Council consults on its draft Sports Pitch Strategies for Honiton

Allhallows pitch in Honiton with the church of St Pauls in the background. Ref mhsp 0058-01-16SH. Ph

Allhallows pitch in Honiton with the church of St Pauls in the background. Ref mhsp 0058-01-16SH. Photo Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Views of stakeholders and local community will help provide evidence for the final strategy.

East Devon District Council is currently undertaking a public consultation after it released details of its draft proposals for additional sports pitches in Honiton.

The authority is seeking feedback from the community, as well as relevant organisations and bodies, as it tries to satisfy the growing demands of Honiton.

The need to identify sites for additional sports pitches is an important part of the council’s Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS), which it adopted in June 2015.

Consequently, East Devon’s planning policy team has produced draft Sports Pitch Strategies for both Honiton and Exmouth, which recommend a combination of new sites on which to deliver sports pitches and improvements to existing sites.

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The draft strategies were produced following an objective assessment of a number of potential sites around Honiton and Exmouth, based on sustainability and suitability criteria.

The draft recommendations for the Honiton sites propose the following:

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St Rita’s extension (H1) - new pitches site comprising two youth 11v11 football pitches, two mini 5v5 football pitches and additional car parking.

Former showground (H4) - new pitches site comprising two senior rugby pitches, three midi rugby pitches and a clubhouse and parking.

Mountbatten Park (HA) - install drainage to increase pitch capacity on site and replace existing clubhouse with a two-storey building to serve all proposed pitches in this vicinity.

St Rita’s (HB) - install drainage to increase pitch capacity on site.

All Hallows (HC) - install drainage and floodlights.

Honiton Community College - install floodlit sand-based artificial grass pitch.

Through the consultation, which began at the end of May and concludes on Friday, July 8, the council is actively seeking the views of the general public, as well as key stakeholders such as: town councils, neighbouring parish councils, neighbours to the proposed sites, sports clubs, the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) for the relevant sports, Sport England, landowners and other statutory consultees.

Feedback from the public and stakeholders will help to ensure that the final recommendations for the Sports Pitch Strategies are well evidenced and generally supported by the community.

The final document will be considered by council members later this summer.

The draft strategies have not yet been considered by members, who have specifically requested that the views of clubs and local communities are understood before they make a decision on where new sports pitches should be delivered.

The council is not under any obligation to fund or deliver any of the proposed projects, however it will work closely with key partners to ensure they are realised.

The recommendations in the strategies are also not a substitute for planning permission and do not mean that the proposals would necessarily gain planning permission. All planning applications are considered on their own merits against the development plan, and any relevant material considerations at the time.

The draft Honiton Sports Pitch Strategy can be accessed at:

Alternatively, a hard copy is available at reception at East Devon District Council’s offices at Knowle, in Sidmouth.

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