More Sports Grounds in East Suffolk Leisure Strategy

7:30 a.m. July 1, 2022

More sports fields and improvements to existing facilities in East Suffolk are proposed as part of a leisure strategy for the district.

A series of objectives have been set in the plan to help improve the quality and quantity of supply, which includes the protection and improvement of existing outdoor sports grounds and facilities and the provision new lands.

East Suffolk councilors will decide whether or not to adopt the strategy at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday July 5.

An open space report has also been included in the strategy, which identifies 13 “low quality” open spaces for improvement to bring them to “high quality”.

This number includes Coronation Sports Ground in Felixstowe, King George Leisure Ground in Leiston, North Parade Boating Lake in Southwold and Waterloo Avenue in Leiston.

The sites were selected as priorities due to their location in well-populated areas, although another 161 open spaces defined as “poor quality” were identified in areas that do not serve many people.

The main aims of sports facilities are based on the key themes of public body Sport England of Protect, Enhance and Provide – to protect and improve current sporting arrangements and to identify areas where new facilities are needed to meet Requirement.

The strategy document stated: ‘A key aspect of the leisure strategy is to guide future development and growth by understanding the wider needs and opportunities in East Suffolk when developing new housing projects and infrastructure.

“This aims to ensure that, where possible, a holistic approach to delivering health and wellbeing outcomes is achieved from new developments.”

National planning policies have highlighted a network of high quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and physical activity as important for health and well-being.

Local planning policies should include assessments of the needs for open spaces, sports and recreation facilities and opportunities for new development.

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