|West Oxfordshire District Council’s Cabinet moved to protect the future of pitch sports with the adoption of its Playing Pitch Strategy, which will help communities secure the provision of facilities to support rugby, football and cricket and other pitch sports in the future.|
|West Oxfordshire District Council’s Cabinet moved to protect the future of pitch sports with the adoption of its Playing Pitch Strategy, which will help communities secure the provision of facilities to support rugby, football and cricket and other pitch sports in the future.
Councillor Joy Aitman Cabinet member for Stronger, Healthy Communities said, “Local playing pitches to support sport are vital to the health and wellbeing of communities. These facilities are even more critical in areas where people may be struggling with the cost of living crisis by providing an inexpensive and accessible way to fitness and friendship.
“Communities that have access to pitches for sport thrive and experience lower anti-social behaviour. We want to make sure that sports pitch provision is considered a priority when planning new developments in the District and that all residents have reasonable access to open spaces where pitch sports take place.”
“We think it’s important that we are proactive in protecting space for sports across the whole district and ensuring that the space to provide these is protected. To demonstrate our commitment to pitch sports in the district we are pleased to provide funding for a role to make the plan happen. A full time staff member will focus solely on the delivery of the projects that we have planned.”
In 2017 the District Council secured the provision of two full sized adult football pitches and facilities from the Downs Road Development in Witney. These pitches are currently being maintained by the developer, and we foresee they will be ready for competitive fixtures Autumn 2023. The addition of these two pitches in the town will help to reduce the current shortfall of adult pitches in the district. The new strategy will enable the council to include further pitch provision through its planning policies.
The strategy will also help to protect the existing supply of outdoor sports pitches and changing facilities through local plan policies, enhance existing pitch provision and to provide the evidence for new outdoor sports facilities where feasible and where there is current or future demand to do so.
Officers will work in partnership with relevant organisations to look for funding sources for the projects that are important for the district and bring them forward for consideration and delivery.
To ensure that the strategy is delivered, the council has approved an allocation of £50,000 from the Council’s Priority Fund for a fixed term post to establish partnerships to identify opportunities across West Oxfordshire.