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Sporting Khalsa have backing for £1m ground improvements

By Gurdip Thandi | Willenhall | Non league | Published:

A football club looks to have staved off the threat of having to tear down £1 million worth of improvements to its ground.

Concerns had been raised over some improvement works made to Sporting Khalsa's ground

Walsall Council planning committee members are being recommended to grant Sporting Khalsa retrospective approval for works carried out at its Aspray 24 Arena in Noose Lane, Willenhall.

This will see the facility given permission to operate as a football club, martial arts club and bar and lounge.

It will also allow them to keep the new modular martial arts building, changing rooms, one full size and five smaller 3G pitches, raised spectator stand and storage facilities in place at the stadium.

In 2018, the Midland Football Premier League club unveiled its new £1 million facilities – which was supported by £579,564 grant funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund and £75,000 from Sport England.

Sporting Khalsa has a number of men’s, women’s and children’s teams and has been recognised for its work done in the community.

But in September last year the authority threatened the club with enforcement action over a raft of planning breaches officers said it had committed.

These included installing the 3G artificial pitch, a hospitality suite, spectator stand and portable building without permission as well as placing the dressing rooms in a different location to what had been previously agreed.

But the biggest concern was over the stability of a mineshaft situated underneath the new 3G pitch and the need for work to be carried out to make it safe.

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Club bosses submitted a retrospective planning application, which includes documents detailing mineshaft investigations and work and, as a result, the Coal Authority has raised no objections.

A report to the planning committee said: “The proposal would provide an important community facility and would assist in the provision of sports pitches in the area.

“The scheme does not have an unacceptable impact on the character of the area or the amenity of surrounding occupiers.

“Details of the mine stabilisation works carried out and the structural soundness of the buildings’ foundations have been provided.”

Gurdip Thandi

By Gurdip Thandi
@Gurdo

Local Democracy Reporter covering Walsall.

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