Northstowe Phase 1 Sports Pavilion

An artists impression of the Northstowe Phase 1 sports pavilion.

Latest News

Pentaco Construction have been awarded the contract to build the sports pavilion. They took possession of the site on 17 October 2022. Internal fit-out continues with the installation of fire walls and compartments. Internal screed and underfloor heating has also been completed bringing the construction of the inside of the building ready for first fix fit out. 

More information can be found in the August newsletter [PDF, 0.2MB].

As part of the works, the temporary footpath has had to be closed and there is a footpath diversion [PDF, 0.1MB]

Planning Application

The Phase 1 Sports Pavilion planning application is visible on our planning portal.

Planning Reference: 21/03350/REM

The plans were awarded planning permission on 17 November 2021.

Your views

Plans for the first sports pavilion to serve residents in Northstowe were created and we asked for comments between 11 and 25 January 2021. View replies at the bottom of this page.

The sports pavilion will have a main hall where activities can be hosted, with changing facilities for the outdoor sports pitches nearby.

The technical detail of the building is below. Architects' drawings are also on this webpage to help you to envisage how the building would look, feel and work.

Throughout the design process we recognised the requirement for a high-quality building that highlights the need for energy efficiency/generation, ease of maintenance and a sustainable approach. We need to balance these requirements against the amount of funding that is available.

Please email if you have any queries.


The site for the new pavilion is to be accessed from Peppercorn Drive, via an ancillary road routed through a new car park, and will be situated adjacent to the naturalistic setting of Kingfisher Pond and the surrounding green space.

Bearing this setting in mind, the general principle for the design of the building has been to maintain the naturalistic setting using high quality materials, such as timber style cladding, that respects the setting it is in. Key views across the site have been maintained and new tree and hedge planting will soften the building outline.

an architects drawing showing the location of the Northstowe Phase 1 sports pavilion.

Accessing the site and parking

Pedestrian and bicycle access has been predominant in the access design thinking, which means provision has been made for a central hub for cyclists with secure parking and routes out into the surrounding areas. In addition, a public footpath will provide access through the site out to the sporting and leisure spaces and also a safe route from the nearby schools.

An architects site plan showing the location of the sports pavilion in Northstowe Phase 1, between kingfisher pond and the allotments.

Inside the building

The building itself has been designed to meet Sport England standards and will be fully accessible to users of all ages and abilities. In brief, the single-storey building provides the following:

• Six Adult-sized changing rooms with showers
• Three Officials' changing rooms with showers
• Toilet Facilities
• Store rooms
• Kitchen
• Reception/office space
• Clubroom (sized to allow for a badminton court)

It is envisaged that the building’s design and facilities will enable multiple sports use, including those that require a modest indoor space. The clubroom will provide an open, well-lit space with a large, glazed elevation.

An architects drawing showing the internal layout of the rooms in the Northstowe Phase 1 Sports Pavilion. showing 6 changing rooms, a 'changing places' toilet, kitchen, office and club room.

Outside the building

As well as there being grassed areas and planting beds adjacent to the building, there will be a paved area adjacent to the clubroom that will be suitable for outdoor social events associated with the various sports clubs that will use the pavilion.

 an architects drawing of the outside of the Northstowe phase 1 sports pavilion. it is an unremarkable single story structure.

Public questions

Following the call for questions that occurred as part of the Northstowe Community Forum, the following questions were received:

The plans for the sport pavilion don't include a lot of space for indoor sports or a social club related to the sports clubs. There's one small hall "for badminton" but nothing else. Where is it envisioned these events will take place? The secondary school or other sports grounds in Northstowe? 

The Phase 1 sports pavilion forms part of the ancillary facilities needed to support the outdoor sports pitches at the Western Park. In addition to changing rooms etc. it is designed to function as a club room, to allow for the associated social activity. We anticipate this space will be in demand for wider community social activity, such as bookings for private functions and for group activities. Its ability to provide additional space for indoor sports, although not a primary function of the building, will be significant in terms of its capacity to generate income, and therefore contribute to the long-term sustainability of the building.

There is substantial indoor sports provision at Northstowe Secondary College, forming part of the facilities designed to be shared between the school and the wider community within the Education Campus. For indoor sports this includes a 4-court sports hall, 2 dance studios and gym, with provision set to expand as further phases of the development come forward. 

It was originally also suggested toilets would be accessible from outdoors and therefore may be used by those on the allotments - is this still the case?

Direct external access to the toilets has been considered but is seen as something that would compromise the overall security of the building. 

Is there a plan to have a bar inside the club room?

The area noted on the plan as the servery could be used as a bar area also, as it will have the option to be open to the club room.

It’s not clear from the plan - are those changing rooms individual or group ones? Are there plans for any other sports centres across the development? This seems to be a big car park and some changing rooms?

The changing rooms are sized to fit a 'team' and have en-suite showers & toilets.

The pavilion: are there any expectations or limits on the hours of operation?

