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RE2  Land for New Recreation Facilities  Policy

Proposals for additional indoor and outdoor sports facilities will be permitted at the following locations subject to adequate servicing, highway access and parking arrangements and appropriate measures to minimise disturbance to adjacent residential property;

1. The Oval Sports Centre, Bebington
2. Leasowe Recreation Centre, Leasowe
3. Wirral Sports Centre, Bidston

Reasoned justification :

9.11 The Oval Sports Centre is an established major sports facility providing for a wide range of sporting activities and for top level competition. Some of its facilities, such as the athletics arena, are of regional significance. In order to retain its importance, there is a continual need to replace, upgrade and enhance elements of the complex, in terms of the number of sports provided for and the quality of that provision.

9.12 Wirral Borough Council has identified a programme of enhancement which includes the modernisation of the grandstand and spectator facilities, the replacement of an all-weather pitch with a synthetic surface, improved car parking, upgrading the ski-slope, the refurbishment of outdoor tennis courts, other external environmental improvements and improvements to indoor sports facilities. This is not, however, an exhaustive list of the projects that may need to be undertaken during the UDP period. Proposal RE2, therefore, recognises the importance of the facilities provided by the Centre, the need to maintain and enhance the standard of provision for sport, and specifically provides for development and redevelopment to take place in this location.

9.13 The leisure centres at Leasowe and Woodchurch are also established locations for indoor and outdoor sporting activities, and play a vital role as district sports centres, serving a wide catchment throughout the urban area. Both have additional land available for further development and adequate servicing facilities. However, Woodchurch Leisure Centre falls outside the urban area and only Leasowe Recreation Centre is, therefore, specifically allocated for new sports-related development under Proposal RE2.

9.14 Wirral Sports Centre, which includes provision for indoor tennis and associated outdoor facilities, was completed during 1993. Although modern and extensive there may still be scope to realign, improve or extend the facilities during the UDP period, and this site is, therefore, also included under Proposal RE2.