Published Thursday, 23rd March 2023

A new playing pitches and sports facilities study has been published by the Council, which looks at the quality of existing facilities across the borough, owned by a range of organisations.

It also considers the need for new facilities to support residents’ health and wellbeing and will help to inform organisations’ future investment plans and our next local plan.

The detailed assessment of playing pitches and outdoor and indoor sports facilities and their use was undertaken in collaboration with Sports England, national sports bodies, local clubs, facility owners and managers and education providers and looked at council-owned properties and those owned privately and by other institutions.

The study is in two parts:

  • the Playing Pitches and Outdoor Facilities Study
  • the Indoor Sports Facilities Study

The playing pitches element of the study looked in detail at the quality and use of existing playing pitches, courts and changing rooms and identified future facility needs, including latent demand.

Among the facilities we have assessed are 163 pitches used by football, rugby, hockey, cricket and lacrosse; 93 courts used for tennis, netball, lawn bowls and croquet; 57 children’s play areas; 16 MUGA and ball courts; 5 BMX and skate parks; 8 outdoor gyms and one athletics track.

Working with national sports bodies, our own Green Spaces, Sports Development, Planning and Place Delivery teams, Surrey County Council, Horley Town Council, Reigate and Banstead Sports Federation and 36 clubs representing 406 pitch sport teams, we have built up a detailed understanding of current usage and needs. This work has been further developed using the Sports England’s Active Lives survey, population and health data which has meant that we have identified facility requirements and upgrades for each type of activity for the next twenty years.

For indoor facilities, the study assessed sports halls, swimming pools, health and fitness facilities, squash courts, indoor tennis, indoor bowls, indoor netball, gymnastic facilities and village and community halls.

Cllr Richard Biggs, Executive Member for Planning Policy and Place Delivery, said: “This detailed study provides important evidence that the Council can use to prioritise how we invest in sports and leisure facilities and to inform future planning decisions to ensure they support the health and wellbeing of our residents.

“What the studies highlight is that our outdoor and indoor sports and active recreation facilities studies are well used and are generally in good or very good condition. There are a number of areas where improvements are needed but these studies will be used to inform future strategies, plans and investment programmes.”

“However, the great strength in this study is the scale of partnership working we have developed through this work. I would like to thank the partners who have supported this project and would like to ensure them, residents, sports clubs and facility owners that we will continue to work collaboratively to address both the current and longer-term needs.”

Whilst this work provides a clear assessment of need and the Council will continue to support healthy lifestyles in the borough, we will not be responsible for delivering all these improvements ourselves, as many of the clubs and facilities are privately owned or held by other institutions.

More information on the study can be found on the Playing Pitch and Sports Facilities Study page.