Yeovil Town FC, Yeovil Town Holdings and the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust will soon find out if their plans for community football pitches and a cricket pitch on the outskirts of Yeovil will be approved.
Plans were submitted to South Somerset District Council on 1st June 2015 to change the use of the 12.5 acre site, adjacent to Lufton College, from agricultural use to community playing field and recreational use.
The planning application is due to be decided at SSDC’s Area South meeting on Wednesday 7th September and is recommended for approval subject to planning conditions, including a desk-based assessment and a field evaluation to assess the potential for archaeological remains.
The plans include two full-sized football pitches, an option for a cricket pitch, a building to accommodate four changing rooms, the necessary changes for access and associated car parking.
David Bell, Agent for the YTFC & YTHL planning applications, said: “These are exciting times for community level sport and it can be seen from the recent Olympics results that providing community facilities allied with good quality coaching pays dividends.”
Commenting on the planning application, YTFC Chairman John Fry said: “It’s evident from the success enjoyed by Team GB that encouraging the next generation to take part in sport can produce gold medal results.
“We need to put aside our differences, work together at District and County level and beyond to invest in our upcoming talent. The work undertaken by the Community Sports Trust is wide reaching and they need to be given the opportunity to expand their contributions to sport and society.”
With several medalists from Rio 2016 originating from Yeovil or the wider area within Somerset – including Helen Glover, James Guy and Ed Ling - the facilities would be available to encourage use by not only the Community Sports Trust and Yeovil College but also other local sports clubs and teams to encourage active participation within all manner of sports.
David added: “These proposals are part of a wider corporate plan at the Football Club and the Community Trust. Whilst we understand that planning, and even change, is not always well received locally to a proposal site, we have tried to be positive, open and transparent in our responses to comments whilst maintaining a wider, holistic view of the need for community sports facilities and coaching in the wider Yeovil area.”
When asked about football and cricket, David commented that: “This is a proposal to encourage general recreation and sport, not just for football and cricket. The facilities could also be used for family and team based rounders, soft ball and any sport appropriate to the site. The Trust propose to run the site and, no doubt, would try to assist.”