The hours of operation are to be agreed. However, early modelling suggests the pavilion building may need to service use of the pitches (including the floodlit Artificial Turf Pitch) between 9am to 10pm Monday to Friday, and Weekends 9am to 6pm. Given that the clubroom will likely be made available for group activities and functions, evening operating hours across the week may extend further.

Will the car park be lit? If so, is the lighting design considerate of surrounding housing (for example, low level)?

The car park will be lit and will not be intrusive to the residential areas.

Is the club room available for general hire?

We anticipate the club room will be available for general hire.

Will the hall have enough space for a badminton court? Is there going to be enough room for that safely?

The club room is sized to accommodate a badminton court, with sufficient margin around.

Western Park football pitches: what is the planned use regime of these? It has been great to be able to use such green space for walks, runs, cycles, yoga (particularly during lockdown). Will it still be possible to go for walks in this space, or will it be reserved for football only? (There seem to be another considerable number of football pitches planned by the Educational Campus… how many are enough?!)

The quantity of sports pitches at the Western Park, in common with all indoor and outdoor sports provision across the new town, is related to the expected population and the demand likely to be generated for sports facilities. These requirements are factored into our planning requirements for the development, to ensure it will be properly served. The sports pitches are designed for a specific purpose and not to accommodate general recreation. There will be generous quantities of open space coming forward for walking, including the Phase 1 lake which is now open and the Phase 2 which will be coming forward. 

Why was it chosen to have a Bowls Green in a community that is oriented towards young families… is there demand for this sport? That space is of exclusive use of this sport (which most of the time will not be used as is grass), whilst the MUGA courts by the side have to combine several sports.

It is a Sport England requirement that the entirety of the population of the new town is catered for. Lawn bowls can offer an opportunity for intergenerational activity.  Please see Bowls England for more information.

Is there any way of building some areas for pick up/drop off for parents? Northstowe Secondary School have devised a roundabout to keep the traffic moving for pick up times.

The car park layout and open frontage of the pavilion is considered adequate for 'drop off' arrangements.

A bus stop has been provided on Wellington Road for coaches to be able to stop easily, and allow visiting teams to walk along the Northern Greenway to the Pavilion.

The overall height of the building. The building will be to the South of our property, so to prevent the blocking of sunlight to the southern aspect of ours and neighbouring properties, we request that consideration is given to keeping the overall height of the building to a minimum.

The building is single-storey, and approximately 5 meters in height. The pitch of the roof will be shallow, allowing the height to be kept to a minimum. 

The height of the surrounding ground level and access. The current ground level of the proposed site is higher than the ground level of the neighbouring residential properties and their gardens. In addition to the height of the building, we request that the impact on the neighbouring gardens be taken into account when planning the height of the parking and access routes around the proposed building. If these are situated at a higher level than the neighbouring gardens, then the gardens will be constantly overlooked by the users of the facility. Furthermore, pollution from vehicle exhausts and noise pollution from vehicle access would not be screened by the existing boundary fences situated at the lower level.

The houses on parcel H3 near the pavilion have been designed such that the rear gardens are not overlooked from the Pavilion.

Lighting and light pollution. No details have yet been provided of the proposed lighting of the building and surroundings. We would like to request that any lighting is planned with consideration for the nearby residents. In particular, that lighting is not excessive and is not directed towards the residential properties. This could perhaps be helped by the use of low-level lighting (bollards etc.) rather than high-level street lamps, so that excess light does not shine into the neighboring gardens or windows. This would also be in keeping with the lighting design of the nearby residential streets, where the majority of lighting comes from lighting bollards. We would also like to request that light pollution is minimised wherever possible. Lighting only directed where needed would be in keeping with the proposed environmental and sustainability goals and minimise the impact on the local wildlife.

The lighting specification will be written is such a way as to minimise light pollution. We do not anticipate the carpark lights being intrusive. 

Noise and disturbance is of particular concern, as a neighbour to the proposed development. We would like to ensure that the intent to minimise noise disruption to the nearby residents remains a key focus of the planning process. For example, situating the main entrance, other access routes and the parts of the facility expected to be the most noisy (for example, club room) furthest from residential properties.

The club room on the side of the pavilion is the furthest away from housing.

Hours of operation. Although not related to planning the material structure of the facility, we would like to request that the possible disturbance to neighbouring properties be considered when deciding on the permitted hours of operation of the facility. For example, late-night or early morning activities that will result in noise from both the people taking part in the activities and vehicles accessing the facility next to our houses.

The hours of operation are to be agreed. However, early modelling suggests the pavilion building may need to service use of the pitches (including the floodlit Artificial Turf Pitch) between 9am and 10pm Monday to Friday, and Weekends 9am to 6pm. Given that the clubroom will likely be made available for group activities and functions, evening operating hours across the week may extend further.

Please would you be able to advise when further details of the proposed development will be available, particularly the height, dimensions, elevation and lighting design, and where this information can be accessed?

All documents are available on the planning portal.

Contact Details