School’s new 3G pitch and car park approved
Plans for a new multi-use sports pitch and 60-space car park at Thurston Community College have been given the green light.
Suffolk County Council’s development and regulation committee met on Wednesday to discuss the authority’s application to revamp land to the west of Ixworth Road, just north of the college.
It was proposed that the development would serve the college but would also be available for use by the public out of school hours.
The county council, the applicant, said that the plans would provide “much needed” parking space and would create a drop-off space for people taking their children too and from the school.
The car park and its associated landscaping would be constructed in the first phase before work on the multi-use 3G pitch would begin.
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Thomas Jarrett, the college’s finance manager, said there was a “growing need” for sports facilities to be built in the area.
He told the meeting: “The college has urgent need for a safe drop-off area for parents and staff.
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“Since September 2019 we’ve experienced a five-fold increase in the number of students travelling to school by car.
“A flood-lit pitch would allow us to extend our provision of after-school clubs and fixtures. The college has a long-term need for the facility.”
The location of the car park and pitch is just outside a Persimmon Homes development of 250 houses.
The developer attracted controversy earlier this year when it began axing several centuries-old oak trees in Ixworth Road to make way for a new path - with Extinction Rebellion arriving on the scene to shield them.
Many of the objections to the car park and sports pitch development focussed on environmental concerns, though the county council said the scheme “should not result in any negative impact to protected species and habitats”.
Thurston Parish Council was in favour of the plans to build a sports pitch, noting the benefits it would bring to the wider community.
However, community leaders expressed some concerns over the layout of the development and the potential for vehicles to overspill from the car park into Ixworth Road.
Despite the fears, the committee unanimously voted to approve the scheme.