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Is The South Hams Pitch Perfect?

South Hams District Council invites residents to have their say on sports playing field facilities for hockey, rugby, football and cricket.

Football Pavilions

Helping people to enjoy different sports is crucial to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in the community. The importance of sport in the community is a key focus for South Hams District Council, which manages a number of local sports pitches and grounds.

Local sport facility needs change, for example when new developments in our towns and villages increase the number of residents in the area. To make sure that there is a good supply of high-quality playing pitches to meet current and predicted future needs, the Council is now updating its action plan and is asking local people to share their ideas.

The draft plan has been developed by a steering group, which included Sport England and Active Devon as well as Council planning officers.

It aims to:

  1. Protect and improve the current stock of playing fields and to ensure there is appropriate provision for the pitch sports within new developments
  2. Encourage and support the secure community use of pitch sports facilities on education sites
  3. Develop and maintain high-quality sustainable multi pitch sport sites wherever possible
  4. Ensure playing pitch facilities contribute to improving the health and well-being of everyone in the community
  5. Ensure appropriate monitoring of the strategy and its ongoing delivery

You can read the draft strategy and have your say at South Hams Pitch Perfect Engagement  

Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, South Hams District Council Executive Member for Strengthening Community Wellbeing said: "Having a plan for sports pitches that truly reflects local need is vital if we are going to deliver our promise for Better Lives for all. We're committed to ensuring that everyone can access the right sporting facilities. If we're building more homes in an area we need to know that local sports pitches are still suitable - and if not we need to make sure that money is allocated to meet these changing community needs. For example, in Woolwell and Sherford we'll use funding from new developments to enhance and improve what is available.  

"Our plans have been developed by Council planners and sports organisations in consultation with clubs, local leagues, parish and town councils and colleges. However, we want everyone to be involved in shaping our plans, so please do take a look and have your say." 

In the summer, the Council asked local people and businesses what was important to them. In September, the Council set out a new twenty year better Lives for All strategy in response, which prioritised community health and wellbeing. Consulting with partners and local people to update the plan for sports pitches plays a crucial role in delivering the Council's ambitions. The draft Playing Pitch strategy and action plan looks forward to the facilities required over the next 13 years, to 2034. It updates an earlier strategy produced in 2015. The consultation starts on 11 November and will close on 23 December 2021. Views and feedback will be collated and used to help inform the final version that will be used going forward.

The Council is grateful to the many clubs, leagues and facility operators and managers who have contributed to the plan, including the many volunteers who run local pitch sport clubs and have given up their time to provide information and comment.  In addition, consultation with the Secondary Schools in the South Hams has identified a number of aspirations and proposals which are closely linked to the new strategy and have been incorporated.

You can read the draft strategy and action plan and have your say at South Hams Pitch Perfect Engagement 

You can also email parks@swdevon.gov.uk with your feedback. 

Issued 11 November 2021

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