Agenda item

Playing Pitches Strategy Options


The Head of Community Development and Leisure presented the above report, details of which had been previously circulated to Members.  The purpose of the report was to provide Members with options for approval to deliver on the strategic recommendations from the Playing Pitches Strategy and to seek Members’ approval of the draft priority scoring matrix to be used for all projects under any preferred options.


            Alderman Hussey stated that the report had identified a pitch deficit in Strabane Town and Strabane rural which was significant compared to Derry City, Derry Rural.  He expressed concern that the proposals did not include any new pitch development.  He stated that the report also clearly illustrated that this Council area did not have a surplus supply comparative with other councils.  He referred to the strategic recommendation and welcomed that the strategic involvement included sports clubs.  He expressed his disappointment that the deficit noted in the report also corresponded to play park provision and that there was no budget available to deal with that issue.  He stated that he would be giving this his full consideration during the rates process as it needed to be addressed.  He stated that the deficits in pitch and play facilities within the wider rural areas had been clearly identified within the strategy.  He stated that whilst he welcomed a lot of the good work and points within the strategy, those issues had to be dealt with.


Councillor McHugh endorsed the comments raised by the previous speaker. He stated that the draft playing pitch strategy had been presented at numerous Committee meetings and felt it was now time to endorse the recommendations within the report.  He stated that the deficit of playing pitches identified within the report had a knock on effect in terms of existing clubs being hampered from further development.  However, he welcomed the report and looked forward to contributing to its implementation.


Councillor Mooney also endorsed the recommendation within the report and looked forward to the receipt of the full report in due course.  He concurred with the comments made by the previous speakers and welcomed that Council had 143 pitches in stock around the city and district.  However, but there were gaps as highlighted by the previous speakers which must be addressed.


Alderman Devenney welcomed the report and concurred that there were deficits and gaps that must be addressed as they could pose an issue for smaller sports clubs to grow and mature.  He referred to the logo of ‘protect, enhance, provide’ and asked how could be achieved if there was no budget available.  He stated that the matter needed to be considered for inclusion in the rates process.


In response, the Head of Community Development and Leisure referred to the rural Strabane area.  He stated that in terms of deficits across a number of sports, these would be addressed.  He advised that he and the Director of Health and Community had fully explored the matter over recent years in terms of possible funding from Sport NI or other bodies.  However, with Covid-19, capital money was not forthcoming at present.  He stated that the deficits highlighted would be the number one capital priority project.  He noted that a previous report referred to elements around developing facilities at Spamount to attempt to address the deficit, even though it was not going to achieve the strategic recommendations.   He stated that there were complex issues such as getting the project started and putting a design team in place. He advised that until the actual costs had been identified it would be difficult as the first thing would be to secure funding for a design team.


                        The Committee


Recommended           that Members (i) approve preferred options to deliver on the strategic recommendations from the Playing Pitch Strategy and (ii) approve the draft Priority scoring matrix to be used for all projects under any preferred options.



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