Council lays out £3m plans for sports and leisure

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FAREHAM Borough Council is on course to open more than £3m of outdoor sports and play facilities as part of a five year plan by the end of 2016.

Major projects lined up for the near future under its open space improvement programme include a £400,000 cricket pavilion at Bath Lane, and £1m on a western wards sports pitch and facilities, as well as various multi-use sports areas at Cams Alders, Park Lane and in Portchester.

As part of the five-year plan for play space and recreational improvements, the council is aiming to have carried out works on 18 schemes across the borough by 2016.

But the report before the council’s ruling executive last night also set out a timetable for improvements for leisure facilities through to 2025.

Some of these long-term schemes included a floodlit multi-sports area in the western wards and new changing rooms for Cams Alders for Fareham Heathens RFC, at £500,000 each.

In 2021 the council is looking to spend £1m on buying land next to Locks Heath recreation ground to provide more sports pitches.

And in 2023 it will look to buy land west of Cranleigh Road to address a shortfall in provision of sports pitches.

Councillor Connie Hockley, who is in charge of community matters for the council, said: ‘It is ambitious, but we hope with a fair wind it will be achieved.

‘It’s not set in stone and if we get the money from certain other authorities we can switch things around. It is our vision and it is a statement of intent.

‘We need to make the best of what we have here and continue to try and get as much money as possible from outside organisations and through matched funding.’

Projects already completed include new artificial cricket strips at the Allotment Road and Locks Heath recreation grounds, and an artificial pitch at New Road, Warsash.

A £600,000 project to provide new changing rooms at Wicor Road rec is also under way with the help of a £231,000 grant from the Football Association.

Future schemes will be funded from developers’ contributions where possible or contributions from the community infrastructure levy.

The six members of the executive approved the programme unanimously.