Plans to safeguard the future of a Warwickshire village's sports club put on hold

Planning officers had recommended that permission be refused and listed a string of reasons ranging from design of the houses through to questions around access for bin lorries

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 12:47 pm

Plans to safeguard the future of a village sports club by knocking it down and replacing it with a new clubhouse and nine houses have been put on hold after councillors called for more information.

Those behind the scheme at Snitterfield explained to the planning committee of Stratford District Council on Wednesday (March 31) that it was the sale of the two and three-bedroom properties that would fund the new facility used by many of the 1,200 villagers.

Planning officers had recommended that permission be refused and listed a string of reasons ranging from design of the houses through to questions around access for bin lorries.

Plans to safeguard the future of a village sports club by knocking it down and replacing it with a new clubhouse and nine houses have been put on hold

And a local resident and member of Snitterfield Sports Club, on Wolverton Road, spoke at the meeting about his concerns about the access road and the design of the clubhouse, explaining that the planned spectator terrace overlooked the car park rather than the bowling green or tennis courts.

But the chair of Snitterfield Parish Council, Cllr Claudine Pearson, urged the planning committee to back the scheme.

She said that the brownfield site had been identified in the village’s neighbourhood plan of 2018 and added: “This development is led by the community for our community. Snitterfield Parish Council, on behalf of the majority of our residents, asks that you grant this application.”

Cllr Peter Richards (Con, Snitterfield), who stepped away from his role as chair of the planning committee so that he could speak on the matter, said something had to be done.

He explained: “I’ve found myself in something of a quandary over this. On one hand I’m absolutely fully supportive of the redevelopment of the sports club and recognise the importance of localism and the desire of Snitterfield residents to have this site redeveloped for nine houses and a sports club pavilion as has been identified in their NDP.

“On the other hand we do still have some outstanding concerns expressed by both highways and the LLFA (lead local flood authority).

“The club is in critical need of renovation. Quite frankly it needs knocking down and replacing as a matter of urgency. It’s not safe.

“To my mind a deferment at this stage would be the right thing to do. We do have overwhelming support from residents, the parish council, the neighbourhood planning team and myself.”

Councillors agreed and the matter was deferred for further information and so that a site visit could be arranged.

Cllr Anne Parry (Con, Wellesbourne East) said: “I think that all of us recognise that Snitterfield needs a new sports club. For me there are just too many gaps to support so my proposal is to defer until sufficient information comes forward so that we can make an appropriate decision.”