Rackheath Life Spring 2018

The Parish Council has been busy during the last three months fine tuning plans for the future of Rackheath.

Some of you might have seen the displays of plans at the Annual Community Meeting held in April for Newman Road woods to create a safe public woodland accessible by a circular path. The remains of buildings used by the World War II American airbase living quarters will be preserved where practical and new information displays boards about the heritage of the site will be provided. This project is being managed and funded by Broadland District Council initially with plans to pass it on to the Parish Council to manage in the future. If you have any comments or want to get involved get in touch.

Our other major project is the development of the Pavilion at the Stracey Playing Field with the building work due to start this August and last about 6 months with the new Pavilion open for business by April 2019. The current Pavilion will be shut for the building duration and will be transformed into a modern building with up to date changing facilities, fully accessible toilets, a fitted kitchen and a new function room for sports and social activities.

The Parish Council issued a questionnaire to all residents earlier this year asking people what activities they want to do at the Pavilion and the other playing field facilities. Unsurprisingly football came out as the top activity, probably helped by the success of the Youth Football Scheme which started in at the field in January run in partnership with Wroxham Football Club. Tennis and netball were popular requests and improving the surface of the courts and access will be our next project. We would like to hearing from any clubs or teams interested in using the courts.

Other activities wanted on the playing field included walking football, an outdoor gym and a bootcamp. We received a good response for a wide range of indoor activities such as Fun and Fitness sessions, aerobics, pilates, yoga etc as well as table tennis and Martial Arts/Tai Chi. Over the coming months we will be talking to activity providers but aim to ensure we meet local needs and not duplicate local provision. If you are interested in attending or providing sessions at the new Pavilion in 2019 please get in touch.

Of-course there is a cost to developing the Pavilion into a sports and social resource and the Parish Council anticipates spending up to £464,000 on the building and ancillary costs for this project. The majority of the funding, £250,000 will come from Broadland Community Infrastructure Fund, which will be repaid by a levy on housing developments expected to be built in the Parish over the next 5 years. Grant applications have been made to the Football Foundation and Sport England. The Parish Council will need to borrow up to £105,000 from the Public Works Loan Board, which will be repaid at £6,408 per annum and will require an increase in the Precept of £5,000 per year, which will cost the average Band D Council Tax payer an additional £7.33 per year. Please tell us if you agree/disagree with this increase in the Precept for this purpose

The Parish Council has launched a new Website;- www.rackheathparishcouncil.org.uk We want to make this a resource for the whole village and offer space for any volunteer organisation. Just contact the Clerk, Diana Dring by email toClerk@rackheathparishcouncil.org.uk or ring 01603 758249

If you have any comments on this report contact the Parish Clerk or the Chairman, Paula Lowe