Local sports clubs in the Grove and Wantage area are helping Vale of White Horse District Council understand how money that’s coming in from new housing developments could be used to help provide appropriate new or improved leisure facilities for local residents. A similar engagement is taking place with clubs in the Faringdon and Great Coxwell area.
The funding has been raised from housing developers building in the areas through legal agreements known as Section 106 agreements, and through the Community Infrastructure Levy, which is essentially a kind of tax raised from developers building houses.
The clubs, along with their local town and parish councils and district councillors, are being asked to provide initial views on whether their current facilities – like sports pitches and courts – will be suitable for the forthcoming increase in population locally, or if they think they will need to improve existing facilities or build new ones.
The initial feedback they provide now will contribute to a wider project happening this year to identify the need for leisure facilities in the area, which will in turn help to determine the best ways to spend the infrastructure cash.
Cllr Judy Roberts, Cabinet Member for Development and Infrastructure at Vale of White Horse District Council said: “It’s important that this funding from local housing developments is spent in the way it was intended – to benefit existing and future residents in the areas affected by the growing populations. We want to make the right changes to the leisure facilities in Grove and Wantage, and also the Faringdon area, to encourage everyone into a more active lifestyle.”
Cllr Helen Pighills, Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities at Vale of White Horse District Council said: “People being able to exercise and be active close to where they live is a priority for the council. Covid has changed the way we work and spend our leisure time, perhaps for the long term. We are engaging with local sports groups and councillors in Grove and Wantage to understand how best to use developer contributions for leisure facilities as soon as soon as possible, and also carrying out engagement in the Faringdon area, before moving on to look at the wider district.”