Agenda item

Application 23/00621/FUL - Perdiswell Leisure Centre, Bilford Road, Worcester, WR3 8DX

The Corporate Director - Planning and Governance recommends that the Planning Committee gives delegated authority to grant planning permission pursuant to Regulation 3 of The Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992 (as amended) subject to a no objection response from the Local Highway Authority and the conditions set out in section 9 of this report.




The Committee considered an application for the creation of a 3G Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) with perimeter fencing, hardstanding areas, storage container, floodlights, an access path and associated bund at Perdiswell Leisure Centre, Bilford Road.


Reason Why Being Considered by Planning Committee


The application had been referred to Planning Committee as the applicant is Worcester City Council.


Report/Background/Late Papers


The report set out the background to the proposal, the site and surrounding area, the proposal itself, relevant policies, planning history and representation and consultations where applicable. 


There were no late papers circulated.


Officer Presentation


The information was presented as set out by the Corporate Director – Planning and Governance, in conjunction with a powerpoint presentation for the item.


The Committee’s attention was drawn to paragraph 3.4 of the report relating to the hours of opening.  The Service Manager informed Committee Members that the Council had no plans to extend the opening hours on the weekend from 20.00-22.00 hours.  There were no proposed changes to the opening hours of the centre.


The Service Manager informed Committee Members that following publication of the agenda, the Local Highway Authority had submitted a further consultee response, received 18th October 2023, who had confirmed that they had no objection to the proposal following receipt of further information.  The response from the Local Highway Authority was read out to Committee Members.  In view of this the Service Manager proposed that the recommendation be amended.


Public Representations


There had been no one registered to speak on the application.


Key Points of Debate


·        Reference was made to the objections made by Sport England.  Committee Members were referred to paragraph 6.8 of the report which outlined that they had initially raised concerns but following the provision of additional justification, they no longer raised an objection as it was now considered to meet exception 5 of their policy.

·        Concerns were raised about the use of microplastics and the environmental impact these will have.  The Chair stated that this had been reviewed by the Property Team.  The Service Manager stated that in terms of weight there was no planning policy, although it was a material consideration.  Members were reminded that they needed to weigh up these concerns against the benefits. 


·        Condition 8 relating to the South Worcestershire Land Drainage Partnership was referred to which would ensure that the development is properly drained, avoiding flood risk and pollution.  The Service Manager also referred Committee Members to Condition 7 which would ensure that the pitch met FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf and that the facility is registered on the Football Association’s Register of Football Turf Pitches.


·        In response to a question relating to biodiversity and trees, the Service Manager referred Committee Members to condition 9 and to the comments of the Council’s Landscape Officer in paragraph 7.40 of the report whereby mitigation measures were in place.


·        Members welcomed the reference to the Planning for Health in South Worcestershire Supplementary Planning Document as highlighted in paragraph 4.8 of the report.


A proposal to approve the application had been made and this was seconded.  There being no further points made the Chair requested the voting of each Member of the Committee who were eligible to vote.  Following the recording of the votes the proposal to approve was agreed, as per the amended recommendation, as follows.


For - 5

Against - 1

Abstentions – 0


Councillor Round asked for her vote against the proposal to be recorded in the minutes.


RESOLVED:  That the Committee grant planning permission pursuant to Regulation 3 of The Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992 (as amended), subject to the conditions set out in Section 9 of the report.


For voting purposes Councillors Cleary and Cross left the room prior to the consideration of this item.


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