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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 02/11/2004
Godalming Leisure Needs Special Interest Group - Update on a New Leisure Centre for Godalming



Summary & Purpose
The Executive considered and agreed a report in March of this year setting out the process of procurement for a new leisure centre for Godalming. Since then, officers have progressed a number of tasks relating to the project and the Godalming Leisure Needs Special Interest Group (SIG) has been re-established to look at progress made to date and to consider various options for progressing the project. The SIG met on 11th October and its observations on the options are contained in this report. In attendance were Mr B Grainger-Jones, Mr J E Robini, Mr P Haveron (representing Godalming Town Council) and Mr Bill Braid (Sport Godalming).

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive


APPENDIX K

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 2ND NOVEMBER 2004

Title:

GODALMING LEISURE NEEDS SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP -
UPDATE ON A NEW LEISURE CENTRE FOR GODALMING

[Wards Affected: All Godalming Wards]

Summary and purpose:

The Executive considered and agreed a report in March of this year setting out the process of procurement for a new leisure centre for Godalming. Since then, officers have progressed a number of tasks relating to the project and the Godalming Leisure Needs Special Interest Group (SIG) has been re-established to look at progress made to date and to consider various options for progressing the project. The SIG met on 11th October and its observations on the options are contained in this report. In attendance were Mr B Grainger-Jones, Mr J E Robini, Mr P Haveron (representing Godalming Town Council) and Mr Bill Braid (Sport Godalming).

Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

A new leisure centre would provide a range of activities and services for the benefit of all members of the local community. It will encourage and promote safe and healthy initiatives and encourage active communities. The facilities will be accessible by all sections of the community and would help support the local community.

E-Government implications:

There are no e-government implications arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no direct resource implications arising from this report. However, the options identified within the report will have both resource and legal implications associated with them.

A new leisure centre could cost up to 10 million and could have significant revenue implications. The 2004/05 capital programme includes 140,000 for the Broadwater School Sports Hall Scheme and 33,000 for preliminary works towards the new leisure centre scheme.

Background

1. In 2002, Peter Mann Partnership (PMP) on behalf of Waverley carried out a feasibility study to consider a location for a new leisure centre for Godalming. The findings of this study revealed that the optimum level of provision to meet the existing Godalming Leisure Needs should include both wet and dry facilities. The study also identified the preferred location for a new centre on the site of the former Guildford and Godalming Rugby Club, with the new centre combining both rugby club and leisure centre facilities on one site. The Executive received a comprehensive report on the findings of the study and these were endorsed in April 2003.

2. The findings of the study clearly stated that the rugby club option would require additional parking provision to be sited on Guildford Borough Council land, currently leased by the Rugby Club and used for playing pitches and overflow car parking. The report also stated that the Rugby Club would be open to considering its site as a possible location for a new centre, but would resist any move to reduce the number of playing pitches.

3. The New Opportunities Fund (NOF) has now confirmed a grant of 453,391 towards the refurbishment of the Broadwater School sports hall and work on this is expected to start in the near future. Once complete, the existing sports hall at the school will provide the community with access to a 4-court sports hall in the evenings, at weekends and during the school holidays. Working in partnership with the existing Godalming Leisure Centre management, it is anticipated that a range of community activities, including children’s sports courses and casual exercise sessions, will be provided as well as a comprehensive programme of holiday activities. The facility will also be available for community clubs to hire on a casual basis. However, it must be noted that whilst this facility will meet some of the current leisure needs it will not be available to the public during the day, nor given its dimensions, meet the space requirements recommended by Sport England for certain competitive level indoor sports such as Badminton, Volleyball, Netball, hockey, trampolining or basketball.

Update on Progress

4. Since March, officers have undertaken a number of tasks in relation to progressing the project. These actions have included:-

v Undertaking a detailed assessment of the overall site to confirm the site can accommodate all the required facilities, including car parking. v Meeting with Guildford Borough Council to initiate discussions to consider proposals for land acquisition or lease. v Commissioning structural, mechanical and electrical, and asbestos surveys of the existing John Stanley Jeffries (JSJ) Trust Godalming Leisure Centre. v Commencing discussions with JSJ Trust re: future role of the Trust.

