Do you support the plans for football pitches and a clubhouse on the land north of Milton Road?
On May 11th at Christopher Rawlins Primary School, between 4pm until 9pm there will be a village Poll to ask Adderbury residents to either support the intention of using the community land at Milton Rd for football –2 pitches, large clubhouse/community building and parking for up to 100 cars – OR reject this plan and demand that a wider community use for the land is sought. The Adderbury Parish Council (APC) is split on this issue, councillors living furthest away from the development appear to support the football option and those who live less than a mile of the development oppose it.
Longstanding members of APC, Councillors Bratt and Mitchell have been keen advocates of developing the site for football since at least 2006. APC minutes from that year report meetings between them, Adderbury Park Football Club (APFC) and the developer Timms, which owned the land at that time to agree plans for a way forward. In 2010 there was a planning application to develop the site supported by APC where they would lease the land to APFC after spending the developer’s community contribution to build a clubhouse and 2 pitches. That application was turned down in part due to the lack of funds available to develop the football facilities. This turned out to be fortunate for the village as the APC minutes for May 2012 state that Councillor Bratt was reporting that the club may disband due to a lack of support which has been the fate of 25% of the clubs in APFC’s league.
Under the Section 106 agreement dated 19 June 2014 the Parties to the Deed agreed the land North of Milton Road (known as Ransom Land in developer terms) was to be transferred to APC subject to a broad restrictive covenant recorded in the agreement, which simply provided that APC would not use the land for anything other than sports and community use – it can be one or the other or a mixture of the two as so far as the community decides.
Transfer of the land is then notified by deed to HM Land Registry by a document called a TR1. There was an attempt to insert a reference to a much narrower covenant within the TR1 – to add sports pitches and a community facility (building) on the land. However the document held at the Land Registry has not been signed by APC and also not witnessed by the appropriate person and does not meet the requirements of a deed. Who sanctioned the change and why is still being investigated.
Regardless, given that the s.106 Agreement signed by all the Parties records the actual covenant on which basis the housing development was allowed to proceed and that Adderbury parishioners agreed on the land being transferred to APC, the process of correcting the TR1, if necessary, is simple.
It should be noted that recent APC public statements have offered hope that other sports or community uses will be considered alongside football but the requirement of 2 pitches and associated parking will leave little room for other uses and will restrict any alternative use village residents will have of this community land. You should also be aware that the Cherwell District Council (CDC) Local Plan means that Banbury United Football Club will be moving to fields between Adderbury and the rugby club on the edge of Bodicote – less than a mile from the village.
What does the village think?
There have been a number of attempts to understand village opinion on what to do with the community land:
2006: A survey with a 46% response rate with only 3 options to choose from gave the following view
- No support for development – 51%
- Football facility -7%
- Community centre & football – 40%
2013: A survey with a 59% response rate to help shape the Adderbury Plan (TAP) had the following views:
- 64% supported enhancing existing facilities or no change
- 85% supported NOT building a new community facility at Milton Rd with 45% preferring the Lucy Plackett site
2016: A survey for APC with a 15% response rate – limited to one response per household told us that:
- 62% supported using Milton Rd for NON football purposes
- 60% did NOT support a large community centre at Milton Rd
It should be noted that since these surveys were conducted there have been significant Neolithic heritage finds in and around the Milton Rd development site – we have yet to understand what the village thinks about their preservation and leisure potential.
What’s the Cost?
There is a guideline for the costs involved which were produced by CDC in 2010 when they were assessing an earlier planning proposal for the site. They estimated that it would cost £440,000 to provide 2 pitches and a club/community building. The construction inflation rate according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the period 2010-16 would now put that cost at £534,000 with construction costs estimated to rise again by at least 4.5% each year through to 2020 according to The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Other items not costed into the 2010 plan are:
- Car parking and associated lighting. Thames Valley Police are on record in advising that up to 100 spaces would be needed if both pitches were in use to avoid overflow car parking issues
- Archaeology excavation and exploration will be a legal requirement to find out what other Neolithic remains are on the development land
- Pedestrian access – as there is no pavement along the Milton Rd
Once all the planning, design, construction cost inflation and professional fees are taken into consideration we will have a project that could cost over £850,000 by 2018/19. Data from Sport England would suggest that such a scheme would cost nearer £1.25 million.
How will we afford this?
APC plans to sell some of the community land back to the developer to build more houses. The estimated sale price for the land available would be in the £400,000 – £500,000 range. There is also about £88,000 in the APC accounts that is earmarked for Lucy Plackett development that may need to be diverted. This means that other community facility development could be sacrificed for the Milton Rd football plan.
Parish councils may also raise a ‘precept’ on the council tax bills issued by the district council. This is essentially a demand for a sum to be collected through the council tax system. Council tax-payers cannot refuse to pay it, and the district council cannot refuse to levy it. It is the only source of tax revenue available to parish councils.
Is there more money available?
Councillor Mitchell is on record advocating selling the Institute and Methodist Chapel to help secure more funds to develop the Milton Rd site. Whilst the Institute is a community asset there is no evidence that any funds from the sale of the Methodist Chapel would be channelled anywhere other than Methodist coffers. The FA may contribute but it would come with the insistence that floodlights, a covered spectator area, solid spectator barriers, the majority of the community building is turned over to changing rooms plus the primary use is football – all pre-conditions of the league that APFC are aspiring to.
Perhaps we will see more inducements to support further house building on the Ball Colegrave site that is adjacent to the community land to match the inducement offered by Colegrave to build on the adjoining land next to the cemetary.
How many football teams does Adderbury need?
At a recent Parish Council meeting representatives of the football club informed APC that their club was open to male and female residents of Adderbury but let’s look at the reality of that statement. Female football participation is low, there is a league in Oxfordshire but the Banbury Ladies team do not have enough players to join – they compete in a 5-a-side league and are based at BGN School which is just 2 miles from the edge of Adderbury.
The football club needs to look to the young male population as potential recruits to Adderbury teams. The 2011 Census records a population catchment of 5% of males in Adderbury & Milton in the 16 to 30 age bracket. The Football Association (FA) estimates only 1 in 5 men in this age group are active players, meaning that the target number of players for the village is 30. The football club already supports two teams – the overwhelming majority of which are not Adderbury residents.
The evidence is that Lucy Placketts can easily support the needs of the football club with increased investment in drainage and a community building. The two men’s teams have averaged about 19 home league games per season between them and the Under 12’s have hosted 4 home games. In addition Christopher Rawlins Primary School fields are used for Under 10 matches by Deddington FC. A recent expression of interest to APC by Deddington FC insisted that any Adderbury junior team couldn’t support itself with only admitting Adderbury children and that Deddington FC would be a viable partner to make the football option viable.
This leaflet has been supported by many residents of Adderbury who will vote NO on May 11th these are a few of many:
Mr & Mrs D Taylor-Evans, Mr & Mrs D & S Bradley, Mr & Mrs C Astley, T Gill, Mr & Mrs I & S Jelfs, Mr P Burrows, Mr & Mrs R & G Taylor, Mr N & Mrs D Wood, Mr N Davies, Mr & Mrs D Clark, Mr & Mrs Davison, Mr & Mrs M Smith, Mrs D Bell, Mr & Mrs Osborne, E. Perham, S. Perham, Mr & Mrs Winterborn, C & G Collet, J. Simester, P. Maynard,