Council invites public to comment on proposed improvements to existing Honiton sports pitches, as well as new pitches, by 20 December 2016

Comments and concerns voiced by members of the public who responded to East Devon District Council’s summer consultation (between May to July 2016) on a draft Sports Pitch Strategy for Honiton, have been listened to and used to create a revised draft strategy document, which the council is currently consulting on.

The council is asking the public for further feedback by 20 December, 5pm, on this amended version of the Sports Pitch Strategy and will consider the public’s views before making any further modifications to the document. A final version of the Strategy will be considered for adoption by East Devon’s Strategic Planning Committee early in 2017.

The purpose of the consultation is to help ensure that the final recommendations and the final strategy are well evidenced and generally supported by the community. The adopted strategy will act as planning guidance across all areas of the council and will allow more detailed plans and planning applications to be drawn up.

The Honiton Sports Pitch Strategy was one of the recommendations made in the district-wide Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS), which was adopted in June 2015. This identified issues with the supply and demand of sports pitches for football, rugby, cricket and hockey in Honiton and recommended that a subsequent strategy be developed to deliver improvements to existing pitches and new pitches to meet community needs.

The strategy proposes improvements to existing sports pitch facilities around the town and the delivery of new sports pitches on land adjacent to St Rita’s and on the Former Honiton Showground.

It is important to note that the recommendations in the strategies are not a substitute for planning permission and do not mean that such proposals would necessarily gain planning permission. All planning applications are considered on their own merits against the development plan and any relevant material considerations at the time.

Delivery of improvements and new pitch sites will need to involve close partnership working between the council, clubs, landowners and sports governing bodies. However, the council is not under obligation to fund or deliver any of these projects.

Comments should be made by emailing: localplan@eastdevon.gov.uk or by writing to Planning Policy, East Devon District Council, Knowle, Station Road, Sidmouth EX10 8HL.

The Revised Draft Strategy is available on the East Devon website.

Hard copies of the revised Draft Strategy are available from:

  • East Devon District Council’s reception at Knowle, Sidmouth
  • Honiton Town Council, The Beehive, Dowell Street, Honiton, EX14 1LZ; and
  • Honiton Library, 50 New Street, Honiton, EX14 1BS

All comments received from the consultation, which commenced on 22 November, will be available to view on the East Devon website, however private postal and email addresses and telephone numbers will be redacted.

Commenting on the revised strategy consultation, Councillor Andrew Moulding, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for strategic development and partnerships, said:

We have listened to the feedback that we received as a result of our first consultation and we have tried to take into account people’s comments. The strategy has been amended accordingly to reflect the concerns expressed by the local community and key stakeholders and we are most grateful for their input.

We are very aware of the requirement for new sports pitches in the Honiton area, as well as improvements to existing ones, and the district wide PPS has helped us identity where there is a need.

So I would urge the public to come forward and give us their comments on this revised strategy, which will then help us decide any further relevant amendments. Once this strategy has been finalised we will adopt it officially as a means of planning guidance for Honiton and will use it to access grant funding to help us deliver these projects. In addition, the adopted strategy will be used to help decide developer contributions for new housing in the Honiton area.