5. Whilst good progress has been made, the outcome of the site analysis has raised some significant concerns, which are explained more fully below.

Site Analysis

6. As part of the procurement process set out for members in March, it was agreed that a more detailed site analysis was required to ensure that all the facilities, including those of the rugby club, could be accommodated on the rugby club site. To progress this, officers have again met with the rugby club to discuss in detail the space requirements for the club and to ascertain their exact requirements for playing pitch space, car parking and clubhouse provision. To assist in the process of analysing these requirements, officers have worked with the D&M Planning Partnership to undertake the initial site capacity exercise. The purpose of the exercise was to establish whether the existing site of Guildford Rugby Club, coupled with the land leased from Guildford Borough, is capable of accommodating a new Godalming Leisure Centre, whilst still meeting the emerging needs of the rugby club.

7. Since the PMP report was undertaken, Guildford and Godalming Rugby Club has merged with Old Guildfordian’s Rugby Club and is now operating as Guildford Rugby Club. This has provided a much-needed boost for the club, which now enjoys a far larger membership and a promising future. With this in mind, it is important from its perspective that the club ensures it has the capacity to meet both current requirements for playing pitch provision and protects its interests for the future needs of the club. The club’s junior section continues to grow and on mini tournament days the club facilities are at capacity, including significant requirements for car parking space.

8. Whilst the initial findings of the D&M report did show that it was possible to accommodate the current pitch requirements with a new leisure centre, the rugby club has recently indicated that the plans do not allow for a fifth senior pitch which is currently used to double as both a senior pitch with capacity to be utilised as junior pitches. Without this flexibility, the plan produced by the D&M Partnership is not acceptable to the club and therefore fails to accommodate all the required facilities on this site.

9. Given the outcome of this initial site analysis, the Council now finds itself in a position where it must consider what it wishes to do to progress the proposal for a new leisure centre in Godalming. The options available are outlined below:-

a. Consider the option to build a centre without a sports hall on the rugby club site (Option 1) b. Re-locate the Rugby Club to a new site and build the new leisure centre on the existing Waverley land leased to the rugby club (Option 2) c. Identify a completely new location for a leisure centre to accommodate both wet and dry facilities (Option 3) d. Build on or refurbish and extend the current Godalming Leisure Centre (Option 4)

10. The four options set out in the table at Annexe 1 were considered by the Special Interest Group (SIG) at its meeting on 11th October, and Executive members should read the views of the SIG in conjunction with the table.

Views of the Special Interest Group

11. In considering Option 1, the SIG was reminded that the Surrey Sport Strategy had identified a weakness in dry sport facilities in Godalming. The Sport Godalming view was that to accommodate all facilities in one place would be the ideal rather than to have split sites.

12. The SIG believed that this option should be further investigated.

13. The SIG considered that Option 2 also merited further investigation.

14. The SIG was satisfied that all attempts to find suitable alternative locations in Godalming had been exhausted and that Option 3 therefore should not be pursued.

15. The SIG was of the opinion that there were many disadvantages associated with Option 4 but that it should remain as an option and not discounted completely.

[The Portfolio Holder and Chairman of the SIG, Mr Grainger-Jones, declared a personal interest at this juncture of the SIG meeting as a Waverley representative on the John Stanley Jeffries Swimming Pool Trust.]

16. The Special Interest Group agreed to meet again on 6th December.

Recommendation

The Executive is asked to consider the Special Interest Group's proposals that:-

1. Options 1 and 2, as contained in Annexe 1 to this report, be further investigated and the work reported back to the SIG in due course;

2. Option 3 be discounted; and

3. Option 4 be maintained, but as a reserve option only should Options 1 or 2 fail.

Background Papers (DoE&L)

Godalming Leisure Needs Study
PMP Godalming Leisure Centre Feasibility Study

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Julie Maskery Telephone: 01483 523432

E-mail: jmaskery@waverley.gov.uk

comms/exec/2004-05/233