EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON
THURSDAY, 4 OCTOBER 2018
: Dominic Boeck, Graham Bridgman, Jeanette Clifford, Hilary Cole,
James Cole, Lynne Doherty, James Fredrickson, Graham Jones and Rick Jones Also Present:
Bill Bagnell (Manager - Special Projects), Iain Bell (Revenues and Benefits
Manager), Catalin Bogos (Performance Research Consultation Manager), Nick Carter (Chief
Executive), Mary-Anne Cosgrove (Service Manager), Andy Day (Head of Strategic Support),
Tandra Forster (Head of Adult Social Care), Sally Kelsall (Housing Strategy and Operations
Manager), Gary Lugg (Head of Development & Planning) and Andy Walker (Head of Finance
and Property), Linda Pye (Principal Policy Officer) Apologies:
John Ashworth, Councillor Anthony Chadley and Councillor Marcus Franks
Future Use of Faraday Road Sports Pitch
Bill Bagnell presented a report which updated on progress made to date on the future
management and rationalisation of the Newbury football ground as a community asset.
Proposals were an interim measure until the football club land is required as part of
the redevelopment of London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE).
Officers were seeking authority to convert the current football pitch and a small margin
around the perimeter as a MUGA for sports and community use. Capital funding of
£88k was being sought to close up and secure the old clubhouse and adjacent
structures which included the removal of existing fencing, the supply and erection of a
perimeter fence 4m high in order to allow the facility to operate and the making secure
of existing buildings so that these could be safely managed independently of any other
activity relating to the rest of the site.
Bill Bagnell advised that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and
paragraph 97 in particular, in relation to existing open space, sports and recreational
buildings and land, stated that these sites should not be built on unless it was surplus
to requirements or that it would be replaced by equivalent or better provision. It would
therefore be necessary to demonstrate that thought had gone into replacing this
facility. The report did not include the possibility of using Northcroft as an alternative
site but if the development of the London Road Industrial Estate went ahead then other
options, such as Northcroft, would need to be considered.
Bill Bagnell advised that the pitch would be a grassed pitch and not artificial turf.
Hungerford Town Football Club had expressed an interest in the stand.
Councillor James Cole felt that this was a good plan for the present time and if the
Council did nothing then that would create a PR issue. Bill Bagnell confirmed that it
would be an informal MUGA and therefore anyone would be able to organise sport on
a maintained pitch. A MUGA usually had three sports pitches overlaid in different
colours. Councillor James Cole stated that it would be useful if the pitch could be
marked up for a full-sized football pitch but Bill Bagnell responded that it was more
likely that it would be marked up for five a side football.
Councillor Hilary Cole queried why the Council were boarding up the club house and
not demolishing it. There was a worry that it would be tempting for rough sleepers in
the area to break in and use it as a squat. Bill Bagnell agreed but stated that there was
a due process which had to be followed. The aim would be to eventually demolish the
buildings but planning permission would be required. He assured Members that the
building would be secure and therefore it would not be possible to break in.
Councillor James Fredrickson referred to the PR angle and stated that the last press
release had mentioned that an assessment of the site would be undertaken by
September and this was now late. There was a lot of detail around the situation with
the football club and it was only if people understood the detail that they would
understand the position the Council was taking. He therefore suggested removing the
Executive Summary from the report and publishing it along with the Condition Survey.
However, Bill Bagnell felt that it would be better to publish the whole thing or just the
Condition Survey. Councillor Fredrickson was of the opinion that it was essential to
provide detail in this case. Councillor James Cole agreed and felt that there was a
need to go back to basics and to explain the issues. However, Councillor Hilary Cole
stated that this had been explained when discussions had first taken place with St.
Nick Carter asked if this could be agreed by delegated authority or whether it needed
to go to the Executive for sign off. Andy Walker advised that it had not been included
in the Capital Programme and therefore an Executive decision would be required.
Nick Carter referred to Paul Anstey’s wider leisure vision around Northcroft and he
queried whether there would be any merit in making links to that. Paul Anstey stated
that if the land on which the Faraday Road pitch was located then it made no sense
and it would be better to focus on Northcroft and to concentrate sport within that area
particularly as the land was owned by the Council. Councillor Fredrickson said that the
logic had always been that the Council would not replace like for like. Nick Carter
replied that the Council had initially sought to find an alternative site for the Football
Club and had even considered a share arrangement. However, the development of
the Leisure Strategy provided a further opportunity to look at the provision of a site.
Bill Bagnell pointed out that the NPPF had also been beefed up and it was therefore
necessary to demonstrate reasonable history and it would not be right if the issue
around a site was not revisited. It made sense for the Council to look at Northcroft
particularly if it involved an income generation opportunity. Councillor Fredrickson felt
that if it was a viable option to include it as part of the Leisure Strategy then that would
be a good way forward. However, Bill Bagnell reminded Members that there would
also be a number of people who would not be in favour of a football pitch on the
Councillor Hilary Cole advised that Paul Anstey had made great progress in respect
of leisure and she felt that the Faraday Road project should be included in the leisure
Councillor Lynne Doherty felt that £88k seemed to be a large amount for fencing off a
MUGA pitch. However, Councillor James Cole stated that the MUGA pitch would
provide income for the Council. Bill Bagnell added that it was necessary to erect a
good quality fence for security purposes.
Discussion took place on the level of detail which should be made public at this stage.
It was noted that there would need to be some publicity around the Leisure Strategy
in any event. Paul Anstey stated that Sport England were about to publish guidance
in relation to leisure strategies and funding.
Andy Walker pointed out that Paul Anstey had a leisure centre capital budget and
various other capital projects and he would therefore investigate whether it would be
possible to cover off the funding for the fencing without going to the Executive.
It was agreed that a press release would be drafted in respect of the Football
The Leisure Strategy would be introduced at the Newbury Vision Conference
on 29th October 2018;
Andy Walker to investigate whether capital funding of £88k could be made
available to fund the works required to make the football ground safe and
appropriate for public use;
The report would be held for a week until a discussion took place following
Budget Board on 11th October 2018 around how to take this forward. The
attendees at the meeting would include Councillors James Fredrickson, Rick
Jones, Graham Jones, Nick Carter, Paul Anstey, Bill Bagnell and Peta