PROPOSALS for a new community-use artificial hockey pitch and a new fitness/dance studio at Pershore High School have been endorsed by Wychavon planning chiefs.
Councillors on the district council’s Planning Committee endorsed the ambitious project at a meeting on August 25.
Among the developments will be a new sand-based artificial hockey pitch which will be built on current playing fields to the north of the site.
The new pitch will be floodlit with four new columns and available for both students and the wider community.
A two-storey extension to the changing pavilion was also approved while planners also gave the green light to an extension between the current gym and sports hall to create a new fitness suite and dance studio.
Sport England bosses had objected to the application over the loss of grass playing fields on the sites.
However members were told Jem Teal, Wychavon District Council’s Community Development Manager viewed the scheme as the ‘next essential step in the development of the school’.
Committee chairman and one of three district councilllors for Pershore, Coun Tony Rowley told the meeting he welcomed the development.
“I think this is much-needed, not only for the school but also for the community as a whole,” he said.
“I understand the objections of Sport England but the introduction of artificial sports pitch means it will be flexibile and useable all year round.”
Coun Jo Sandalls offered her congratulations to Pershore High School for a ‘forward thinking’ application.
“This is an asset not only for the school, but for Pershore and the whole district,” she said.
“With the Rio Olympics still fresh in our minds, our backing for this could lead to support for future Olympians.”
Coun Paul Middlebrough backed the application but questioned why no respresentatives from the school chose to speak at the meeting.
Despite the criticism, he joined the whole committee in supporting the application.