the subsequent publicity of the history of the trees, the need for a licence to discharge from the water treatment plant, the need for a change of use planning application, and the rent structure for The Pavilion.

14 March 2023

A tree survey has been carried out and we await the report. On receipt the planning application will be resubmitted. SDC have awarded LPC a grant of £19,000 towards this work, conditional upon gaining planning consent.

14 February 2023

There have been delays caused by having to obtain title deeds and verify that there is no covenant preventing the intended works. Covenant does not prevent the planned works. A tree survey is required. Cllr Smith is meeting surveyor on site on 6th March. The application would be simplified in planning terms if the basketball area was not part of the scheme. Arrangements are in hand to discuss alternate possible locations.

10 January 2023

Planning application withdrawn pending further enquiries and expert reports/advice. It was agreed to obtain a tree survey and resubmit the application.

13 December 2022

The planning application has been submitted – there are further requests for information from SDC before they will validate the application – A copy of the original planting map and details of trees planted to be sent to Ruth Rose and a site visit to be requested. Other validation matters requested are in hand.

8 November 2022

The survey has been hand delivered to the Parish and approx. 70 replies have been received so far. Deadline for surveys will be Tuesday 10th January 2023. LPC will apply for planning permission for the project to run in tandem with the questionnaire to guage if it is feasible.

Additionally, the following was recorded under Public Participation:

Residents attended to express their concern at the proposed removal of trees from behind the Pavilion to make space for additional parking and a basketball square. The background of the planting of the trees was explained – A community project in 2004 sought funding for a project to clear the derelict area behind the Pavilion and plant trees etc to improve the environment. A grant of £1,850 was obtained together with £650 from LPC. Approx. 1000 slips, trees and bushes were planted by some 40-50 volunteers – approx. 450 man hours between them – (preparing the site, planting on the day and spreading chipping). The back ground to the current project to improve parking and facilities at the Pavilion was explained, primarily to enable fuller use of the Pavilion field for children’s activities such as children’s football etc. The plan is to enable parking for those additional activities and NOT to expand customer parking for the café. The alternative possible locations for parking were explained, but they present far greater costs and difficulties (e.g. digging out the embankment which runs parallel to the main road). It was explained that a grant has been awarded for a basketball unit, but we will have to return the money if no location for the unit could be agreed. It was agreed that this information about the 2004 project would be advertised via facebook, website and notice boards, plus the December edition of the Parish magazine. An end date to the questionnaire will be 10th January 2023. If anyone has changed their view on their responses they can notify the clerk. LPC will balance the views of the village when judging how best to provide facilities at the pavilion for extended use (football, basketball, generally) going forward whilst taking into account past projects.

11 October 2022

Parking provision

A survey has been drafted to gauge residents views on spending public funds to improve parking provision – 300 copies to be produced and hand delivered to the Parish.

Drainage

Consideration of recommendations made by Farm Services in their report on improving sports field drainage are on hold whilst there is a risk of damage to the drain by grazing cattle. Can be reopened when the issue arises again.

27 September 2022

Parking provision

Cllr Smith presented costings for various elements of clearing the wooded area behind the Pavilion, levelling the ground, and preparing a surface suitable for parking. Consideration of a basketball surface continues in parallel. Grant funding is unlikely to be forthcoming for extra parking, but may be forthcoming for the sporting aspects that extra parking will enable. A parish council expense of several thousand pounds is anticipated. There is £8,000 set aside in allocated reserves, but this notwithstanding the village will be consulted via a survey before any commitment to such spending is made. Cllr Smith to draft a survey for letterbox delivery within the village.

Drainage

If we proceed with this work it will only be after the area is secured from further cattle damage, which is currently outside of LPC control. The work is to enable league football on the sports field. The league football coach will make regular inspections of the sports field over this winter to assess the need. The cost will be mitigated by the rental charge for league football. Grant funding continues to be explored.

9 August 2022

Parking provision

Quotes still being sought. Significant grant funding will be required if this work is to be afforded. Cllr Smith is exploring grant opportunities.

Drainage

Farm Services were asked to locate and clear the outlet from the sports field drainage system that they installed in May 1995. Extensive cattle damage was discovered, possibly exacerbated by an attempted modification to the outlet by persons unknown. Rectification is likely to cost in excess of £4,000. It is felt that this would be an unwise investment while cattle still roam free. Cllr Smith will enquire as to any alternative treatments.

12 July 2022

A quote has been obtained for a mixed scheme of parking arrangements and a new gate. Further quote for a parking scheme to be obtained to compare quotes and select a provider.

14 June 2022

Awaiting dedicated quotes for various options. The clerk has also applied for a grant from FCC communities foundation to reinstate the football pitch at the pavilion.

10 May 2022

Awaiting quotes associated with parking provision.

12 April 2022

Cllr Smith met with Western Power on site and they confirm that the telegraph pole that we will need to move is not theirs. They also confirm that the electricity cable attached is not live. The BT cable extending to the pole closer to the Pavilion can be seen to be redundant. Western Power will, at no cost to us, sheath the overhead power cables as a safety measure in anticipation of work being carried out in that area. An estimate if we tarmac the whole parking area has been obtained and estimates are being obtained for both compressed stone and plastic webbing that allows grass to grow and be mown whilst protecting against vehicle damage. A square of hard standing at the end of the parking with a basket ball hoop to be looked into as part of the scheme – WCC Cllr’s grant could be applied for to fund the hoop.

8 March 2022

Parking provision

A scheme to provide up to an additional 13 spaces being looked into. Cllr Smith is meeting a representative from Western Power regarding removing a redundant pole. Quotes to be obtained thereafter. A square of hard standing at the end of the parking with a basket ball hoop to be looked into as part of the scheme.

Request to bring children’s football to Lighthorne and drainage

The Parish Council was requested to consider allowing a children’s football team to play on the ‘football pitch’ at the far side of the pavilion outfield. The football coach would be looking at the season commencing September 2023 if it was pursued. The issue of resolving drainage issues to be dealt with regardless of the football team, as the pitch is an LPC asset to be properly maintained. Farm services to be instructed to locate and clear the existing drain. The Clerk to apply for a grant to reinstate the pitch as a football field for village use. 

Supporting Information

The photo below shows the parking area following the clearance of undergrowth in July 2023:

A tree survey was conducted at the sports field in March 2023:

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