Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Residents oppose Arden sports pitch plan

RESIDENTS have objected to a bid by Arden school to enlarge a proposed sports facility on its field.


Click the headline or link below to read the rest of this story.

Ten have opposed the plan to put a 94m by 37m “multi-use games area” (MUGA) next to the school, for six tennis or five netball courts and running track with long jump pit.

One objection said: “No public consultations were carried out by the school which nearly
deceived neighbours.”

Another said they did not expect the school to abide by planning conditions, which would demand it could be used from 8am to 6pm on weekdays only.

Objections also said the scheme would have a “detrimental impact” on neighbours’ views and cause a noise nuisance.

The school has Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council permission for a similar facility to go at the end of the field.

Unlike the previous plan, the new facility would be for the school’s use only and would not be open to others.

A bridleway that would have run from the school to the bottom of the field is no longer proposed.

A council officer’s report recommends councillors this week approve the proposal.

It says a proposed dark green perimeter fence around the MUGA would “reduce its visual prominence”.

It can be built on the Green Belt as policies allow sport and recreation facilities, it adds.

Sport England backed the plans.

Yet the report reveals the school previously rejected using the site as it was “close to neighbours” and would result in the loss of part of the pitch.

The school previously said the bottom of the field was ideal as it was rarely used.

But the report says “at no point” was the site nearest the school considered “unduly harmful to neighbour amenity due to it being close to neighbours”.

It acknowledges, however, that the bottom of the field “would have a better relationship with neighbouring dwellings”

The report concludes: “The proposed scheme would provide improved sporting facilities for the benefit of the academy.”

The council’s planning committee will be asked to make a decision on the plan on Thursday at 4.30pm at the council’s Solihull offices. The public can attend.

What do you think? Leave your comments below. No registration required. Posts must abide by the terms and conditions. Report comments at news@thesilhillian.co.uk.

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  1. Unfortunately, the School is continuing Ann Green's legacy of bullying and ignoring other people.

    There are lots of problems with this: why have the school decided that there is no longer a need for an alternative route to school avoiding Station Road; just a couple of months ago they got traffic calming measures removed from the previous version of the MUGA because they would not have time to implement them. The school is actively working to reduce road safety, when people were up in arms, supposedly, about Sainsbury's who had given an undertaking not to have deliveries during school start and end time.

    The worst thing of the application is that SMBC Planning Officers write their usual misleading report. They state that there are no problems for residents when the previous version of the report said that there were, and on file is a report saying that meighbours will be impacted. Also, to get this through, they have had to say that the community cannot have access to the facilities - that means real problems for the Knowle fun Run, and previously the plan allowed for the area to be used out of school time which is lost.

    Before people go for a knee-jerk reaction against neighbours, there was a perfectly adequate plan before which would not have been a problem to anyone and had other advantages, and now the school are trying to get the Council to rush through a decision that is causing real anxiety for the neighbours.

    Oh, and given that the School now has an official footpath through it, why havven't they re-opened the gate on Milverton Road and let that get back to normal after Ann Green's nasty campaign of bullying and mis-information against those residents?

  2. As this is a state school free to all and has such a fantastic acdemic and general reputation I find it amazing that everything they try to do is opposed by local residents. We ought to be more supportive of the the school and its students. Given the perverts we read about everyday, I fully support good security around the school and if it means closed gates at one end, so be it.

  3. The people who are opposing this need to just forget it.

    Trying to block planning that will improve state school facilities on the basis that your back garden view may be slightly less favourable is quite frankly pointless.

    It's also a tad selfish...

  4. The residents are not opposing the facilities - earlier this year the school put a better plan in place elsewhere on the grounds which included an alternative route to school (three children have been run over on Station Road so far this year). They could have been built by now.

    This plan takes the route away. I heard that the reason for the move was that the headmaster thinks walking to the pitches is too far for the poor dears.

    Unfortunately, there are many members of the public who just assume that because it is a school, it MUST be right for them to do whatever they want, and people who live around the school just have to put up with whatever the school wants to do. The school is part of the community and services the community, not superior to it.

