Christ’s Hospital new sports and spa facilities: Application to extend Bluecoats to be debated

Plans for new swimming pool, spa and studios at Christ's Hospital. Photos courtesy of Horsham District Council Planning Portal SUS-180820-181800001
Plans for new swimming pool, spa and studios at Christ's Hospital. Photos courtesy of Horsham District Council Planning Portal SUS-180820-181800001

A decision on new sports and spa facilities in Christ’s Hospital is due to be made next week.

The school has put forward an application to create a new two storey extension to its current Bluecoats Sports Centre, which was built in 1990.

Christ's Hospital plans. Photo courtesy of the Horsham District Council Planning portal SUS-180820-180258001

Christ's Hospital plans. Photo courtesy of the Horsham District Council Planning portal SUS-180820-180258001

The building will host a new swimming pool, spa facilities, two studios and a fitness suite.

This is due to be discussed by Horsham District Council’s planning committee north next Tuesday (January 8), with officers recommending approval.

Southwater Parish Council has objected on traffic grounds, while 152 letters of support have been received compared to 60 objecting.

Alongside the new structure the school is also proposing to create an all-weather running track with supporting athletic facilities and an outdoor exercise area.

Artist impression of proposed Christ's Hospital scheme SUS-180820-180247001

Artist impression of proposed Christ's Hospital scheme SUS-180820-180247001

A new 3G artificial grass pitch is also being outlined with land to the east of Infirmary Drive set to be used to create an unlit running trail.

The plans also state a new car park containing 272 spaces would be built along with a new access to Christ’s Hospital Road. The Infirmary Drive access will be converted into a sprint track.

In their report officers said that a refusal on highways grounds could not be justified.

They also acknowledged the ‘urbanising influence’ of the proposed development and the harm to the landscape character, historic setting and neighbouring amenity but also noted the benefits the new facilities would bring.

Officers concluded: “Overall, having assessed the benefits that the scheme would bring to pupils of the school, current and future Members of the Bluecoats Sports Centre, and various local community groups, clubs and individuals; it is considered on balance, that the wider benefits gained from new facilities would outweigh the harm identified.”