Concerns raised over school’s plans to increase sports facilities
PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 October 2018
A decision on whether more sporting facilities will be built at a Failand school is due to be made tomorrow (Wednesday).
Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital (QEH) school has applied to replace grass sports pitches with artificial surfaces, including an all-weather hockey pitch and four tennis or netball courts with floodlighting, perimeter fences and storage areas at its Clevedon Road site.
North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee will debate the plans, which have been recommended for approval by planning officers.
The site is surrounded by sporting facilities, with Long Ashton Golf Club, Firebrands Hockey Club and Bristol Grammar School’s sports fields all based in Clevedon Road.
The school has shared facilities with Bristol City Football for more than 10 years and last month, councillors gave the green light for the football club to build a 500-seat stadium, three training pitches, a gymnasium, pavilion and changing rooms on the land.
Since September 2017, QEH’s sixth form has accepted girls and sports pitches are required ‘to help fulfil their educational curriculum’.
The application’s design and access statement said: “Introducing a 3G multi-sport pitch is a priority for the school, this will alleviate much of the pressure put on the grass rugby and football pitches, enabling these sports to be played in all weather.
“QEH has welcomed girls into its sixth form for the first time during the past academic year and the introduction of hockey and netball surfaces will enable the school to offer a wider variety of sport for all current and future pupils.
“The four netball or tennis courts will allow for tournaments to be held and a sand-dressed surface for hockey and tennis provides a wider variety of sports on site and reduces the school’s reliance on off-site facilities.”
Six 18m high floodlights would illuminate the hockey pitch, which would house six tennis courts and acoustic fencing.
More than 20 objections have been submitted to the council, including from Long Ashton Parish Council which is concerned about the site’s ‘biodiversity, use of high fences, cumulative effect of light pollution and noise for neighbours’.