Agenda item

Netherhampton Pitches and Pavilion Community Asset Transfer

To consider the Netherhampton Pitches and Pavilion Community Asset Transfer.


At the Chairman’s invitation, Karen Linaker, Strategic Engagements and Partnerships Manager (SEPM) introduced the item.


The SEPM explained that Community Asset Transfers (CATs) occurred when a community group wanted to take over the management and maintenance of Wiltshire Council facilities which they had been using for a long time. The CAT scheme existed to facilitate this. There were two community groups involved in the CAT application being considered and they would form one group to manage the facility. The Area Board had a duty to consider the application and approve or refuse it as they saw fit.


The applicants then spoke to the application.


James Repper of the Wheatsheaf Cabin Crew RFC explained that the club had been formed in 1991 and had been playing on the Netherhampton pitches since the year 2000 at least. The club had not previously been able to get grant funding as they had no security of tenure. At present, Wiltshire Council were responsible for maintenance of the site and the club used it as tenants. Therefore, by joining with Salisbury FC Youth to form the Netherhampton Sports Association they would be able to take the asset forward and run with it. They had requested a 25 year lease, as that was the minimum term that would enable them to apply for grant funding. The club managing the site would also take the costs of maintenance away from Wiltshire Council. 


Paul Corfield of Salisbury FC Youth also spoke to the application. He explained that there was so much funding that they were currently unable to get. The club had applied for the Home Advantage programme, and if the asset transfer went through, this meant that they would be able to get £250,000 from the Football Council. That would enable them to do everything required and provide some ongoing funds for the club. There were nearly 300 Children in the club, and they also coached an additional 60-70 children as well as helping to coach children for two schools in the local area.


Daniel Gleeson (Leisure Strategy Infrastructure Officer) stated that all the details were contained within the agenda report and appendices. It was highlighted that the site was seen as key within the FA Local Facilities Plan and was also a site of interest and a target site for the current Wiltshire Playing Pitch Strategy. This was currently being reviewed and it was thought that it would be a strategic target within the new plan. It fit well with the Local Plan Review when looking at housing growth and the strain on local supporting infrastructure. Sport England had also listed the site to be protected as playing fields for the community.


The Chairman stated that this was not a decision which the Area Board would take lightly. They had sought professional opinions and had spent a lot of time prior to the meeting analysing the application as they wanted to ensure they made the right decision for both Wiltshire Council and for the community.


The Chairman opened the item for debate, and proposed that the Area Board:


Approve the leasehold transfer subject to:


a)    Compliance with the recommendations of the Asset Gateway & Capital Programme Board meeting of 14th March 2023.


b)    Agreement of lease terms (based on the council’s standard CAT transfer lease precedent).


This was seconded by Cllr Pauline Church.


During debate Members stated that they had spend a lot of time offline discussing the application, CATs were quite common to town or parish councils, but were rarer to community groups. Members had asked questions regarding the financial due diligence and had been satisfied by the responses received that it was sound. The number of houses built around the Wilton and Netherhampton area was highlighted, and there was a definite need for sporting facilities such as this, particularly for women and youth teams. The South West Wiltshire community area fell below Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) averages for a number of issues related to health and wellbeing. So, Members felt the CAT was positive and the proposal would help to keep the population fit and ageing well.


In response to a question regarding Salisbury Rugby Club, their relationship to the group and whether they could collaborate, Mr Repper stated that they were different types of clubs. Salisbury Rugby Club were a more standard club, and the Wheatsheaf Cabin Crew were an “old school rugby union pub club”. However, they were collaborative and did lend each other players.


In response to further questions Mr Corfield explained the Salisbury Youth FC used a far larger proportion of the site and that girl’s football had taken off amazingly.


Members commented that there had been much correspondence regarding the CAT which it was hoped had all now been resolved. Members thought that this was a great idea and hoped that, if approved, Wiltshire Council would be swift to complete the legal agreement and works required to make good the pavilion. The Chairman stated that he would be happy to contact the responsible officer to try to get things moving as quickly as possible. Following this the proposal was put to the vote and it was,




To approve the leasehold transfer subject to:


a)    Compliance with the recommendations of the Asset Gateway & Capital Programme Board meeting of 14th March 2023.


b)    Agreement of lease terms (based on the council’s standard CAT transfer lease precedent).

Supporting documents: