The ball is in Torbay Council's court over stalled plans for Churston sports hub
PLANS for a sports hub to be built in Churston are still up in the air.
Before the start of the summer councillors were asked to agree the go-ahead for improved sports facilities in Brixham rather than in Churston after residents objected to proposals for a sports hub on fields on the edge of the village at Brokenbury.
Plans for a multi-million pound indoor and outdoor sports complex had been floated in the public domain.
The Torbay Sports Council project is being led by South Devon League amateur football club Brixham AFC, Brixham Archery Club and Paignton Rifle Club.
They formed a consortium to drive through their dream.
The consortium says Sport England has also pledged financial backing for the hub but it was dependent on the sports clubs securing a lease from Torbay Council for the land.
But the Brokenbury plan was kicked into the long grass when Churston residents complained that they did not want the sports facilities in their back yard.
As a result Churston, Galmpton and Broadsands Community Partnership came up with its own idea for part of the sports facilities to be moved to a site in Brixham instead.
It also suggested building five luxury homes at Brokenbury and allowing an expansion of the Churston farm shop — the proceeds from which could be used to rehouse the sports hub somewhere else.
It says its own scheme would see a large chunk of the land saved as unspoilt recreation grounds.
Land in North Boundary Road, Brixham, was suggested as a potential new site which is what Torbay planners were being asked to vote on.
However, nothing has happened since May and all parties have been left in limbo.
Roger Mann, chairman of the Torbay Sports Council, said: "We are very disappointed as a Sports Council that this seems to have stalled in the short term.
"The current proposal is to relocate the ground for sport allocation from Churston to Brixham but it is taking time to be agreed on or not.
"There is some on going negotiation with Brixham Town Council.
"We are waiting for Brixham Town Council to say yes or no to Torbay Council.
"We have been assured by Cllr Robert Excell (who champions sport for the council) that if the council cannot agree then the plans in full will revert back to Brokenbury.
"We are not alone in finding that the process is taking an awful long time. We were always told there was a six-month time scale. But since the new proposal it has always been six months. All we want is an answer. Hopefully it is on its way."
Mr Mann said that if the Brokenbury plan does end up in Brixham then only one of the three proposed sports facilities will be moved to Brixham, ie, the football pitch.
The planned indoor archery facilities and shooting range would have to be accommodated on another site at some point in the future.
Mr Mann added: "It would be a real disappointment because two of the clubs would have to wait longer for their own sports facilities."
It is understood a decision may be taken on the issue on September 27, but local Brokenbury landowner, farmer and businessman, Richard Haddock said he had not heard anything.
He said: "It's all gone quiet. I don't know what's happening. It was supposed to be discussed at a full council meeting but we haven't been told anything. One minute they say it's all go then it all goes silent. We don't know what's going on."
Richard Scagell, from the Brixham AFC and the Torbay All Sports Hub consortium, which is formed of the Brixham football club, Paignton Rifle Club and Brixham Archery Club, said: "We were supposed to have a meeting with various people to talk about the project but nothing has taken place.
"It seems the whole thing is being swept under the carpet. No-one knows what's going on.
"The land at Brokenbury has always been designated for sports and recreation. We still feel that it is where the sports hub should go."
Torbay Council spokesperson, said: "A community-led proposal, involving the Brokenbury site, has been put forward in consultation with the Community Partnership.
"Additional information has been requested by the council before the proposal can be given further consideration."