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Cabinet to consider proposal to develop former Elizabeth Sports Centre in Bedworth

Published on Wednesday, 5th February 2020

Johnson road is a perfect location for development, being in a popular residential area and close to the town centre facilities.

Today, cabinet will consider a proposal to dispose of the old Elizabeth Sports Centre site at Johnson Road in Bedworth so that it can be developed into a small housing development and a community club house. The football club are looking to utilise the existing two grassed football pitches and develop new car parking provision.

Due to the age of the building, the sports centre was demolished several years ago and the proposals will provide local residents with new opportunities for local football and physical activity provision.

Opposite the site lies an area of Council land which is too small to be used for residential development, therefore it is recommended that this area is included in the development to accommodate for overspill car parking.

The Johnson Road site has already been identified in the Local Plan for housing allocation, and re-purposing the land will generate a large capital receipt for the Council, which will be used to support the General Fund capital programme and provide crucial funding towards the Council’s priorities which include regenerating the town centre and improving our leisure facilities.

The recommendations are to bring the land to market for sale in accordance with its allocation within the Local Plan and if a sale has not been achieved within a 9 month timeframe, the Council will develop the land itself on a commercial basis. Whilst this may not generate the same level of capital receipt as the primary option, it is still estimated that a profit can be achieved from the sale of the new houses which can be used to support the Capital Programme.

The Bedworth Eagles Junior Football Club (BEJFC) have already put forward a proposal to utilise the Johnson Road site as a home ground for junior football delivery. Use of the site will allow the club to provide several, high quality football pitches together with facilities for changing, toilets, meeting room, storing equipment and parking provision.       

A Bedworth Eagles representative said:

“The great working partnership between Bedworth Eagles Junior Football Club, Elected Members and Officers at NBBC has enabled this long term vision by the football club to get to this stage. It would be fantastic to have a base in our local area providing opportunities for young people to play football, improve their levels of activity and make new friends. We hope that the Cabinet approves of this recommendation for Bedworth Eagles JFC."

While it would require further significant funding to achieve the Club House, an ultimate vision, we believe that this could be accomplished in a period of approximately five years through a coordination of internal club resourcing and access to external sports, business, local authority and community grant funding.

Cllr Ian Lloyd, portfolio holder for Arts and Leisure said:

“It would be great to get cabinet approval, the site is a perfect location for a development of this kind and the outcomes are positive for both the Borough Council in terms of income generation and local community with the extra leisure and sporting provision that the development will provide.”