Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

Sports Zone

11.18 The Yeovil Sports Zone is the working title for the South Somerset District Council project aiming to provide residents with first class sport and recreation facilities, which will meet both present and projected future needs as the population grows. It will widen the range of opportunities for people of all ages to participate in leisure, stimulate healthy lifestyles, increase participation in active sport, enable more young people to achieve their potential in sport and create a sub-regional sports venue within the District and focuses on 4 key strategic areas

  • Supporting community sport;
  • Developing active communities;
  • Enhancing facility provision;
  • Raising the profile of Sport and Active Leisure.

11.19 The project fits within the local and regional strategic context. It will play a major role in addressing key policies and aspirations through provision of increased opportunities for improving health of residents and educational programmes for health promotion, active participation in sport and recreation for all ages from disadvantaged groups to high performance athletes. By raising the profile of sports provision within the District, the facility will enable local, county and sub-regional level competitions to be staged in the town, increasing the profile of Yeovil as a sporting destination as desired by the business community leaders behind the Yeovil Vision.

11.20 The intention is to seek an appropriate location within or adjoining Yeovil to provide specialist strategic facilities that will meet the needs of those living in the area of Yeovil and throughout the District. It will take sports and leisure facilities in South Somerset to the next level and help Yeovil to become a destination of choice for leisure, shopping and entertainment, supporting the Council's economic regeneration agenda. In addition, provision of this facility will be in conformity with Yeovil’s perceived role and function within the regional context. The site will need to be accessible from all modes of transport from both within Yeovil itself and from other destinations within the District and sub-region, which will then enable this to be used as a venue for hosting local and sub-regional events.

11.21 Consideration of the different strategic options to deliver the new provision in Yeovil has identified that the lowest capital cost, most affordable, most sustainable, and appropriate solution to meet these deficiencies would be through the adoption of a single site approach, being £1m per year cheaper to operate than through the adoption of a multi-site dispersed approach.

11.22 Although various locations have previously been appraised as potential sites to accommodate the Sports Zone, no decision on a location has been taken by the Council. At this stage sites are being considered both for the indoor provision alone and at larger sites, which could accommodate additional outdoor facilities in close proximity to the indoor provision as well. Various factors will inevitably affect the suitability of sites for both indoor and outdoor provision with topography, and the need for flat land, a key consideration and the chosen site also needs to be accessible to residents in Yeovil by walking, cycling and public transport as well as accessible to residents within the whole District and sub-region.

11.23 For the built facilities, a sequential approach to the location of development is required, starting with the re-use of previously developed (brownfield) land within the urban area, then on the edge of the urban area and finally outside the urban area. There is a presumption in favour of the redevelopment of previously developed land and greenfield land should only be considered for development where there are no previously developed sites available for development of the required size in a suitable location.

Policy HW2: Sports Zone

In order to increase the range of opportunities for people of all ages to participate in indoor leisure, promote healthier lifestyles, allow for improved potential in sport and create a sub regional sports venue, the Council and its partners will seek a suitable location for the provision of a sports Zone of at least 1.5ha. In identifying a suitable location the following locational factors will be taken into consideration;-

  • Preference will be given to a site within the existing town of Yeovil;
  • If there is no suitable, available and viable site available within the town which can accommodate the development, the site selection should follow a sequential approach with preference given to the location of the Sports Zone on the edge of Yeovil close to public transport links and other sustainable transport modes.

11.24 This is primarily a development management policy and therefore delivery will be through the individual consideration of development proposals and their need to provide additional facilities. Detailed requirements would be achieved through S106 contributions and community infrastructure levy.

11.25 The following delivery bodies will be key in implementing Policy HW2:

  • South Somerset District Council;
  • Developers and Landowners.
Monitoring Indicators Target
Delivery of the Sport Zone Submission of a planning application for the scheme and subsequent completion