Raiders response to Dacorum Local Plan

Raiders Members are encouraged to respond to the consultation on the Dacorum Local Plan.  Responses can be submitted by email to responses@dacorum.gov.uk or via the online consultation portal. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 28 February 2021.

The Charity Trustees have submitted a response to the Local Plan, providing the Club view, as follows:

Re: Response to Dacorum Local Plan Consultation: section 23.1 – Berkhamsted Delivery Plan

I am responding to the consultation on the Dacorum Local Plan on behalf of Berkhamsted Raiders CFC, as Chair of Trustees.

The charity

Berkhamsted Raiders CFC provides sport for around 1,200 boys and girls from U7 to U18 and operates sections for Senior, Veterans, Ladies, Disability and Walking Football and futsal (a small sided indoor format). Our membership is concentrated on families who live within the HP4 postcode. We currently have a waiting list of around 100 for boys’ football. In line with FA strategy, we wish to double the number of girls playing football from the current 250 to 500.

The current shortage of facilities in Dacorum.. in quantity and quality

Recent studies including the  Dacorum Local Football Facilities Plan, the Dacorum Playing Pitch Strategy & Action Plan, the Dacorum Sport and Physical Activity Strategy, the Dacorum Leisure Facilities Strategy, and the Dacorum Physical Activity and Sport Strategy have highlighted the current shortage and poor quality of outdoor facilities for football (grass pitches and 3G artificial grass pitches) and the lack of indoor facilities for futsal. For our 94 youth teams, we currently have access to 27 grass pitches. Based on FA guidelines for pitch usage, we need access to 40 plus pitches to avoid overuse and excessive wear. Many of our pitches are of poor quality which is exacerbated by overuse. In the 2019/20 season, 30% of scheduled games were cancelled due to the impact of overuse and bad weather on poor quality pitches.

BerkoAstro, the 3G pitch operated jointly by Raiders and Ashlyns School and established in 2010 has been at full capacity since it opened. It has not been able to accommodate the growth in both youth football and social football for adults. An additional 3G pitch is an urgent priority for Berkhamsted if we are to meet the demand for football activity, particularly the growth in female participation.

Future demand

Berkhamsted is already suffering from a significant lack of facilities for football and cannot accommodate current demand. Participation in the sport is restricted by the undersupply of facilities. Future demand in Berkhamsted will be driven by:

  • The increase in female participation, at youth and adult level.
  • The increase in participation in social adult football.
  • The demand that will be generated by the significant increase in housing numbers and the associated increase in population.

A coordinated plan is required to ensure that the necessary grass and 3G pitches and supporting facilities are provided to both meet current demand and cater for the significant increase in demand that will be generated through the implementation of the Local Plan.

Site allocation within the draft Local Plan

We have reviewed the Dacorum documents related to the various sites currently within the Local Plan and the proposed Bulbourne Cross site.

With regard to the current draft of the Local Plan and the site allocations therein, we have serious concerns about the lack of consideration given to the provision of supporting facilities for sport.

Growth Area Bk01 Land South of Berkhamsted

  • 850 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk02: British Film Institute

  • 90 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk03: Haslam Playing Fields

  • 150 dwellings
  • Replacement sports facilities to be provided on the site at Haresfoot Campus
  • NO MENTION of provision of ADDITIONAL sports facilities

Growth Area Bk04: Land between Hanburys and A41

  • 70 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk05: Blegberry Gardens

  • 80 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk06: East of Darrs Lane

  • 200 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk07: Lock Field, Northchurch

  • 60 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk08: Rossway Farm

  • 200 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk09: Bank Mill Lane

  • 200 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk10: Hanburys

  • 50 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk08: Rossway Farm

  • 40 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk11: Billet Lane (Jewson site)

  • 40 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk12: Berkhamsted Civic Centre

  • 16 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

Growth Area Bk13: Gossoms End / Billet Lane

  • 30 dwellings
  • NO MENTION of provision of sports facilities

So, within the 13 sites proposed within the Local Plan, there is ZERO mention of how these sites will provide the supporting infrastructure to meet the sporting needs of an expanded local community.

  • Within the major development – Growth Area Bk01 – there is an opportunity for Dacorum BC to ensure that a significant area of land is dedicated for sporting use. In the present draft plan for this site, there is just 1.9ha of land which is envisaged for sporting use. This is clearly insufficient to meet current needs or, indeed, the future demand that will be generated by the development.
  • The 12 smaller sites are owned by disparate developers. There will be no opportunity for providing a dedicated sport facility to support the growth in demand.

Bulbourne Cross

This site is not in the current draft of the Local Plan. We understand that the intention is that this site will replace ten smaller developments around town and will deliver the community infrastructure that the smaller sites cannot deliver.   We are aware of the support that the Berkhamsted Sports Grounds Association has given to the inclusion of this site. In terms of provision for sport and leisure, this site clearly  goes some way to meeting both current and future demand for sports facilities for the local community through the gifting of 10ha of land to the BSGCA and the development of an extensive sports facilities meeting the needs of football, rugby, gymnastics, netball, and other activities.

Conclusion

The Charity Trustees believe that the Local Plan MUST make adequate provision for sport and leisure, and specifically football, and that a coordinated sport and leisure facilities plan must be linked to any approved housing development. To put this into context and to provide the required additional number of pitches, one football pitch per 150 houses will be required.

Within the current site allocations, it is clear that there has been little consideration of how the demand for sport and leisure facilities will be met.  Dacorum BC must ensure that if the current site allocations are adopted, there will be a radical rethink of how these sites will make provision for sport. If the Bulbourne Cross proposals gain approval, then these will help to offset the current under supply and accommodate future demand. However, the Bulbourne Cross site alone will not provide the facilities to fully meet current and future demand. Additional provision will be required in ALL sites that are approved.

Keith Pollard
Chair of Trustees
Berkhamsted Raiders CFC

No Replies to "Raiders response to Dacorum Local Plan"


    Got something to say?