New sports and recreation facilities have been officially unveiled in Southwater by developers Berkeley Homes.
These include a new community building, a skateboard park, multi-use games areas, a sports pavilion, cricket pitch, two tennis courts - and two football pitches for Southwater Sports Club.
The facilities were built by Berkeleys on land gifted to the local community by the Fletcher Trust.
Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher - whose grandfather originally provided land for use of the cricket club in the 1890s - was among guests at the official unveiling ceremony last week. He said: “I remember aged around 11 playing in boys matches when the family stayed at College Farm. It gives me very great pleasure that the local community continues to derive benefit from the long-standing relationship between my grandfather and Southwater Sports Club, which in turn has led to the provision of these outstanding new facilities.”
Berkeley Homes Southern managing director Harry Lewis, said: “The facilities at Southwater are a wonderful example of what can be achieved when a council, landowner and developer work collaboratively with local people to achieve a common goal.
“These things don’t just happen overnight - we first started working on this project over 10 years ago. I do not know of another development in the south east which has delivered such fantastic facilities for the local community.”
The community building - to be known as The Laurie Apted Building - has been named after former Southwater Parish Councillor Laurie Apted who played a huge part in Southwater’s development over the 57 years that he has lived in the village.
He said: “I am very grateful for the acknowledgement that the parish has bestowed on me by naming the building after me. I have loved living in Southwater, it is a wonderful community.”
Southwater Parish Councillor Michael Neale said: “We are looking forward to taking official receipt of the amenities very soon and will then be throwing open the doors to Southwater and the extended community.”
The new state-of-the-art sports pavilion is designed to give the community both a social and sporting centre. It includes a large bar area, kitchen and extensive seating areas with darts, pool table and a large TV.
Southwater Sports Club chairman Neil Harding said: “Our new building will be able to host an array of activities and events which will help to bring the community further together. We welcome both the old and the young to our club and we are looking forward to making this building and the land around it, a central focus for this wonderful village that we are lucky enough to live in.”
Both the new community building and the sports club are located off Church Lane.