Agenda item

Pre-Decision Scrutiny - Playing Pitch and Built Facilities Strategies

This report will follow in an Additional Papers pack once the report has been published for consideration of the Executive Committee (due for publication on Monday 29th January 2024).



The Development Services Manager presented the report on the Playing Pitch and Built Facilities Strategies business plan and in doing so drew Members’ attention that these were the two outstanding strategies arising from the Leisure and Culture Strategy that was presented to Overview and Scrutiny, and subsequently approved by the Executive Committee in October 2022.


The Playing Pitch and Built Facilities Strategies covered the following points:


·       How many of these facilities did Redditch have?

·       What was the quality of these facilities?

·       Were these facilities accessible?

·       What was the current demand?

·       What was the future demand up to the final year of the Local Plan in 2040?


These documents were designed to assist the Council in making decisions with regard to playing pitches and built facilities. It was highlighted by Officers that physical activity levels were relatively low in Redditch and it was therefore imperative that appropriate interventions could be designed to encourage people to be physically active, particularly groups which faced barriers to taking part in physical activity.


Officers presented the recommendations of the report. It was explained that the first recommendation asked that both strategies be endorsed, the second recommendation asked that the authority be delegated to the Head of Planning, Regeneration and Leisure, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Leisure, to implement the first tranche of recommendations as listed in the report recommendations.


Officers reported that with respect to the Executive Summary for Playing Pitch Strategy (Appendix D), this had to be republished subsequently to the publication of the papers as the original version contained an error in the listing of the recommendations. The correct version was printed at Additional Papers 4 to the agenda for this meeting.


Following the presentation, Members discussed the contents of the report. The following points were raised:


-        Transport from South of the Borough to sports and leisure facilities – Officers noted that this would be addressed through recommendation 8 of the to be addressed through recommendation 8 of the Built Facility Strategy which proposed that the Council’s Development Services Team to focus their resources on areas where most transformative impact could be made. This aligned with the national strategy for local authorities to address physical inactivity through cross-departmental work and through work with partners and stakeholders. This would include working transport providers to allow appropriate access to facilities.

-        Integrated operational leisure management across Redditch and Bromsgrove – It was noted that this Recommendation 2 of the Built Facility Strategy could only be implemented once appropriate governance changes within Rubicon had taken place.

-        External Funding Sources – It was noted that the Council was awaiting news as to whether it would be eligible to have access to a place-based national funding pot from Sports England (£250m) within the next 2 years.

-        Public Use of Schools’ Sports Facilities – Officers noted that discussions would be taking place to enable use of schools’ facilities by the public outside school hours through Community Use Agreements with the schools where plausible.

-        Governance arrangements – Officers explained that the strategy process (for both Playing Pitch and Built Facilities Strategies) was managed by a Steering Group and signed off by Sports England as the supervising body over the Strategies.

-        It was explained that it was not possible to provide timelines for the implementation of the next tranche of recommendations as some of the recommendations of both Strategies were dependent on national policy.




1)    The Built Facility Strategy at Appendix A and the Playing Pitch Strategy at Appendix B are endorsed.


2)    Delegated authority be granted to the Head of Planning, Regeneration and Leisure following consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Leisure to implement the following recommendations:


Built Facility Strategy: 1, 3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14

Playing Pitch Strategy: 1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 5.1, 6.1, 6.3, 7.1, 7.2, 8.1, 8.3, 8.5

Supporting documents: