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Plans for new school and community sports centre approved

By Kerry Ashdown | South Staffordshire | Education | Published:

A new sports centre is on the cards for a South Staffordshire school after plans to replace the current facilities were given the thumbs up by councillors.

A Google Street View image of Kinver High School in Enville Road Kinver

Invictus Education Trust has been granted permission to build a new school and community sports centre at Kinver High School.

The development is set to provide space for games courts, changing facilities, a gym, climbing wall, three classrooms and a community room. There will also be additional parking and landscaping. The existing sports hall is set to be demolished.

Planning permission was previously granted in 2018 for a new school and community sports hall but the latest application proposes an amended design. The development will be sited in the same position as the previous approval however.

A design and access statement submitted as part of the latest application said: “The operators of the school have re-evaluated the demand for such a grand facility and measured this against the demand for such a facility from the school and the local community.

“The school have assessed that a four-court hall will satisfy the curricular needs of the school and the leisure and recreational needs of the local community, given a six-court hall satisfies regional demand and a four-court hall is capable of community and club use. The development includes the creation of three new tennis courts to provide six in total to replace the existing court provision, in line with the demand for tennis expressed by the local community.

“We therefore now apply for a more modest proposal within the development boundary of the previously approved proposal and the opportunity of the more efficient use of existing buildings such that the scale of new development can be reduced, thereby reducing the impact of the proposals upon the openness of the Green Belt. The result will be more in character with the scale of the existing school buildings.”

A report to South Staffordshire Council’s planning committee, which approved the new plans at its latest meeting, said: “The building is typical of a school facility, having a functional design with a flat roof with a height of around 8.9m. It will provide around 875 sqm of floor area and will have a first floor. It measures around 35m by 25m.

“Inside the building will be a sports hall, changing facilities, climbing wall along with various other ancillary rooms at ground floor. At first floor there will be space for classrooms, toilets and a large open plan area.”

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Kinver Parish Council raised concerns about the impact of moving the sports hall to its proposed location “due to the impact of the visibility of such a large building both nearer the road and the view from Kinver Edge,”

Just one letter was received by South Staffordshire Council from a local resident.

Anne Giddings said: “The large tree between the sports hall to be demolished and the proposed sports hall is the traditional roosting site for a very large flock of jackdaws as well as a nesting site for several rooks. This has been the case for very many years.

“I hope that the development will not disrupt this roosting site in any way. I would estimate that there are several hundred jackdaws currently roosting there.”

Sport England said the new facilities would help meet identified needs and attract greater community use – potentially alleviating pressure on existing sports halls within the district.

Kerry Ashdown

By Kerry Ashdown

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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