New sports facilities at Christ’s Hospital submitted for third time

Plans to build an all-weather running track and expand the sports centre at Christ’s Hospital School have been submitted for the third time.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 3:12 pm

Two separate applications were both refused by Horsham District Council in 2019, the second of which is subject to a pending appeal decision.

A public inquiry was due to be held in May, but was postponed and is due to take place in November.

Since the council withdrew the single reason for refusal in March, the applicant argues the inquiry is proceeding with no reasons for refusal being defended by the local planing authority.

Aerial view of proposed new running track, 3G pitch and extension to sports centre
Aerial view of proposed new running track, 3G pitch and extension to sports centre

It has made an application for costs, but says both this and the appeal will be withdrawn if the new application is approved by HDC before the inquiry.

The two changes to the second application are extra parkland tree planting along Christ’s Hospital Road and the inclusion of 47 electric vehicle charging points in the car park.

The application is for a new 3G pitch, all-weather running track with floodlights, adventure trail and car park.

Meanwhile the Bluecoats Sports Centre would be extended to provide a new fitness suite, leisure and teaching pools, spa facilities, fitness suite, class studios and cafe.

Proposed site layout of new sports facilities at Christ's Hospital

The existing centre would also be refurbished.

While the facilities are first and foremost to serve the school, the aim is to ensure they would remain open to the wider public of all age groups.

The application concludes: “In the second resubmission scheme it was thought that the scheme had been amended to fully respond to the concerns relating to potential impact of the original proposals on landscape character; the amenities of residents focusing on noise and lighting impact and also the impact on the road network.

“The fact that the statement of common ground for the appeal sets out the level of support attended for the scheme by Officers and given all reasons have been withdrawn from the pending appeal, this serves to underline that there are no sound reasons on which to resist these proposals.

“The proposals are considered to preserve and enhance both the heritage and landscape character of the site. The planning balance has set out the significant benefits resulting from the scheme both to the school and to the wider community around it. It has been fully demonstrated that the balance falls strongly favour of the development and it is respectfully requested that the Committee support this third application.”

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