Sports venues and ‘poor’ school grounds in Derbyshire hit by floods – and need to be replaced

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The Amber Valley Sports Playground Strategy assessed the borough’s needs for the next five years and found that widespread expansion and improvement of facilities is required.

It is particularly important, he stresses, to ensure the long-term security of Amber Valley rugby club and Belper Town and Belper United football teams – with a priority of exploring options for new houses for clubs.

The report also states that Alfreton is among 72 locations being considered for a new national indoor tennis centre.

The Amber Valley Rugby Club site in Somercotes (Image: Google)

It says the borough has a “significant netball landscape with two of the largest clubs in the county hailing from the borough”, and there is a need for more facilities, suggesting more netball space could be built in potential new tennis center.

A number of sports venues across the borough are continuously affected by both flooding and poor drainage and this is a key priority to address, with feasibility studies to be carried out for key venues.

The plan details that sports facilities on school sites are currently ‘poor’ and that the council could sue property developers for payments associated with new home schemes to help fund improvements.

Overall, the plan indicates that there is a shortage of four full-time 3G artificial turf pitches, with one additional required specifically in the Belper area.

Current facilities for most sports are generally able to meet current demand, but have proven insufficient to provide space for future increases in activity.

Without other facilities, such as for football, cricket or rugby, existing pitches can become ‘overplayed’ through overuse.

On Amber Valley Rugby Club, based on the B600 in Somercotes, the report details: “To pursue the proposed site relocation and development of a new rugby club site for Amber Valley RUFC, ensuring that the proposal is in able to comply with Sport England’s playing field policy. and this new layout is development to recommended RFU design specifications.

“If the potential move does not occur, seek to secure the long-term permanence of the site for AVRC and make relevant pitch quality improvements to mitigate overuse.”

The Somercotes site is a former toxic dump that had been used for years to deposit harmful materials. It is currently the subject of plans for up to 250 accommodation, as well as a program for a range of industrial units.

Regarding the Belper Town and Belper United facilities at Raygar Stadium, close to the Belper Mills complex, the report states: “As a matter of priority, investigate new locations to secure Belper United’s long-term future.

“Undertake the PitchPower assessment to develop a program of technical recommendations to support improving the quality of the pitch if necessary.

“Longer term, explore the feasibility of moving the land as part of a possible longer term relocation of Belper Meadow Sports Club.”

The report states that improvements will be sought at: Denby Cricket Club, Eyes Meadows in Duffield, Herbert Strutt Playing Fields in Belper, Aldercar High School, Charles Hill Sports Complex in Loscoe, Shipley Hall Cricket Club, Nottingham Road Playing Fields and Greenwich Park in Ripley, Ripley Academy and Quarndon Cricket Club.

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