By John Baron
Plans to transform sports facilities at Woodhall Playing Fields into a ‘Parklife’ community sports hub have this week moved a step closer to reality – more than three years after first being proposed.
Planning permission was granted last March for a new community sports hub with changing facilities, a community cafe, reception area and meeting rooms with associated car parking at Woodhall Playing Fields.
Council documents released this week revealed that construction and property services company BAM Construction Limited will carry out early works on the development, alongside similar proposals for Green Park at Thorpe Park, in east Leeds.
The total costs for both community sports hubs is around around £20.8 million.
The cafe would have views over the football pitches and the meeting rooms would open out into the main cafe via movable walls.
Three floodlit artificial grass pitches enclosed by metal ball-stop fencing will also be built off Woodhall Lane, along with two new children’s play areas. The scheme is part of the national Parklife initiative to improve football pitches and facilities.
No timescale has been provided on when work will start and a contractor to carry out the main works has yet to her appointed, although WLD understands this is like;y to be BAM Construction.
A council report concludes: “Parklife offers an opportunity for Leeds to have top-class facilities for football and other sports right through from junior mini soccer at the grassroots level through to elite player development.
“It links into plans for development work by West Riding County FA and the Leeds United Foundation to further develop football in Leeds and offers an opportunity to work with partners such as the universities and National Governing Bodies from other sports such as the Rugby Football League.
“Parklife will also address issues with the state of the city’s pitches by not onlydirectly providing new facilities through the hubs, but by reinvesting surpluses from the football trust into the remaining stock of grass pitches.”
The plans in Woodhall were first submitted in January 2020. 18 teams from Calverley, Farsley, Pudsey and Stanningley currently use the sports pitches.
The full report can be read in full here.