A Brighton school’s plans for a new sports hall, artificial football pitch and floodlit netball courts have been approved.
Patcham High School’s £4 million scheme won the unanimous backing of the Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (July 18).
Former Conservative group leader, Cllr Geoffrey Theobald, who represents Patcham ward, made a passionate speech in support of the plans.
He said: “I do feel very emotionally involved on this development as a governor for 20 years.”
Cllr Theobald said that Patcham High lacked the sports facilities that other schools had, adding: “We would desperately like to improve the situation.”
And he said that the application would benefit the wider community because as a result the school would fund a pedestrian crossing in Winfield Avenue.
The plans attracted 325 letters in support and 96 people sent in letters of objection.
Green councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty had concerns about the hours of use, mindful of issues elsewhere, but he said: “Despite my reservations I am going to vote for it.
“It is a very good thing. It is just previous experience and to protect our inboxs from potential emails – we must do this thoroughly and make it work for everyone.”
Labour councillor Penny Gilbey told the committee that she lived near Portslade Sports Centre and Mile Oak Recreation Ground, without any problem.
Patcham High head John McKee said: “I would like to thank the members of the planning committee for giving us the green light to transform our out-dated sports facilities at Patcham High School.
“I have no doubt the 3G pitch and the sports hall will be of tremendous benefit not just to future generations of students but also to local sports clubs and the wider community.
“Now the real hard work begins – raising the money to turn our sporting dream into a reality.”
Sarah Booker-Lewis is the Local Democracy Reporter for Brighton & Hove.