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Recent proposals for sports facilities in Dagnam Park

We have recently learned from Council sources that the soil surveys of Dagnam Park and Broxhill will begin in May 2012. Read the background below.

( Feasibility Study now published; June 2012 )

In the Council's outline planning application (P1451.10) presented to their Regulatory Services Committee on 8th March 2012 for the housing development of the Albemarle fields significant mention was made of the loss of playing fields. To make the whole project acceptable mitigation in the shape of new facilities at both the Dagnam Park NR and the old Broxhill School site was agreed, the following section from the application makes the proposal clear.


6.2.6 The importance of playing field provision within the Borough is acknowledged and the application therefore proposes a package of measures to compensate for the loss of playing fields and open space on the application site. These may be summarised as follows:
- Improvement and new facilities at Broxhill to include drainage, reseeding and levelling of the existing open space to create two new football pitches.
- Improved facilities at Central Park including a new skate park, Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), children's play facilities and enhanced walkways.


Following further discussions with Sport England the proposals were further revised to include the following:


- provision of additional sports pitches at Dagnam Park
- improvements to the Broxhill site changing rooms


Sport England were unhappy with the original proposals in that they consider the Broxhill pitches are not new and cannot therefore be considered as replacements and that although they consider the Dagnam Park pitches to be new they still insist that changing room facilities and parking provision will need to be provided. At the time of the report's publication Council officers were disputing that new facilities apart from pitches were required at Dagnam Park.


The subsequent published minutes of the meeting show that the application was approved with several provisos pertaining to the sports facilities, in that the following conditions should be met :-


Payment of circa £1,000,000 to the Council for improvements to Central Park as part of the Harold Hill Ambitions.
Payment of circa £120,000 to the Council for the cost of works in respect of improvements to Dagnam Park (eg drainage/seeding/marking etc) to provide two new football pitches (cost of the works to be established following completion of survey);
Payment of circa £246,000 to the Council for the cost of works in respect of improvements to Broxhill (eg drainage/levelling/seeding/ marking etc) to provide two new football pitches (cost of the works to be established following completion of survey);
Payment of circa £200,000 to the Council for refurbishments works to theBroxhill Sports Pavilion (cost of the works to be established following completion of survey);

All of that would be subject to a Section 106 Agreement.


"Section 106 (S106) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows a local planning authority (LPA) to enter into a legally-binding agreement or planning obligation with a landowner in association with the granting of planning permission. The obligation is termed a Section 106 Agreement.
These agreements are a way of delivering or addressing matters that are necessary to make a development acceptable in planning terms. They are increasingly used to support the provision of services and infrastructure, such as highways, recreational facilities, education, health and affordable housing.
The scope of such agreements is laid out in the government's Circular 05/2005. Matters agreed as part of a S106 must be:-
relevant to planning, necessary to make the proposed development acceptable in planning terms, directly related to the proposed development, fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the proposed development, and reasonable in all other respects.

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The reason that the Council is so keen to have Sport England on board is that it will then not be necessary for the application to be referred to the Secretary of State. It should be mentioned that in the original Harold Hill Ambitions document and consultation, below, no mention was made of Dagnam Park other than to proclaim the desire to "Protect and enhance Dagnam Park as an excellent natural environment for families to enjoy"

Members will be aware that Dagnam Park was used extensively for sport up until the 1980s
At the FODP's first major public meeting in 2003 Council plans were revealed for new football pitches in the park. These were unrelated to any development of the Albemarle fields. I think it is fair to say the idea received a mixed reception from the 150 local people present and was subsequently quietly shelved by the Council. It was discussed at Friends meetings at the time and again feelings were mixed but since no formal proposals were forthcoming the issue slipped from our agenda without us ever taking an agreed position on the issue.

My thanks are due to Don and Dennis for background material in researching this item.

Del