South Oxfordshire District Council is looking at the future of sports and leisure facilities in the district and wants to hear from the people who use them, now and in the future.
The council has undertaken an extensive assessment of the leisure facilities in the district such as running tracks, sports halls and football pitches as well as playgrounds and allotments.
This sports and leisure strategy is intended to inform planners and developers up until 2033 so that they include all the necessary leisure provision for the area’s growing population.
Everyone has until midnight on Monday 7 May to add their comments.
The following highlights some of the findings from the strategy:
• Rugby is played increasingly by women and girls and while there are enough pitches, the changing facilities will need improvements.
• There are two gymnastics clubs in South Oxfordshire each with more than 1,000 affiliated members. Both clubs have outgrown their sites and if their popularity continues they will need new centres.
• While there are enough running tracks, 90 per cent of people who run don’t use tracks and so traffic-free routes should be developed.
• Hockey has become so popular that England Hockey anticipate there could be almost twice as many teams in the area by 2033.
• Of the 66 allotments in the district, 42 are fully used, others need improvements.
• Currently there are no 3G football turf pitches in the district, so the leisure strategy has suggested that up to six full size 3G pitches are needed to meet the growing demand for football training.
South Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for community services Cllr Lynn Lloyd said: “We would really encourage residents to respond to this survey to let us know that what we have compiled is a true reflection of the facilities we have now and what it seems we will need in the future.
“We know how important sport and leisure is to our wellbeing, so it is vital that our planners and developers are well informed when it comes to this part of people’s lives.”
After the consultation closes, the council will publish a report which summarises the feedback received.
The council expects to review and update the action plan annually in conjunction with Sport England, national governing bodies of sport and Parish and Town Councils.
For more information on the Leisure Strategy, the documents can be viewed here. (http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/services-and-advice/sports-leisure-and-arts/leisure-strategy-2033)