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Bristol Road Playing Fields disposal

Monday 7th March, 2022

Sedgemoor District Council is considering the disposal of the site of the Bristol Road Playing Fields, Bridgwater which extends to approximately 4.98 hectares. 

It is proposed that the land will be transferred to the Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust by way of a 75-year lease in order to convert the existing playing fields into an extensive sports and recreation facility.

THE Sedgemoor District Council is currently considering the disposal of the site of the Bristol Road Playing Fields in Bridgwater.

The 4.98-hectare site has been proposed to be transferred to Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust by way of a 75-year lease in order to convert the existing fields into an extensive sports and recreation facility.

To enable the development, Sedgemoor Council is inviting members of the public who wish to comment or object to the proposal to do so in writing by 5pm on March 29, 2022.

The current site off Bristol Road, Bridgwater, is currently a council-maintained park land with no clear usage and surrounded by housing on two sides, with the other two sides enveloping the land being a railway line and cemetery.

It once held multiple 11 a side pitches for the community before the council withdrew from  providing  football facilities on this site many years ago.

Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust have set the proposed development to promote the physical and psychological health of Bridgwater residents by offering access to a well-maintained area to exercise.

According to plans, it would be a meeting place for families and organisations to connect while still having to possibly maintain some form of social distancing.

The Trust envision a community park that would be open to everyone in Town and County and would encourage outdoor activities and community unity that would also host The Trust and provide a safe green space for local residents.

In the proposal it states that: ‘The park would aid the local economy by increasing the benefits of living in Bridgwater’.

The development will feature a community park with children’s play, activity areas, picnic area spaces with possible outdoor gym spaces also.

The community pavilion will service the park with toilets, changing rooms and cafe kiosk facilities

To provide for the sporting organisations, and encouraging the town to engage in physical activity, hard court, grass and 3G Astro grass pitches will be made accessible.

The full list of proposed facilities includes:

  • Community Park,
  • Children’s park and activity area,
  • Picnic areas and Dog walking areas,
  • 2 x hard court surfaces for court games such as basketball, netball, etc.
  • 2 x 7v7 community open access pitches,
  • 2 x 5v5 3G community open access cage pitches,
  • 1 x 11v11 community pitch
  • 1 x 11v11 community stadium pitch, including a 3G pitch,
  • A community pavilion clubhouse, and
  • Ample parking, and ample lighting.

The Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust would predominantly operate from the area of the land where the two 11 a side pitches are located and would allow security in delivering all of the activities the trust will be delivering within its extensive programme.

The pitches and community clubhouse will be available to schools, local grassroots football clubs and other sports as a training and match venue.

The BUCST proposed headquarters will be located at the new North Stand development based at their home at Fairfax Park.

Club CEO and Trustee of BUCST, Adam Murry, shared his excitement towards the ambitious transformation

“Although I’ve been involved in the transformation of community spaces before this is a first of its kind venture and will radically improve the ability of the trust to deliver their projects that make such an impact on people’s lives but also provide a space for individuals and families to come together in an area they can feel safe and proud to have on their doorstep.”

BUCST’s Community Development Manager, Oli Moore said

“This project is life-changing for us and the residents of Bridgwater. What we envision will bring everyone from dogwalkers to runners to the park alongside our projects that help and engage those more disadvantaged or under represented in our society.”

There is a legal process to follow:-

Firstly, two adverts have to be placed in the local newspaper – Bridgwater Mercury.   The adverts are placed for two weeks – 1st March and 8th March to invite members of the public who wish to comment or object to the proposals, in writing by 1700 hrs on 29th March.

There is a copy of the plan and proposals in Bridgwater House.

The proposals and any objections or comments will then form a report which will be debated at an Executive meeting, probably in May. 

There would then need to be a planning application submitted by the Bridgwater United Community Sports Trust. 

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