Access to leisure facilities over ‘ransom strip’ secured

Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre, Pic Steve Robards SR1522487 SUS-150922-151733001
Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre, Pic Steve Robards SR1522487 SUS-150922-151733001

Access to planned facilities south of Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre over a ‘ransom strip’ of land has been secured.

Horsham District Council has started building work on a state-of-the-art new sports centre between the indoor bowls club and the existing facility.

New multi-use games areas, football pitches and pavilion, and a skate park are also planned on land south of the leisure centre.

These facilities are on land earmarked for community facilities when HDC granted developer Countryside permission for nearly 1,000 homes.

However the council has had to secure access over a ransom strip.

A spokesman for HDC said: “Landowners who dispose of land for development almost always use the device of a ransom strip to exercise control over access to other land that they own or to ensure that the local authority does not capitalise on the value of land provided for community facilities (e.g. public open space or other leisure uses) by disposing of such land for more lucrative purposes. We have secured access across the strip for the construction and use of the MUGAs and contractors have been instructed.

“The section 106 agreement relating to the planning applications for the residential and associated development on land west of Horsham were dealt with in accordance with the council’s constitutional provisions.

“We are pleased with the progress we are making and delighted that we are on track to deliver one of the district’s largest public dry-side leisure centres in 2018, underpinning our commitment to provide top class sports and leisure facilities for our residents.”