Yeovil Sport Zone Site Options Reappraisal Study

The findings of an assessment and public consultation investigating the best possible location for a proposed sports facility in Yeovil have now been published.

Sport Zone Consultation

Hundreds of people attended a consultation held by Alliance Planning consultants on behalf of South Somerset District Council this summer to share their views on potential site options. 

The district council has been working on proposals for a 'Sports Zone' facility as it needs to put plans in place to tackle current and future deficiencies in sport and leisure provision for the district's growing population.

Although it is recognised that development and funding may be years away, the council has to start planning now.

Local people were asked for their views on a shortlist of seven possible sites, and to give their top three preferences. This was underpinned by a comprehensive search and assessment process carried out by Alliance Planning, Royal Haskoning and Greenslade Taylor Hunt.

The assessment looked thoroughly at all of the potential sites, shortlisting those with the greatest development potential, and set out the strengths and weaknesses of each shortlisted site.

Taking into account the consultation results and the environmental, commercial and planning assessments, the report recommends that the Brimsmore and Bunford sites are the two most appropriate locations.  

You can see the whole Site Options reappraisal final report here


Appendix A - Site options reappraisal consultants brief

Appendix B - Constraints map

Appendix C - Stakeholder workshop approach and findings

Appendix D - Initial long list of sites

Appendix E - Long list of site options

Appendix F - Long list site assessment results

Appendix G - Short list of site options

Appendix H - Public exhibition display boards and feedback form

Brimsmore and Bunford were the top two preferences of those who took part in the public consultation, and as well as having strong support from the community, both sites are appropriate in size and shape and both comply with planning criteria.

It means that the new facility, which could provide a 50m-competition pool, leisure pool with flumes, fitness gym, indoor sports halls and climbing centre, could be based within one of the two brand new developments.

Previously, Yeovil Recreation Centre had been the favoured location. At a meeting in February 2009, councillors voted not to progress further at Yeovil Recreation Ground. However, councillors showed a clear commitment to providing a sports zone somewhere within the town, so a full site options re-appraisal was later commissioned, which showed that several new potential sites had become available.

Councillors will now consider the report and decide how they would like to go forward on the sports zone issue.

The Brimsmore key site currently has outline planning permission for around 830 homes, shops, a primary school and other facilities along the edge of Thorne Lane.

The Bunford site, which is the land next to Bunford Hill and along the Western Relief Road, has planning permission as a business park.

The idea is that the district council pursues negotiations with the developers on these sites for possibly including a sports zone facility as part of the new developments when they are built.

Cllr Tim Carroll, Leader of South Somerset District Council said, "Should councillors decide to pursue negotiations, then we will start to investigate whether there are ways of including this facility, for local people, within these new developments. Clearly there could be many benefits of doing so, and it could provide the solution we have been looking for."

Should councillors decide in the next few months to proceed, officers will begin negotiations and will report back to councillors.

No further funding has yet been allocated towards the project as the council needs to identify a site for further investigation, before any further funding is required.

Any formal proposals to include a sports zone would have to go through the usual planning process, so the necessary planning considerations would have to be made to account for the proposed new facility even if the wider development already has outline planning permission.

The project, if progressed, would probably be phased, and paid for in part by contributions from local developers and external grants.

From 16 to 18 July we invited local people to view the seven potential sites for the proposed Sport Zone and to have their say on the different locations. Find out more about the consultation event.