Agenda item

Playing Pitch Strategy - pre-scrutiny

(Report to follow). This report will be published in a Supplementary Papers Pack once the report has been published for consideration of the Cabinet (due to be published on Tuesday 6th February).



The Development Services Manager presented the report on the Playing Pitch Strategy and in doing so drew attention to the fact that this was the outstanding strategy arising from the Leisure and Culture Strategy that was endorsed by Cabinet in October 2022 (the Leisure and Culture Strategy included recommendations that had been drawn from three further strategies that underpinned the main strategy. These were the Arts and Culture Strategy, the Parks and Open Spaces Strategy and the Built Facilities Strategy).


The Playing Pitch Strategy before Members covered the following aspects:


  • How many playing pitch facilities there were in Bromsgrove?
  • What was the quality of these facilities?
  • Were these facilities accessible?
  • What was the current demand?
  • What was the future demand up to 2040?


Officers explained that the Council worked with a consultancy to ensure the exercise was undertaken in an independent and unbiased manner. In addition, a team of national governing bodies had overseen this work and Sports England acted as a supervisor and was responsible for signing off the Strategy.


It was further explained that the purposes of the Playing Pitch Strategy document were:


  • To provide confidence to the Leisure Team when taking actions on playing pitches.
  • To support the local planning authority in making confident decisions about protecting / enhancing provision of playing pitches in Bromsgrove.


It was highlighted that Sports England had to be consulted as a statutory consultee whenever an application that proposes removal or modification of playing pitches comes before the planning committee. The playing pitch strategy provided a framework document that allowed to determine applications in terms of implications on the playing pitch provision in the District.


The Development Services Manager presented the recommendations of the report. It was explained that the first recommendation asked that the Playing Pitch Strategy be endorsed, the second recommendation asked that the authority be delegated to the Head of Planning, Regeneration and Leisure, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Leisure, to implement the first tranche of recommendations of the Playing Pitch Strategy as listed in recommendation two of the report.


Following the presentation, Members discussed the contents of the report. The following points were raised:


  • Reporting inaccuracies in the Playing Pitch Strategy – It was reported that as part of stage E of the Strategy, the national governing bodies’ representatives would continue to meet with Council officers in a Steering Group to monitor the progress of the Strategy. Elected Members would be able to raise any concerns or comments with Council officers who would then raise them at the Steering Group meetings.
  • Section 106 Contributions from Developers – It was explained that the Council already collected money through the Section 106 agreement. The Playing Pitch Strategy document would allow the Council to be more precise in terms of how to spend any contributions on playing pitches and where there was demand. However, it was clarified that agreement with regard to Section 106 contributions are determined at the planning approval stage, and not decided via a Strategy, which provided an overall framework for where there was playing pitch need in the District.
  • External Funding Sources – It was noted that the Council was awaiting news as to whether it would be eligible to have access to a place-based national funding pot from Sports England (£250m) within the next 2 years.
  • Specific playing pitches and parks – It was noted that funding via Section 106 developer contributions had been provided to Waseley Hills High School, which was making improvements to the playing pitches located there for the use of the school and the community. With regard to the St Chads Park in Rubery, the officers undertook to investigate and provide answers to Members at a later date.
  • Consultants’ work and costs – It was noted that consultants’ work in terms of playing pitches strategy and associated work was £50,000 (of which circa ¼ was devoted to production of the Strategy itself).




1)    The Playing Pitch Strategy at Appendix A be endorsed.


2)    That delegated responsibility be granted to the Head of Planning, Regeneration and Leisure following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Climate Change to implement the following recommendations (Listed at Playing Pitch Strategy Executive Summary Appendix B):


1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 5.1, 6.1, 6.3, 7.1, 7.2, 8.1, 8.3, 8.5



Supporting documents: