21 July 2011

Community Blogging – Online Consultation for Grassroots Football

A landowner in Walton on Thames, Surrey has launched an online consultation over plans for a grassroots football centre and camping ground. The website, AppsFC.blogspot.com, designed by Studio 425 architect John Inglis, invites local football clubs, schools, community groups and welfare support networks for people living with disabilities to get involved with the design process.

The proposed development at Apps Court Farm, Surrey includes new football pitches and changing rooms, which double up as an amenity block for campers in the summer months. The site has been used for both football and camping in the past, though the combination of uses in one project is a recent innovation. The owners hope to address a local shortage of sports facilities whilst attracting new visitors to the area in the summer months. Combining the facilities means the building can be used all year round and the camp site can benefit from exceptional standards, particularly in providing WCs and showers for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.

As a green belt site, the farm is keen to promote opportunities for outdoor sport and recreation. The use of social media is also seen as a way to involve local youth, who typically shy away from traditional show-and-tell community consultation events. The website was put together using Blogger, which means there are no overheads for web-hosting and its design and operation is carried out by the project architects, who would normally manage community consultation and pre-planning enquiries. The automatic record of hits and ease of commenting also help the architects demonstrate their consultation efforts to the local planning authority.

To find out more see Apps Court Football Camp.