At Monday (22 February) evening’s meeting of the Planning Committee of the Town Council, Councillors approved the development of a new Sports Hall and Pitch development, funded by CIL levy monies from Redrow, developers of the adjacent Housing estate on land that was formerly Crown Estates land.
Ian Tucker, Principal of St John’s and Martin Cook, acting as Project Manager for St John’s were present to explain the project to Councillors and answer any questions raised.
Ian Tucker stated that the project was to cater for the additional number of students now at St John’s. He was hopeful that this will proceed, and noted that given the announcement regarding the gradual relaxation of lockdown and the emphasis that will be put on wellbeing through activity and sport, this development will enhance the provision that St John’s can offer to so many students in Marlborough and it’s catchment area villages.
He was keen to reassure Councillors about issues regarding parking that had been raised. He was clear that this is not about expanding the amount of car parking space at St John’s, that the travel plan will be adapted to ensure that St John’s is not seen to be doing that and neither will it be seen as an opportunity to invite travel up through the centre of Marlborough to get to the school, and that vehicles will always have to access St John’s via the main Granham Hill entrance.
Martin Cook pointed out that the funding had come through the ‘S106’ and Community Infrastructure Levy process from the adjacent Redrow development, and this will help accommodate the additional number of students attending the school partly as a result of this development. Not to expand the range of facilities “but to be able to cater for the number of students that we have actually got” he stated.
Cllr Lisa Farrell noted that this “was an absolutely brilliant opportunity for St John’s”, adding that the one thing she really appreciated about the project was that it would allow anyone to use the facilities when the St John’s students weren’t doing so. “A fantastic idea and well done St John’s”.
Cllr Cairns asked about the facilities being put in place for water catchment, as he was concerned about the amount of run-off.
Ian Tucker confirmed that the hard core area is permeable tarmac, and the plan is to keep all waste water on site, apart from the water from the sports Hall which would be dealt with in the normal way via the foul drains system. He was keen to stress that there would be no impact on the local ecology.
Councillors voted unanimously to support the application.