In an effort to be as transparent as possible, 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.
When will the construction work start and finish?
Construction work on the new development will begin in the week of 14th August 2023 and is scheduled to be completed by autumn 2024.
When will the facilities be ready for use?
It is hoped that the full facilities will be ready for use by autumn 2024.
Will the planned work cause disruption for the local area?
It is possible that, at times, there may be an increase in noise and traffic during this period. We extend our sincere apologies for any disturbance or difficulties that this may cause. Both BCS and Christ’s Hospital School are determined to do everything we can to minimise the potential for disruption to the local community during the planned programme of work. The timeframe for the planned works is as follows:
- Construction of the new access road between Christ’s Hospital Road and Bluecoat Sports Centre, the car park and Padel courts is due to commence in the week commencing 14th August 2023 and complete in March 2024.
- Work on the athletics track, adventure trail and associated facilities is scheduled to take place from March 2024, with a phased opening of the full facilities in autumn 2024.
What about large vehicles moving on roads in the local area?
In response to residents’ concerns about the possibility of large vehicles blocking narrow roads in the area, contractors will avoid using the Tower Hill area as an access route whenever possible.
A number of additional steps are being taken to minimise disruption. These include:
- the reduction of lorry movements on local roads by spreading excavated spoil on nearby fields (owned by Christ’s Hospital); once the spoil has been spread and topsoil overlaid they will be reseeded with a wildflower mix to improve biodiversity and returned to pasture.
- the implementation of an approved Construction Management Environmental Plan encompassing all aspects of the project.
- the limitation of construction work to 08:00-18:00 Monday to Friday and 08:00-13:00 on Saturdays
- measures to reduce or avoid impact on biodiversity and habitats during the construction period.
We greatly appreciate the patience of our neighbours as our contractors work at pace to develop facilities which will significantly benefit the whole community. Please be assured that the consideration, safety and wellbeing of our local community will remain a priority as the work progresses and we hope to work together to rapidly address any issues that may arise.
How much will the expansion cost and how is it being funded?
Christ’s Hospital School is funding the development through philanthropic contributions made over a number of years and through additional fundraising.
What about the planned extension to the Bluecoat Sports building itself?
Although planning consent was also granted for an extension to the building and for a new Astroturf pitch, only phase one (as outlined) is being undertaken at this stage.
Will there be light pollution from the floodlights?
The athletics track will be illuminated by a time-limited LED floodlighting system to optimise participation throughout the year.
The lighting scheme has been designed with a strict management system consisting of individually controllable lighting zones allowing various areas of the athletics track to be illuminated or dimmed independently, including dimmers on higher lighting rigs. A 9pm curfew will govern the level of lighting and number of lights around the facility.
Will Bluecoat Sports be holding bigger events once the car park has been expanded?
Restrictions will continue to apply on the number and size of events held at weekends, with capacity in keeping with the current event capacity at Bluecoat Sports. Bluecoat Sports will endeavour to ensure that all of the events create as minimal impact as possible. An Event Transport Management Plan will be submitted to Horsham District Council for approval prior to the opening of the new facilities to help plan and reduce traffic impact on the local road network.
In 2021 Christ’s Hospital submitted and funded the new 30mph speed restriction along Tower Hill Road from The Boars Head Pub to Christ’s Hospital to help improve road safety. For events, we will ensure that the traffic is managed in line with the traffic management plan, including the deployment of marshals at key road junctions.
Bluecoat Sports has previously been used as an NHS Vaccination Hub. Will the construction work affect this?
Providing vaccination facilities for the local community, including our staff, remains a priority during the construction work. We hope to be able to provide an update on this in due course.
How will the School ensure that pupils are kept safe during the works? Will contractors have access to the main site?
Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils, staff and local residents during the construction work is a central part of the Construction Management Plan. Relevant measures include a separate construction access point away from the School drive and a fully-enclosed and fenced construction site with warning signs. The site will be managed within the Construction Design Management regulations with security and impact on surrounding residents a key part of this.