Marsh Drive Redevelopment
Marsh Drive Sports and Community Development Project
An opportunity to explore a wider vision and create a community, social, leisure and
sports facility serving the whole Parish for at least the next 30-40 years.
To develop and enhance the current sports facilities and pavilion to meet modern standards and encourage use of the sports fields, pitches and tennis courts by a multi-generation of players, allowing male, female and junior activities to take place in a safe and secure environment.
To provide a community hub capable of being used by all members of society and all age groups for a variety of activities aimed at promoting physical, mental and social wellbeing and delivering the facilities that help meet the needs expressed by residents.
To work in partnership with local clubs, associations and organisations to ensure that best use of the facilities is made and to create a warm and welcoming environment where new skills can be learned, and friendships made.
Despite the atrocious weather before Christmas and the effects of COVID-19 on the building industry and its suppliers, work on the project has continued when possible. Before Christmas 2020 as planned:
• the modular building was installed and fitting out commenced
• the carpark and pathways were extended and re-surfaced
• brand new lighting was installed to the car park and the access paths to the new
We are delighted to announce that the new Community Hall and changing rooms were handed over to GLPC on 19th February 2021 and the building is being made ready for the public to use as soon as the Government allow.
The next part of the project is to refurbish the existing pavilion to bring that up to the same standard as the new building. This work will be done in phases as funds and future funds allow. A planning application for the work needed on the exterior (minor changes to windows and doors), was submitted in February 2021, detailed plans are being drawn up for tender purposes for the re-roofing and the first phase of the work.
If you are interested in running or co-ordinating indoor events for any age or interest group, we would like to hear from you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01908 606613 to discuss if we might have the opportunity you are looking for.
Planning permission for the new community building and changing rooms was granted on the 18th June. This means we have been able to give the successful contractor - Paragon Space Ltd - the go ahead and work on the building is scheduled to start on 28th September. The building is scheduled to be completed by 7th December
As part of the planning permission we need to provide 7 additional standard parking bays and 2 additional spaces for disabled visitors. We had already been planning some much needed resurfacing work and it makes sense to combine the two jobs. This work is scheduled to start on 7th December once the new building and external works are complete, and will take about a week. We will ensure that disruption will be kept to a minimum.
Part of our vision has always been that the new community space should be used for indoor activities aimed at fitness, wellbeing and friendship and offering activities such as aerobics, dance, yoga, etc. and any indoor sport or pastime that can be safely accommodated. We also hope to see the new centre used as a meeting place where both young and not so young can meet as part of organised activities and enjoy a variety of events aimed at promoting friendship and wellbeing.
Great Linford Parish Council (GLPC) received the Section 106 funds to be used towards the provision of a community hall and sports facilities. Further to a well-supported tender programme, GLPC placed a "Design & Build" contract to provide these facilities and planning application was submitted to Milton Keynes Council.
At the GLPC Meeting on the 31st July 2019 an outline plan and budget to create a new Community Meeting Centre, along with additions, upgrades and improvements to the other facilities at Marsh Drive, using S106 funding plus GLPC Capital Investment reserves was agreed. Applications were made to MKC for the appropriate funding and discussions commenced with a number of contractors in order to obtain competitive tenders.
The development of facilities at Marsh Drive has been a key feature of GLPC’s Strategic Plans since 2011. With this in mind, GLPC took control of the Marsh Drive facilities from MKC under a Community Asset Transfer agreement in 2013 and in August 2014 GLPC ward councillors for Great Linford, Giffard Park, Redhouse Park and Neath Hill formed a working group to draft a plan, roles and responsibilities and expectations.
In December 2014 a motion to move forward based on an initial development plan using Section 106 and other funding was proposed by the Chair of the Council and seconded by the Councillor for Redhouse Park. The proposal was unanimously agreed and a Project Board to take responsibility for the strategic control of this project was set up, a Project Manager was appointed, and an independent study commissioned.
The Project Board consists of people with appropriate skills who represent GLPC, MKC, Sports Organisations and the community at large.
Why Marsh Drive?
Marsh Drive is the only site in North East Milton Keynes that offers the ready availability of land, good parking and core facilities in place necessary for a successful project of this nature. It has easy access from most parts of North East MK via roads, bus links and redways.
It has a large area of green space hosting 5 football pitches, cricket in the summer and three tennis hard courts. There are also grassed areas for other seasonal activities such as rounders/baseball etc. The grounds are surrounded by a network of redways through attractive landscape (adjacent to Linford Manor Park) suitable for running, walking or cycling. There is a pavilion containing changing facilities.
The sports pitches are well used but the opportunities for clubs to develop further particularly in terms of promoting opportunities for female and young players is being hampered by the lack of appropriate changing and ancillary facilities.
To ensure developments meet the needs of residents, current and future users, GLPC have undertaken consultations and commissioned professional advisors to help develop an overall strategy and approach. Further consultations will follow as the project develops.
Neighbourhood Development Plans
When developing its Neighbourhood Plans, GLPC sought resident’s views on sport, leisure and recreation. Responses indicated a need for improvement of existing facilities and new facilities serving those who seek a wider range of activities including indoor sports, leisure, social and community events.
Following the above, redevelopment of the Marsh Drive facilities became one of the key features of the adopted Great Linford Neighbourhood Plan.
Nortoft Planning Consultants
Planning Consultants have produced a report on behalf of GLPC and conducted research and consultations with the community. Responses showed that:
• there was a need for a new ‘community hub’ offering a range of activities for all.
• a re-development and/or extension of the existing facilities at Marsh Drive Pavilion was the most favourable location catering for both the current sports user and the wider community.
• facilities offered by a new community hub could include a cafe, meeting/activity rooms, studio/dance space and facilities capable of supporting other indoor and outdoor events.
Local User Groups
Meetings have been held with existing and potential new users to identify needs and to enable development. We have looked at how we can encourage provision of a wider range of activities to meet the whole community’s needs.