In an effort to be as transparent as possible with regard to our proposed expansion plans, we have answered some of your most frequently asked questions below.
If you have a question that isn’t included, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page and we will endeavour to get back to you in a timely manner.
What can we expect from the proposed development?
- We are delighted to propose the following as part of our expansion plans:
- Approx. 4093sq m two floor expansion to the existing Bluecoat Sports site, including:
- A leisure pool and teaching pool (with retaining the existing pool)
- Associated spa facilities
- Two new class studios
- A fitness suite
- A new café area
- North of the sports centre we propose a new six lane all weather running track with ancillary athletic facilities including:
- An eight lane 100m sprint track
- Track and field facilities
- An outdoor adventure area with 15 stations east of the new track
- To the west of the main drive, we propose:
- A 3G artificial grass pitch for football and rugby use
- An associated car parking for 272 cars including:
- 236 formal spaces
- 36 overflow spaces
- A new permanent access to Christ Hospital Road and closure of the existing Infirmary Drive access (part of this drive will be retained for the sprint track)
- Associated equipment including fencing and landscaping
- Fill from the site will be spread following existing topography on land to the north west
What are the main differences between the 2018 and current scheme?
After receiving your valuable feedback, we have:
- Reduced the level of the athletics track by 0.5m to further mitigate the visual impact of the facility
- Reduced the height of the floodlight columns from 18m to 17m to mitigate the potential lighting impact on the surrounding area
- Reduced the number of luminaires to the floodlight which will reduce the physical size of the floodlight lamps
- Changed lighting to programmable LED light fittings to enable the floodlighting scheme to be focused, controllable and variable, reducing light spillage across the site
- Relocated all adventure trails to the south of Infirmary Drive to move the edge of the development away from Christ Hospital Road
- Retained the area between the Infirmary Drive and Christ’s Hospital Road as open grassland to keep its landscape and character
- Removed the SUD ponds due to health and safety concerns and potential maintenance issues
- Replaced previously proposed artificial surfaces with permeable surfaces such as gravel and block paving to soften the site and improve drainage
- Supplemented avenue tree planting to strengthen landscape screening, particularly when viewing the site from the north
- Retained a larger quantity of existing trees and hedges within the site
- Rationalised the spectator area alongside the athletics track to reduce its height and the area of hard standing
- Relocated the 3G AGP further to the south and omitted one viewing area
- Omitted the running trail from the land to the east of the site
- Omitted the substation to the west of the Bluecoat Sport Centre extension
- Created a sustainable ‘green’ athletics store
- Proposed the undertaking of further off-site highway works to improve highway safety on the road network leading into the site
- Prepared a management agreement of how the facilities are managed to ensure community use is retained and residential amenities of the area are protected
Will you be holding big events due to the expansion?
We will agree to a community use agreement as part of our planning, with a restriction on the number and size of events held at weekends to four per annum with a maximum of 1000 attendees. This is in keeping with the current event capacity at Bluecoat Sports.
How will these events impact travel in the local area?
We will endeavour to ensure that all of the events create as minimal impact as possible and have submitted an application to reduce the overall speed limit around the site from national to 30mph in addition to our plans. For events, we will ensure that the traffic is managed accordingly, with further speed restrictions and traffic marshals.
Will the landscape be altered to impact residents in the local area?
We have taken local residents views into consideration when planning our proposed expansion, by reducing light, sound and environmental impacts. From the area in the vicinity to the Bluecoat Sports proposed facilities, landscaping will be factored to ensure the aesthetics of the site are considered and there is minimal impact from the road and to residents in close proximity to the site.
Will the added facilities increase noise pollution in the area?
We understand that this is a key factor to local residents and the environment and have ensured that the plans have undertaken noise surveys to adhere to planning and consider the impact to residents in the vicinity of the site.
How will lighting impact the local area?
We have proposed changes to the lighting since our 2018 application to reduce the light pollution the site will have. This includes changes to the types of lights, number of lights and direction of lights on the site and have proposed smart technology to manage this; including dimmers on higher lighting rigs. In addition to this, we have a 9pm curfew on the level of lighting and number of lights around the facility.
How will the new facilities change the visual impact of the site?
We are fortunate enough to be situated in an area of beauty, and have made adjustments to our plans to ensure that the new facilities complement this. The conducted landscape visual assessment identified seven viewpoints and panorama views, and produced CGI imagery to assess their visual impact on residents. You can view these here.
The main change to the site from the road will be the introduction of a new entrance. On assessment, this new entrance has been rated low adverse and will be located where the temporary road for the Christ Hospital development is currently.
How will landscaping around the site change?
The planting scheme we have proposed includes native species with a girth of 10-12cm and 3-3.5m tall with five larger oak specimens to replace the Grade A trees which will be removed. We have reduced the total number of trees to be removed from our 2018 application to only include 5 grade A trees and reduced the total number by 25.
How will the new site impact the heritage of the existing area and close proximity to the school?
We have conducted third party surveys to identify heritage assets including the Grade 2 listed school and Grade 2 listed barn near the main drive junction and the new proposed plans incur an outcome with ‘less than substantial’ harm.
Any other questions?
If you have a question or concern about our proposed expansion plans, please fill out the form below and we will endeavour to get back to you in a timely manner.