Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council have rejected the plan put forward by Testbourne for a new, albeit temporary, fitness gym for use by the school and the local community.
The proposed new gym, which plans indicate would have been erected beside the swimming pool, would accommodate 250 members, a substantial increase over the current gym’s 70 members. The old gym would have been turned into a classroom.
The plans state that the temporary gym building would have remained for 10 years, after which, it is assumed, the converted classroom would be reverted back to a gym.
COUNCIL DEMANDS £9,870 AND CAR PARKING
The Council refused the plan they said because there was no proof of adequate on-site parking given nor was there a plan to show sustainable transport would be encouraged. The council feared that people would park cars in the bus turning circle and on Micheldever Road instead of in the 8 car parking spaces, or 10 secure cycle storage places.
The council stated that it would have demanded that Testbourne contribute £9,870 for use towards pedestrian, bus and cycle infrastructure identified along the B3400 by Hampshire County Council and in the vicinity of the school. This money would have been required the council say because of the anticipated 42 extra trips a day the new gym would have created.
Testbourne had provided information about parking for cars and bicycles, plus access for people arriving on foot, in their Design and Access statement and in a Transport Statement, both of which were submitted with their plans.
In a letter of support to the Council for the plans, Testbourne Headteacher Hillary Jackson wrote,
‘We anticipate that there should be no negative impact on the local area as surveys have shown that 75% of users walk to the current Fitness Suite.’
HOPES FOR PROGRESS
The Community Manager at Testbourne, Paul Bushell said, “We have a meeting scheduled with the planning department in a couple of weeks time and we are hopeful to try and make some progress with the refusal of the planning application.”
He continued, “We feel strongly that the fitness gym will benefit the local community and are hopeful to find a solution to the areas highlighted by planning.”
COMMUNITY MEETING ABOUT SPORTING FACILITIES
The public are invited to a community meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 in Testbourne Theatre Hall; the topic is ‘improving sporting facilities in Whitchurch‘.
The rejected planning application is BDB/75851: see the notice of refusal, and section 106 funds documents. The plan for the distillery is described in our article HERE. The notice about the community meeting on sporting provision in town is HERE.