Thursday 18 August 2022
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Sports pitch facility gets green light despite over 670 objections

A goalpost storage facility will be built on a popular Hucknall playing field despite more than 600 residents objecting to development on the land.

Ashfield District Council’s planning committee approved the plans, based near the sports pitches on the Papplewick Green estate, Kenbrook Road, during a meeting on Wednesday (August 25).

It will bring the creation of a new storage building to accommodate full-sized football goals and other sporting equipment.

Developers had planned further construction on the pitches, previously proposing a fenced-off 3G pitch and a modular classroom alongside the storage facility.

But several amendments to the application left just the goal storage in the plans, situated close to a nearby car park but away from the pitches.

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However, residents have raised numerous concerns about any form of development on the land.

Issues around anti-social behaviour, safety, the loss of green space and potential visual impacts were raised, with 678 objections lodged across four phases of consultation.

And Wednesday’s meeting heard concerns from councillors and members of the public, who believed allowing the goal store to be approved could open the door for future development.

Councillor Lauren Mitchell (Lab) represents Hucknall South and has been supporting residents objecting to the plans.

Voting against the plans, she raised concerns over future applications and added: “It’s difficult to stick to just this application when there are so many surrounding factors.

“So much information has been constantly changing, which has left residents being misled and confused, wanting answers.”

But councillors were urged the application was just for the goal storage, rather than the previous proposals, and that they should consider it “in its own merits”.

Jamie Brough, director of company Sports Gateway which put forward the plans, spoke at the meeting in favour of the storage facility.

Sports Gateway is currently under a 12-month management agreement on the land, signed with Ashfield District Council to oversee control of the pitches.

Speaking in the meeting, Mr Brough said: “The goal storage is there to support the use of the fields, and what’s already in place.

“It will enable us to have goals on wheels that can be moved around the area, allowing for pitch rotation and keeping the green area in the best condition possible.

“It will only benefit not only the public but the community, the council and everyone concerned.

“It will increase the usage of something not currently being used to its potential, and help protect the land.”

Pete Davies, a resident living near the land, spoke out against the plans and raised concerns about “due diligence”.

He added concerns over the use of the facility, its visual impact, and believed local objection to the plans were “clear from the public’s response”.

The plan was approved by a margin of five votes to two.

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