Artificial Grass Pitch at Yeovil Recreation Centre

Construction of the Artificial Grass Pitch at Yeovil Recreation Centre commenced on Monday 4 March 2013. The facility is now open and available to book.

Artificial Grass Pitch at Yeovil Recreation Centre

AGP Rush Hockey

The facility is now open and available for bookings.

If you would like to book Yeovil Artificial Grass Pitch, please visit the Yeovil Rec web page.

Project Updates:

Week commencing 20 May 2013 

The Yeovil Artificial Grass Pitch at Yeovil Recreation Centre has really taken shape over the last few weeks. We are now in Week 12 of the project, which is expected to be completed in July 2013.

Most of the fencing posts are now secured with the panels also fitted and the spectator fence has been put in place, with the standing area also be formed. The macadam surface has been laid on both the warm up area and the main pitch. The wiring has also been completed ready for the floodlight installation. 

Work will commence next week to lay the 15mm thick shock pad and the carpet will also arrive next week ready for installation the following week. 

The photos below were taken at the end of week twelve, with the tarmac being completed.

Yeovil Recreation Centre remains open as usual during these works. Further progress updates and photographs will be posted here.

AGP 20 May 1AGP 20 May 2AGP 20 May 3


Project Funding

South Somerset District Council has secured a total of £593,000 for the pitch, with £117,000 coming from the England Hockey Board and £476,000 from Barratt Homes - who developed the recent Wyndham Park development off Lyde Road.


SSDC planned the project in 2007 in order to address a shortage of artificial grass pitches (AGPs) in Yeovil and South Somerset, and has set aside funds of up to £224,000.


Answers to Artificial Grass Pitch Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it needed?

Yeovil and South Somerset has a shortfall of hockey and artificial grass pitch provision, so we are very pleased to have gained this external funding 

The council's assessment of sports facilities, undertaken in 2006, identified a shortfall in artificial grass pitches within South Somerset.

These assessments were underpinned by comprehensive consultation with schools, parish/town councils, existing sports facility providers and with a postal questionnaire to 2500 households. The largest shortfall is Yeovil and the population has continued to grow.

The table below indicates that across the district there is a current shortfall equivalent to 16,529m2 of artificial grass pitch provision and this shortfall will grow to 23,065 m2 by 2028. This equates to a shortfall of2.59 full size pitches in 2008 and3.61 full size pitches in 2028.

District AGP Shortfall

Population Scenarios:



Over Supply / (Shortfall) m2

Over Supply / (Shortfall) No. of full size pitches

2008 :




2013 :




2018 :




2023 :




2028 :




The detailed analysis of Yeovil takes account of the current supply of the 3G pitch at Buckler's Mead Sports Centre and the proposals to replace the facility at Yeovil Town FC. It indicates that in 2007 there was a shortfall equivalent to 4,750 m2, ( 0.74 pitches), which  will grow to 11,459 m2, (1.79 pitches)by 2027. 

SSDC Area South - AGP Capacity/Shortfall

Population Scenarios:



Over Supply / (Shortfall) m2

Over Supply / (Shortfall) No. of full size pitches

2007 :




2012 :




2017 :




2022 :




2027 :




The project is intended to address these shortfalls and is part of an ongoing district wide programme to increase artificial grass pitch provision. Further details can be found in our Artificial Grass Pitch Assessment.

Has other consultation been undertaken?

Yes. Alongside the consultation that was carried out as part of our various sport facility assessments, the project was first discussed back in 2006 with Yeovil and Sherborne Hockey Club. We hand delivered a newsletter to the residents living closest to Yeovil Recreation Centre, inviting them to comment on a proposal for a full-size artificial grass pitch at the site in April 2007.

The newsletter was posted onsite and circulated to members of the recreation ground's User Forum, who discussed it at their annual meeting on 18th May 2007. No objection to the principle of developing an artificial grass pitch was raised.

The SSDC Area South Committee considered the project and on 4th April 2007 they approved the principle of submitting a planning application for the proposed AGP at the site. (This is known as First Resolution planning permission, in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992.) 

