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  •   Hillend-11  Downfield-8

Kilmore Field - Update

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Many of you will have seen the grass growing well at Kilmore Field and will be wondering when football is going to be available in the village. This site has been subject to a lot of speculation over the last few months and it is now time for the Parish Council (TPC) to share some of the many thoughts suggestions and ideas that have been put to them.

The field is not large enough to host a pitch for adults but only for under 11’s, and there has been interest shown by a number of people willing to run a Twyning Football club. TPC believe that the children of Twyning come first and that a Twyning Football Club would be the best possible outcome.

That said, it goes without saying that TPC needs to be taking a broad look at the site and how the use of it can best serve the whole community, although at this stage no firm decisions have been taken. Being adjacent to the TRAC site, and being the size that it is, football is very high on the list of potential activities there. So could rugby or hockey.

TRAC put a lot of effort into an application to Tewkesbury Borough Council for funding as a result of the contribution made by the developers of the Newlands and Persimmon sites. This funding has paid for the levelling of the field and will also pay for upgrading of and installation of other facilities on their site. These will probably include an outdoor gym and already there have been improvements to the tennis courts among others. So already the Parish is benefitting from the efforts of the parishioners.

Rather than simply accept a fait accompli TPC want the site to achieve more than that, and an approach has been made by the Playgroup for consent to put a building there to extend their activities and provide better day care facilities and education for the young in the village. Those of you who have children under school age will know how difficult it is to get local day care to meet the needs of working families. In their research for their proposal they point out that some people have 4 different day care providers and the parents do not feel this is in the best interests of their children.

The finances of TPC are wholly reliant upon the Precept – the amount paid through Council Tax – and this is a significant asset owned by the Parish, that should generate income for the Parish. In this way residents who would not be playing football can also benefit from the surplus income generated. So organisations like the Lunch Club, Village Hall, Bowls Club, Footpath Volunteers, Community Minibus, Fete Committee could apply for grants to further their activities. TPC could even look to improving the Parish in other ways, supporting the Best Kept Village competition as an example. There are many ways this can be achieved.

The proposal from Playgroup will generate rent for the site they occupy and a proportion of their annual surplus will also go to the Parish to fund these activities. In the same way TPC is expecting that the field will also generate further funds for this purpose. There is a long way to go yet. The grass needs to get strong enough to support the activity, planning consents need to be obtained, funding needs to be confirmed, TPC needs to grant consents, leases etc.

A good start has been achieved though, as the Parish has been successful in their application for S106 funds for the provision of changing rooms for the new football pitch which could be sited adjacent to a future childcare building, subject of course to the planning conditions. However there is a lot of work to be done by the Play Group committee to get the proposal over the line with planning and funding. This work has now started.

So TPC will undertake interim management of the field until such time as these procedures are fully exploited and to that end plans are in place for grass cutting, hedge trimming, access for Brockeridge Paddocks and security of the site. It will not be fully open this winter and once the planning process has been undertaken, the future of the site will be much clearer, and the Parish Council will be able to make decisions about the future.

A consultation was undertaken by both TRAC and TPC over 3 years ago and many suggestions were made at the time. We now have at least 88 more houses and it is right to take time to allow a further consultation to take place. The Working Group are hoping that by all elements with an interest pulling together we can achieve the best possible use of the facilities and without leaving anyone out of the conversation.

In order to give Twyning residents a fair chance of participating and influencing the use of Kilmore Field, the TPC Working Group is minded to invite proposals from interested parties outlining activities that would be accessible to all and benefit the Parish as a whole. These will be reviewed and passed to the full Council for discussion. Please make contact with clerk@twyningcouncil.co.uk for more details

Twyning Parish Council Kilmore Field Working Group    August 2019