4. Evolution of the SportsHub Proposal

As a concept, the SportsHub idea is one that Evolve have had in place for some time. However, each town or city where there is potential for a SportsHub has specific population and sports and recreational needs and aspirations. This influences the size, location and components of any specific SportsHub.

The original ideas for SportsHub MK were drawn up during 2019 and are reproduced in the two concept plans below. We shared these ideas with residents of West Bletchley and the local Parish Councils, firstly in July 2019 at a public exhibition held close to the site, and then shared some suggested revisions to the concept at a Parish Council meeting in October 2019.

Original Concept July 2019

july 2019 plan

In the feedback we received after the July 2019 exhibition, many local people thought that the concept of a SportsHub charity to support grassroots sports in a new and better way was a good idea.

However, there were a number of concerns raised by those that live immediately adjacent to and around the golf course, and by those who are members and/or regular users of the current golf club. The main concerns expressed related to:

  • the loss of the 18-hole golf facility at Windmill Hill;
  • increased traffic on local roads and pressure on car parking;
  • the need for more housing;
  • loss of residents’ views;
  • loss of trees and public access to the site; and
  • noise from outdoor sports.

Revised Concept September 2019

In response to local feedback and concerns, we suggested several changes to the original plans:

  • repositioning of buildings further north, to reduce the impact of development on the residents of Wentworth Way;
  • reducing the land area proposed for residential development;
  • replacing the area proposed for football pitches with a 4,000 seater sports arena;
  • concentrating the SportsHub buildings in the south west of the site, with the enabling development in the north.
plan of sept 2019 revised concept plan

Since October 2019 we have continued to refine the SportsHub proposal taking into account local concerns and continued engagement with sports organisations and Council. The current SportsHub MK proposal incorporates the following changes:

  • relocation of all built elements of the SportsHub to a single location in the northern part of the site;
  • removal of the 4,000 multi-sport arena and senior football pitch, and replacement with a cricket centre;
  • replacement of the single Par 3 course with two 9-hole courses (one Par 3 Course and a 9-hole Course);
  • replacement of the petrol filling station and drive-through coffee outlet with a coffee outlet at the centre of a new local public square;
  • reduction in the amount of residential development from c.154 to c.125 homes;
  • replacement of the stand-alone business hub with potential for smaller scale commercial space to be provided as part of the active frontages of buildings around the public square;
  • removal of the mini-roundabout onto Buckingham Road (so no vehicular access from the site to Buckingham Road);
  • replacement of the proposed roundabout access onto the A421 with a single left-in left out junction in the same location.

This has enabled a greater proportion of the site to be left unbuilt, maintaining a golf offer which addresses the ability to play 18 holes, and still providing a multi-sport facility with sufficient commercial development to ensure it remains viable over the long term.