18% of residents also indicated they would use the artificial grass pitch as part of the Sports Zone consultation exercise undertaken during August and September 2007.

From a business case and capital bid perspective, the project was publically discussed at the council's District Executive meeting in January 2007 and Full Council approved the capital bid for £224,000 in February 2007.

Since then, we have been seeking funding, and gathering the views of key organisations such as Yeovil and Sherborne Hockey Club, Yeovil College, Sport England and the England Hockey Board.

 Where will the pitch be located?

The new facility will be located next to the existing Athletics Arena at the council-owned Yeovil Recreation Centre - alongside the existing football pitches, pitch and putt course, flagship play area, changing rooms and refreshments kiosk.

The proposals will include a small warm up area, a range of landscaping enhancements, and a new CCTV system to oversee all facilities and improve security at the site. We envisage that the facility will be framed by attractive landscaping and newly planted trees, slightly set down into the ground.

Yeovil Recreation Centre already includes an extensive area of grass football pitches, a large enclosed athletics arena with floodlighting and a PA system, a pitch and putt course, changing rooms, a large outdoor play area and a refreshments kiosk.

The site is owned and run by SSDC and benefits from its central and highly accessible location, existing car parking and changing room provision.

Does the Town Green application affect this?

In November 2012, Somerset County Council Regulation Committee rejected the application to register Yeovil Recreation Centre as a Town or Village Green.

The decision came following the submission of the application by a number of local residents back in May 2008 to which South Somerset District Council objected on the basis that it strongly believed there was no legal justification to support the registration of what was, effectively, an existing fully managed and controlled public recreational facility.

Legal advice was sought by the County Council on the evidence submitted by all parties and eventually a non-statutory Public Inquiry was held in July 2012 to consider the submissions from both sides.

In the report published following the inquiry, the Independent Inspector concluded that the applicants had not succeeded in establishing the matters required for the registration of the land as Town and Village Green, and that the application should be rejected.  This decision is consistent with the legal advice given throughout by South Somerset District Council's legal team.

Having regard to the conclusions and clear recommendation of the Inspector, the Somerset County Council Regulation Committee unanimously decided to reject the application.  

What's the likely size of the facility?

The normal size for an artificial grass pitch including provision for run off and spectators is in the order of 102m by 70m.  It is essentially another pitch just like the existing grass pitches onsite - it is just surfaced with artificial grass, floodlit to provide all year round use and surrounded by a transparent wire fence. 

Is it just for the college or for the hockey club?

No, the facility would be open for college, school, club and community use. 

Will any pitches be lost?

The inclusion of the artificial grass pitch will not result in any football pitches being lost. The existing pitch layout will be reconfigured so that this new facility can be accommodated.

There is one rugby pitch that will be affected. This is used solely by Yeovil College and there are plans to relocate this use to another site.

Despite this change of one type of pitch for another on the site, in overall planning terms the site effectively gains a pitch, as artificial provision is able to accommodate a higher level of use than a grass pitch.

Will the scheme require trees to be cut down?

No trees will need to be cut down. However we are planning to introduce a number of landscape improvements including additional tree planting.

This is an area that would be addressed through the submission of detailed plans as part of the planning application.

Will the facility bring more light/noise?

Floodlighting will be required for this facility and we are proposing to apply the same time restrictions that apply to the Athletics Arena next door which has existed for many years (up to 10pm.) The design will be set slightly down into the ground because the field slopes down towards the Athletics Arena and it needs to be flat. The design will include attractive landscaping, such as grassy mounding, and new trees, which will really boost the look of this part of the field and also provide screening.

Is this part of the Sports Zone?

No. It is entirely separate to the proposals for a Sports Zone. The need and proposal for an artificial grass pitch pre-dates the initial idea of the Sports Zone.

The council is now looking at two other preferred sites for the proposed Sport Zone and hopes to finalise the location subject to negotiations.

Will this facility cost more to run?

No, the facility is expected to be self-financing and the council has ensured that sufficient provision has been made within the business plan to cover future repair and renewal costs. As a consequence the council will be able to ensure that the facility is well maintained.