Agenda item

Jackey Bakers Recreation Ground


Mike Humber, Director of Environment introduced the item and made the following key points:


  • This report set out proposals for Cabinet’s approval for improvements at Jackey Bakers Recreation ground;
  • The report referred to a petition that was received by the Council in June about the management of Jackey Bakers and describes the actions taken since then;
  • The report also proposed the adoption of a master plan (attached at Annex 1 to the report) for the future development of the site. The master plan proposals were not currently funded but the adoption of the plan would inform direction and represent a first step towards securing the required funding for the long-term future of Jackey Bakers;
  • The report further proposed that authority be delegated to investigate the options for a future development on the site based on the master plan, including car parking, a new pavilion and other sporting/recreational facilities that might enhance the offer at the site;
  • A further report would be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel and the Cabinet once these options had been further explored;
  • The recommendation included the demolition of the existing pavilion subject to planning prior approval being granted at the meeting of Planning Committee on 13 December 2023;
  • Following demolition, it was proposed that temporary facilities were provided with team changing rooms, showers, officials changing, storage and toilets.


Councillor Joanne Bright spoke Council Procure Rule 20.1.


Speaking under 20.1 the Member made the following points:


  • They welcomed the much needed investment in the Jackey Bakers recreation ground. They asked if future park designers would specifically consider the needs of girls and young women in these new plans;
  • Women and girls were much less likely to use sports fields than men and boys and they frequently did not feel comfortable visiting these spaces as they were not being designed with their needs in mind;
  • Recent research from Leeds University and the charity ‘Make Space for Girls’ identified issues such as a lack of social seating, well-lit paths, a lack of toilets and a focus on facilities favoured by boys as reasons why girls were less likely to use parks than boys;
  • The research showed, teenagers using multi-use games areas (such as football fields and basketball courts), were 92% boys and young men;
  • Facilities such as tennis courts, play spaces and outdoor gyms were more likely to be used by girls; but still these were only 34%;


  • The draft master plan for Jackey Bakers imagined a facility used by the whole community but in reality, these types of facilities did not properly cater for 50% of the population. Teenage girls were less likely to exercise outside than teenage boys and this was not going to change unless gender mainstreaming was applied in the planning and design of parks and recreational spaces;
  • The proposed investment in this large recreation site seemed like the perfect opportunity for Thanet District Council to lead by example and prove that teenage girls had as much right to outdoor fun as teenage boys;
  • Other countries and other local councils had successfully designed parks to be more inclusive;
  • The Member further asked if it would be possible to ensure that the facilities at Jackey Bakers appealed to girls and boys more equally;
  • Local schools and youth organisations could be consulted to find out the needs and requirements of local girls to ensure these facilities were designed to be as gender inclusive as possible.


Members asked questions and made comments as follows:


  • Would girls and women needs be accommodated in order for them to access the facilities at Jackey Baker?
  • Those needs included good lighting and safe play spaces;
  • Teenage girls were less likely to use those facilities for outdoor exercising;
  • Parks should be made to appeal to girls and boys equally by mainstreaming gender needs;
  • Another Member welcomed the focus on Jackey Bakers;
  • One Member said that it was encouraging to note that the Council was responding to a petition in the manner as reflected in the committee report;
  • Could the covenant document for Jackey Bakers be made public?
  • There was a similar petition that might be coming to the Council regarding Northdown Park. Could this be funded in a similar way;
  • Had an asbestos survey been carried out?
  • Demolition costs were higher by a factor of 400%. Did the Council consider competitive costs?
  • Jackey Baker had its own policy position in the Local Plan;
  • If there were new sporting facilities to be established at the site, there was an opportunity for revenue that would come into the Council;
  • Mental health benefits that came from accessing such a facility were significant;
  • One Member requested that officers check and correct the spelling for Jackey Bakers as it should be “Jacky Bakers”.
  • Another Member suggested that the Panel approached the Youth Council and engage in discussion on this matter to get their view on this project.


Mike Humber and Tony Marmo, Head of Coastal and Public Realm responded to Member comments and questions as follow:


  • The land identified for housing at Jackey Bakers was transferred from the General Fund to Housing Revenue Account (HRA) after a decision made by cabinet in March 2023;
  • The report was not meant to provide support to housing related issues;
  • Officers will circulate the covenant documentation for Jackey Bakers Recreation Ground to councillors;
  • Jackey Bakers had been identified by Kent FA as a potential location for funding and therefore a master plan is helpful in accessing this funding, as it shows the Council’s commitment to developing the site;


  • The demolition costs at Jackey Bakers Recreation Ground are estimated to be £250k because of the asbestos in the roof structure and the extensive mechanical and electrical services that would need to be removed;
  • Demolishing the pavilion and replacing it temporarily with a portacabin container type of facility would make more sense than trying to refurbish the existing pavilion;
  • Officers will undertake an assessment of the Northdown Park and the pavilion at this location.


Councillor Will Scobie proposed, Councillor Austin seconded and the Panel agreed to forward the following recommendation to Cabinet:


1.  That wording is added to recommendation (c) in the Panel report as follows:


a) Approves a public engagement exercise to inform the master planning for Jackey Bakers, based on SECTION 1 OF the draft master plan attached at annex 1;


Councillor Kristian Bright proposed, Councillor Fellows seconded and the Panel agreed to forward the following recommendations to Cabinet:


2.  To ensure the temporary changing facilities are properly insured and secured;


2.  That the Council explores facilities that will be installed that will encourage safe enjoyment of Jackey Bakers by girls and young women.

Supporting documents: