Council taxpayers to foot £605,000 bill for sports pavilion

The Council have now appointed a contractor to build a “Pavilion, Clubhouse and Changing Rooms” on Tadcaster Road near Sim Balk Lane.

It will become the home of a football team currently based in Bishopthorpe.

The contract was won by Fullwood of Pontefract

The cost is an eye watering £605,000.

In total the project is expected to cost £1.5 million. £491,000 has already been spent on new pitches.

Taxpayers money

This compared to the costs of new modular changing rooms which are available from less than £40,000 from a number of companies.

These include Sports Changing Rooms and York’s own Portakabin

The cost of the pavilion is controversial because it is being partly funded from monies generated by building on playing fields at Lowfield.

More modest changing facilities would have allowed the surplus to be used to provide an all-weather games area to replace both the facilities lost at Lowfields and also the Kingsway West children’s games area which the Council demolished earlier in the summer.

The Council has still not made any public announcement about the replacement games area which could be located on Thanet Road.

Sport England reaffirm their opposition to loss of Kingsway all weather play area

Could the Council fund an upgrade of the Thanet Road Sports area?

The future of the  all weather games (MUGA) provision in the Kingsway part of York remains unclear. Sport England – with the backing of local Netball and Football governing bodies – is insisting that, if the present facility is removed, then a similar provision must be made nearby.

In effect, Sport England have a veto over new developments if they involve the loss of sports fields. They can insist that a development application  is referred to the Secretary of Sate for a decision.

The Foxwood Residents Association has also voiced its concerns claiming that a fitness trail – planned by officials for Chesney’s Field  – would not meet the informal sports/leisure needs of the 8 – 13 age group.  Instead they urge that discussions take place with the Acorn Rugby Club aimed at funding improvements, and wider access, to the floodlit area that is already in place on the Thanet Road Sports area.

York Council officials are being particularly stubborn on this issue. It is putting at risk a plan to modernise the sheltered housing flats at Lincoln Court.

Some flexibility, urgency and imagination in addressing the issues now needs to be shown by both Councillors and officers at West Offices. 

Sport Englands representations can be read by clicking here

The  Residents Association comments can be read here

Anyone for Footy?

It looks like Foxwood is getting a revived football team.

A team – based at the Beagle pub on Foxwood Lane – will play their fixtures on Chesney’s Field this season. They will play in division 2 of the York league

We understand that they are always on the lookout for new players.

The Westfield Ward Committee have allocated £500 to help the team get off the ground.

The first fixture, against Rufforth, is taking place on Saturday 1st September starting at 2:00pm.

More at https://www.facebook.com/thebeaglefc/

Have your say on our plans for new sports pitches at Tadcaster Road

Residents are being invited to have their say on plans to build eight new sports pitches on fields near Askham Bar.

The drop-in consultation event, which will take place between 4pm and 7pm at Askham Bar Park & Ride on Wednesday 24 January, will offer the chance for people to feedback on plans to build three 11-a-side pitches, two 9-a-side pitches and three 7-a-side pitches with relevant on-site facilities.

The event comes after the council’s executive in November agreed that officers should continue to work on plans for sports facilities on the land near the Ashfield estate.

Sensibly the Council has now stopped trying to link the new provision with the loss of football pitches at Lowfields 

This will help to provide much needed community sports facilities to the south and west area of York.

The council’s public heath team are also working with Bishopthorpe White Rose FC to prepare a club development plan that will help them thrive in the future and access grant funding.

The cost of these works will be funded from the Football Foundation, Bishopthorpe White Rose football club, local sponsorship and small grants, with the remainder from the capital programme agreed by City of York Council.
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Bishopthorpe 1, Westfield 0

2.9 miles from Lowfields to replacement football pitch

The Council is to consider next week a  plan to spend £400,000 providing new football pitches for a team based in Bishopthorpe.

Good luck to “Bishopthorpe White Rose Football Club”. We wish them success.

However the Councils claim that this project will replace the football pitches, on which they hope to build, at Lowfields is complete “tosh”

The Tadcaster Road site (behind the London Bridge Service Station) is 3 miles from Lowfields. There is simply no way that Lowfields residents – old or new – would regard Sim Balk Lane as a convenient alternative for any kind of local leisure facility.

The truth of the matter is that the Bishopthorpe Football Club’s needs have grown over the years and they have (rightly) approached the Council for help. It is a coincidence that the Lowfields project came along at the same time.

The Council is being duplicitous in linking the two projects.

If a section Section 106 contribution towards sports facilities is available, then the £400,000 should be spent in the Westfield area. Last year, when the Executive first hatched its plan, they were talking about providing the current users of the pitches (Woodthorpe Wanderers) with new facilities. That idea seems to have been quietly forgotten.

Better still, the Council should leave the existing Lowfields pitches alone. Such a decision would be in line with the decision taken at the last Executive meeting which agreed to review open space provision in the City.

The plot hatched by Council officials is aimed at persuading Sport England to remove their blocking objection to the current Lowfields Planning application.

The Executive is also due to consider borrowing around £9 million to build houses on the Lowfields site(!) More about this later.

 

Residents reject plan to fence off Chesneys Field

Chesney’s Field development plan

A Council proposal, that part of the Chesney Field amenity area should be fenced off, was criticised at a meeting of the Foxwood Residents Association last night.

Of those attending the meeting, only Council officials spoke in favour of the plan.

Now a formal representation has been made to local Councillors in the hope that the scheme can be quickly dismissed as an option.

This would allow other aspects of the project to move forward. These may include the provision of a trim track or “outdoor gym”.

Residents urged the football club that wants to erect the fencing and a storage container, to look to an arrangement with the Acorn Ruby Club who operate on an adjacent, and secure, site already.

The matter is likely to be discussed again at a Ward Committee meeting which is taking place next Tuesday at the Bowling Club (7:00pm)