Sport England objects to Collyers college’s extension due to loss of playing field

JPCT 28-12-12 S12520444X Collyer's Sixth Form college. Horsham. Playing fields -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 28-12-12 S12520444X Collyer's Sixth Form college. Horsham. Playing fields -photo by Steve Cobb

A national sporting body has maintained its objection to an application for an extension to the College of Richard Collyer forcing council officers to recommend it be refused.

The college, in Hurst Road, submitted an application to Horsham District Council for the demolition of existing buildings, and a replacement new two-storey building, made up of classrooms and offices, which is due to be debated in February 2013.

But Sport England, a national body which has a statutory role in protecting sporting provision, is unhappy at the loss of playing field space at Collyer’s.

In a letter to HDC in September 2012, they said: “Unfortunately, the current scheme does not meet any of the exceptional circumstances to Sport England’s playing field policy and therefore it is our duty to lodge/ maintain a formal objection.”

The application was scheduled to be heard at a development control north committee in late 2012 but was dropped.

Even though HDC’s planning officers have stated they will recommend that the committee refuses it, the applicant has requested plans be debated by HDC’s members.

According to council planning officers any decision by the committee contrary to the view of Sport England will need to be considered by the National Planning Casework Unit, set up by the Department for Communities and Local Government to handle casework on behalf of the Secretary of State.

A spokesperson for HDC said: “Sport England is objecting to planning application DC/12/0578 (Collyer’s School 82 Hurst Road Horsham West Sussex RH12 2EJ).

“Horsham District Council is currently trying to establish the full basis of its objection.”

The Horsham Society and residents from both Angus Close and Richmond Road objected to the original plans earlier in 2012.