  5. well GOW the same could be said of Sainsburys. people seem to see that as a public service and those who live closest will just have to put up with it. SMBC planners are utterly useless, they constantly contradict themselves. the application to pull down a house in Avenue Road and replace with 2 has been turned down a few times, but they seem to think building 2 in the front gardens of houses in Knowle Wood Rd and putting 6 in the gardens of houses in Temple Road is acceptable. sorry I just dont get the system!

  6. Don't worry neither do we. The whole thing is really quite bizarre.

  7. Tony - you really ought to rely on more than just the tabloids for your news. As far as I'm aware there hasn't been an issue with 'perverts' at Arden for a long time, if ever. However, there is a real danger to the pupils of Arden from traffic, with several issues in the past term alone.

    Not enabling the facility to be used out of school hours is an unfortunate, and seems somewhat at odds with the school's general stance on working with the community.

    I'm not sure that particular weight should be given to the school's academic record with respect to any planning application - playing Devil's Advocate, that is what the school is paid for, and it would have to be doing a spectacularly bad job to deliver mediocre performance in Knowle and Dorridge.



  8. Why are Arden going for this plan rather than the previous one which seemed to suit the residents better and allowed the community to use the facilities?
    It seems a shame not to work with the community - and although I am against Nimbyism I don't see why schemes that have less impact on neighbours can't be used when possible.

  9. An Old Age Pensioner24 December 2011 at 01:20

    I am staggered by some of the objectors making play of the facilities applied for, in that they will not be available to the community. Are these the same people who objected to the use of the astro turf pitch being floodlit so such a facility could be used by the greater community.

    Floodlights that could have been screened so as shield the neighbouring houses, that looking at the new plan are probably at least 60 yards from the pitch!

    It is truly regrettable that Knowle is one of the very few communities of this size that does not have such a facility available to its youth. Why complain about youth exuberance when such facilities are denied to them, by such a few people in the community.

    It really is a disgrace that there are so few facilities sporting or otherwise for children/youths in Knowle, and what there are are treated appallingly by some people, as I remember when running youth football at Kixley Lane, when we spent ages clearing up after dogs!!!

    If you dont want to hear children at play, dont buy a house backing on to a school playing field! As regards the silly comment about the decision affecting the Fun Run, yes it could if people objected, but this would be out of spite I presume.

  10. grumpy old woman. simply get over yourself. Ann Green has gone and from speaking to staff, pupils and parents at Arden it all seems to be going well. I can imagine the only complaint is that the view from your garden will be different. The school now it is an academy has much more say on the lands that the school owns now, not the LEA.
    This facilty is much needed at Arden, the 6th form building was previously built on tennis courts. there was a condition that the tennis courts would be replaced within 3 years, that was 7 years ago! Roll on the MUGA!

  11. Grumpy Old Woman5 January 2012 at 11:40

    If this was so urgently needed, why didn't they build it when they got the original permission, a year ago.

    This is not about whether there should be a MUGA, but why a scheme that everyone was happy with got changed, and now, it becomes about why it still seems acceptable to mislead to the planning committee and acceptable for the planning committee to make comments that show that they have not understood the application, and why a Knowle Councillor (yes, that is you Councillor Potts) who apparently put forward the change, discussed it with the school and then sat on the committee that made the decision.

    I do not live adjoining the school. What I am interested in is seeing that the planning system is applied even-handedly and correctly with the interests of everyone considered.

    1. we pupils find it an amazing feature and it helps us partake in activities which we not available before... u mad bro?

  12. The intrests are for the students of the school, who need the facilites to get on with the important teaching. Aswell as this the MUGA was recently used to host the primary school Olympics which was an event for the local primary schools which was an extremly successful event for the community!

  13. click the link and u will see how I feel about the plan Grumpy Old Woman..... http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=troll+face&view=detail&id=33880D2F4852338F246E12807F9088CD9B592511&qpvt=troll+face&FORM=IDFRIR