A school has been granted permission to open up its new state-of-the-art facilities to limited membership.
Stamford Endowed Schools’ application to South Kesteven District Council to change the planning restrictions on their £6.1m sports centre and pool off Conduit Road was approved at a development control committee meeting yesterday (Tuesday).
The restrictions had prevented the public using the centre. The facility is currently used by pupils, staff and a limited number of sports clubs in the town.
The town, district and county councils had approached Stamford Endowed Schools about expanding the centre’s use.
Yesterday’s decision was made despite planning officers recommending the application be refused.
A report to councillors said traffic problems in Conduit Road were “particularly acute” and that the proposed changes would likely increase traffic movements and parking congestion.
Officers felt that despite suggested parking enforcement schemes, users of the gym and pool would still try and park closer to the centre rather than use the Endowed Schools’ other car parks in St Paul’s Street and Brazenose Lane.
The Highway Authority objected to the application on safety grounds but Stamford Town Council were in support.
Planning officers received eight letters in connection to the application; four in favour and four against.
But the development control committee felt evidence presented at the meeting was enough to grant the changes.
Stamford Endowed Schools are now suggesting the centre could be used by a limited membership of up to 300 people, including current users.
The access gate will be replaced by an automatic barrier to ensure controlled access for designated users only.
The Conduit Road car park will be used only by current members and public opening hours will not overlap with school hours.
Members will be issued with badges and the school will patrol Conduit Road weekly, with sanctions imposed on offenders.
The council also granted permission for Endowed Schools sixthformers to use the sports centre car park off Conduit Road.
The school claim this will reduce the number of pupils parking on Conduit Road, easing the traffic situation on the residential road.