21/02675/FUL Burrow's Field, Moorend Grove, Cheltenham
The case officer introduced the application for a single-storey storage unit at Burrows Field to store equipment for Leckhampton Rovers Football Club, at Committee because CBC is the applicant. The main issues were the design and lay-out. Officers considered the proposal to be functional but simple, with the nearest property 80m away, and no impact on trees, ecology or drainage, and thus the proposal was acceptable, with conditions.
Mr Russell Peek said that neighbours understood the desire for more storage but were disappointed at the lack of engagement, and that the storage unit wasn’t included in the original plans for improvements at Burrow’s Field. He considered the size and location of the unit unjustified, particularly as the council will continue to cut the grass and mark the lines. A mini-tractor with specialist attachments could carry out any enhanced maintenance and the size and excessive height of the unit was therefore unnecessary. The tractor could be filled directly to avoid the risks of transferring and storing fuel on the field, the unit was on the wrong side of the pavilion for electricity, water and drainage, and there was a risk to the pre-school from contaminated waste water. Additional storage on or near the car park would be more sensible, or better still, on one of the nearby industrial estates. He asked that the scheme be re-considered, following engagement with local residents.
Mr Mark Beaney, speaking on behalf of Leckhampton Rovers, said this well-established and wide-reaching club has committed to Burrow’s Field for 21 years, raising £900,000 to improve the pavilion and fields. The storage unit was required to ensure that volunteers can maintain the fields to the high standard required. The proposed location was chosen over many others as it was functional, convenient, accessible, and did not impact playing surfaces, other buildings, trees or wildlife. A tractor with a cab was essential, and would only be used during daylight hours. All relevant legislation would be followed regarding fuel storage, and the club had taken all steps to meet the climate change emergency, as well as forging links to provide more recreational and formal sport at Burrow’s Field for the wider community.
Councillor Nelson praised the renewal process undertaken by Leckhampton Rovers at Burrow’s Field. She discussed her earlier reservations with the club trustees, and now understood that a convenient and secure unit was required to store the multi-purpose tractor needed to ensure the pitches were properly maintained, and the reasoning for the height, size and location of the unit. She was also reassured that fuel storage would be in a secure, caged area, following stringent rules, that impact on neighbours would be reduced by trees and hedges, maintained by the club, and that the new driveway would enable the tractor to drive onto the field without harming the new footpaths, With these assurances, she was happy to support the officer recommendation.
Councillor Horwood confirmed that Burrow’s Field was acquired by the borough council in 1930, from Edgar Burrow, who developed it for the sporting use of employees of his publishing company. He praised the spectacular transformation of the field, supported by Sport England, and congratulated Leckhampton Rovers for developing their club to 35 teams involving hundreds of people. He said the club, and in particular Mark Beaney, had worked enormously hard with the borough and parish councils and the local community to raise finance and make the project happen. The storage unit is essential to the task of maintaining the pitches to the required standard, and although initially alarmed at the unit’s size, it is carefully sited and over time, planting will mask its appearance from both inside and outside the field. He agreed that it was unfortunate it wasn’t included in the original proposals, but this was on officers’ advice. He urged Members to support the proposal.
In response to questions from Members, officers confirmed that:
- it should be quite easy to connect to nearby cabling, should an electric tractor be used in the future; an informative could be added, suggesting that cabling suitable for charging the tractor be included at the construction stage;
- the reasons for the size, height and position of the unit have been justified, although some Members may consider these excessive.
A Member considered the height of the unit to be excessive, without any reasonable explanation. He said it may be a stock building, but he could not understand the amount of headroom and felt it would be a blot on the landscape. Another Member agreed, and while praising Leckhampton Rovers for its ongoing work and commitment, and acknowledging the support of local councillors, felt that the local resident made good points. He proposed deferral, pending a thorough investigation as to why this size of building was needed, confirming that he was not, at this stage, seeking a reduction in the size of the unit – just clarity and justification as to why and whether it had to be so large.
Vote on Councillor Baker’s move to defer
8 in support, 2 in objection
- Burrows Field - officer report, item 9. PDF 239 KB
- Burrows Field - representations, item 9. PDF 211 KB
- Burrows Field - officer presentation, item 9. PDF 2 MB