Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Arden pitch plan "should be for community"

CONTROVERSIAL plans for sports facilities at Arden School are to be re-considered tonight following concerns they will not be open to the community.

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Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council approved the plans last month for a “multi use games area” on the school field next to the existing artificial pitch.

But this was on the condition that no further objections were received against the plan, for six tennis or five netball courts and running track with long jump pit.

Yet neighbours have said they are concerned the school had dropped a plan to let the community use it.

A council officer has recommended councillors approve the scheme.

They said the community could still use the facility but the school would not be required to let it be used as a condition of being given planning permission.

It said there was not a shortage of other facilities but access for the public would be “beneficial”.

The report says: “It is not considered necessary to demonstrate that the community use of the facility would fulfil an unmet need, rather that the community use of facilities (where such use would not be harmful) should be an available option to the academy in that it causes no harm whilst allowing greater access to facilities.”

The school would only be allowed to use the facility from 8am to 6pm.

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

“The proposal is not considered to harm the visual amenities of the area or the openness of the Green Belt, highway safety, existing landscape or ecological features on site and would not give rise to harm to neighbours amenities.”

The council’s planning committee will be asked to make a decision when it meets at the council’s Solihull offices at 6pm. The public can attend.

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