Decision Maker: Executive
Decision status: Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Executive considered a proposal to redevelop the tennis courts at Watchetts Recreation Ground to create a new mixed-use Tennis and Netball facility on the site. Members were informed that these courts had not been resurfaced for over 20 years and were falling into a state of disrepair. It was also reported that at present there were no dedicated netball facilities in Surrey Heath outside of school settings.
It was reported that the courts at Watchetts currently generated minimal income for the council and the charging policy was ineffective due to a lack of ability to effectively police it.
The project would involve a complete refurbishment of the tennis courts at Watchetts, including resurfacing of all five courts, repainting, new perimeter fencing, and installation of a new gate access and online booking system. Three tennis courts would be converted to mixed use facilities, allowing for the provision of two netball courts. It was also proposed to introduce floodlighting, which would be subject to planning permission; this would require an upgrade to the current electricity supply at the site.
The cost to deliver the full proposed works including floodlighting was estimated to be around £135,000, although a number of grant applications would be submitted in an effort to reduce the level of direct funding by the Council. It was advised that the estimated cost without floodlighting and upgraded supply was approximately £103,000, although this approach would make a netball league unviable meaning the majority of income would be lost.
As part of this project, it was proposed to set up a sinking fund so the courts would become self-sustaining, therefore minimising the need for future capital investment in the longer-term. With the refurbishment, it was estimated that by year 3 the facility would generate £16,000 a year leaving an estimated surplus after expenses and contribution to a sinking fund of around £5,675 a year.
(i) the Tennis Courts at Watchetts Recreation Ground be redeveloped to include the resurfacing of all five courts, repainting, new perimeter fencing, installation of a new gate access and online booking system, and the introduction of floodlights (subject to planning);
(ii) as part of the redevelopment, three courts be converted to mixed use facilities allowing for the provision of two netball courts;
(iii) a tender process to source and appoint a suitable contractor be undertaken; and
(iv) the project delivery be delegated to the Executive Head of Business, in consultation with the Places & Strategy Portfolio Holder.
RECOMMENDED to Full Council that the Capital Programme be increased by £135,000 to fund the redevelopment of the Watchetts Tennis Court.
Report author: Daniel Harrison
Publication date: 05/06/2020
Date of decision: 26/05/2020
Decided at meeting: 26/05/2020 - Executive