QUEENS PARK HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS FIELD
THE CIVIC TRUST’S VIEW
Chester Civic Trust New Works Committee monitors developments and planning applications in the Chester area. Its members are all volunteers. The Committee considers development applications purely on their planning and civic design merits. When it is felt appropriate it lodges comments or objections with the local planning authority. The Committee does not exist to advocate the case of individual Civic Trust members in relation to specific applications, though it will always consider their views when discussing development proposals.
New Works Committee carefully considered the application for all-weather sports facilities on the QPHS site. Members of the Committee had mixed views but decided, on balance, that the benefits of the scheme outweigh the disadvantages, even in the Conservation Area. The site will remain in recreational/sporting use and the new facilities will allow more effective use of the area for both the school and the local community. Civic Trust notes that Sport England, a statutory consultee, has stipulated conditions that must be attached to any granting of permission to ensure achievement of these objectives.
The Civic Trust also notes that the applicants have agreed to restrict the use of the facilities to the period up to 8pm in the evening. This will lessen the local impact of the sporting activities and the time during which the floodlights are in use.
The floodlights will be located to the south of the main QPHS buildings. They will be obscured by the school building and therefore hardly visible – or indeed not visible at all – from the City Walls.
It is clear, however, that strong feelings about the development exist within the local community. The New Works Committee has therefore made the following representation to the LPA:
“In view of the numerous representations submitted by local residents, Chester Civic Trust urges the Council to facilitate further discussions between the applicant and local residents with a view to addressing their concerns whilst still providing enhanced sporting facilities within the school.”
Chester Civic Trust rejects as unfounded the allegation made by certain objectors that the Trust’s views were influenced by the fact that the scheme’s architects are corporate members of the Trust. It should in any case be noted that the applicant is QPHS, not the firm of architects, and the school is not a corporate member of Civic Trust. The New Works Committee is an independent body and it has freely objected in the past to schemes designed by corporate members. Applications are considered on their planning merits alone.
John Herson 31st May 2012
Chairman, Chester Civic Trust New Works Committee
Chester Civic Trust welcomes the opinions of others but no comments by the General Public posted on this website should be read as being endorsed by, or are supported by, the Chester Civic Trust unless specifically stated.