Hiltingbury Recreation Ground
Proposed Hiltingbury Pavilion Sports Hall Extension:
On Monday 10 April 2017 at 7.30 pm Chandler’s Ford Parish Council held an Extraordinary meeting of Full Council to discuss whether to agree to submitting the proposals for a 4-badminton court sports hall, refurbishment of the existing pavilion and removal and replacement of the first floor with a fitness room, two concessions rooms and a 40-space temporary car park at the Ashdown Road entrance for the construction period, forwards as a Planning Application to Eastleigh Borough Council for determination.
David Knott of TKL Architects was invited by the Parish Council Chairman Cllr Margaret Atkinson to give a presentation to inform members of the council and the public present current information about the proposals. The plans, elevations and site information were projected on the screen and Mr Knott talked the proposals through. It was pointed out that the current pavilion was not fit-for-purpose and was falling into serious decay that would shortly become irreversible.
Andrew Thompson, EBC’s Project Lead for the Pavilion proposal confirmed that the proposal aligned to the Borough Council’s Health agenda, to increase participation and provide high quality local facilities for use by the community. Acknowledging the upcoming redevelopment and extended sports hall offer at the new Fleming Park, Andrew confirmed that such was the demand for sports hall space at peak time that there was already a host of local clubs and groups desperate for another facility. Following conversations with counterparts at the FA, Sport England and Places for People, he stated that not only were they supportive of the project, they were also quick to commend the Parish Council in being bold and proactive in seeking to improve the health of their local community.
About 12 members of the public attended the meeting to take part in public participation which lasted 20 minutes and during which comments were made about parking, loss of the turning space, safety of children, the design, loss of green space.
It was confirmed that there would be no loss of football pitches as they would be moved down the recreation ground and that space (primarily unusable for sport) was to be enclosed and made available for sport.
Members debated the proposals and the timings and that with it going forwards a 13-week formal consultation period would be entered into, as well as a public consultation by the Parish Council for the final detailed plans and elevations. One member described the existing pavilion as being only suitable as “a sty for porcine animals”. Members were also reminded that if nothing was done to the building it would eventually have to be demolished and the parish would have no facility at all.
After 35 minutes of debate it was resolved on a show of hands that the plans should go forwards to the planning authority for determination. It was separately resolved that the technical design work be undertaken whilst waiting for planning approval as to delay would create a significant risk on the costs of the project rising by more than the risk of the fees.
After the meeting had concluded Cllr Margaret Atkinson, Chairman of the Parish Council said “This is an exciting and positive development for our Parish, as the proposed new pavilion will replace an old and dilapidated building that has been an eyesore for too long. The refurbishment of the existing Hiltingbury Pavilion has been a long-term desire of the Parish Council as it will provide better sports facilities, not only for Hiltingbury, but for the whole community of Chandler’s Ford. Passing this resolution is the next step in the planning process, and we now look forward to further consultations with residents so we are able to accommodate as many uses as possible for the new pavilion.”
Barry Montgomery (incoming Chairman of AFC Hiltingbury), following a meeting with CFPC Officers, said “After discussions with the Chandlers Ford Parish Council, AFC Hiltingbury, home to over 35 football teams and some 400+ players, are pleased that not only will there be very little, if any, disruption to Hiltingbury Recreation ground during the construction of the proposed extension to the pavilion. But also, that once completed will offer the club and community, as a whole, far more facilities than currently exist. This combined with the recent investments in people and technology by the Parish Council, promises that both Hiltingbury and Fryern will offer improved recreational areas for everyone to enjoy."
Further consultation is proposed in May/June/July to look at what sports opportunities residents might like to have in the large sports hall - badminton and five-a-side football are obvious ones, but what else? What other sports should be marked out on the flooring?
Indoor bowls? (maybe upstairs?)
Indoor hockey (Unihoc)?
Over the weekend of 23/24 July the access to the Hiltingbury Recreation Ground, near to Ashdown Road, was repaired replacing a pitted, uneven area with a semi-hard, porous surfacing. It now looks like this:
This followed a complaint being made regarding the safety of the access for buggies etc, and as a result of the repair the resident followed up with a hand delivered letter of thanks, which was much appreciated by Parish Council officers and councillors alike. Further improvement works are due to be undertaken in the week of 3-7 October to ease the gradient of the slope and make it safer for use in the winter.
Works have been undertaken to the playing surface at the recreation ground due to previously poor growth of grass on the football pitches. The new playing surface will require less maintenance and will be more sustainable following the previous drainage works that have taken place. More topsoil has been provided to the pitches and this will provide a better medium for grass to thrive.
The renovation of the playing surface is part of the strategy to see the recreation ground become the official home venue for a football club and therefore bring further visitors to the ground.
Hiltingbury has a modern play area, a range of skateboarding equipment (half pipe, quarter pipe, box and volcano) a MUGA and recently resurfaced tennis courts. The play area was refurbished in the late summer of 2015, with a large area covered with Rhino Mulch (TM)