Home   Stowmarket   Article

Subscribe Now

Stowmarket £2.4 million sports project on land near Stowmarket High School and Chilton Fields given green light





A major £2.4m sports project in Stowmarket has been given the green light.

The project includes a new sports pavilion, a sports hall, a new 3G pitch, a multi-use games area, an improved rugby pitch for Stowmarket RUFC, a community running track and cricket nets.

Members of Mid Suffolk’s planning committee unanimously approved the Stowmarket Health, Education and Leisure Facilities (SHELF) project this morning.

A computer-generated visual of the wellbeing hub. Picture: Saunders Boston Architects
A computer-generated visual of the wellbeing hub. Picture: Saunders Boston Architects

This included full planning permission for the project’s first and second packages on land surrounding Stowmarket High School and Chilton Fields.

Speaking at the meeting, Tony Bush, head of operations at Suffolk Sport, said: “There is a real need for organisations to work collaboratively and address health and wellbeing needs in the communities and tackle stubborn inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic.

“There is no doubt to me that the facilities will contribute to that collaboration.”

A computer-generated visual of the sports pavilion. Picture: Saunders Boston Architects
A computer-generated visual of the sports pavilion. Picture: Saunders Boston Architects

In Stowmarket, over a quarter of children are described as obese or overweight, with 79 per cent of these found to remain obese in adulthood.

The first two packages would see a new sports pavilion, a sports hall, a new 3G pitch, a multi-use games area, an improved rugby pitch for Stowmarket RUFC, a community running track, cricket nets, and other connectivity improvements.

Several concerns have been raised throughout the life of the application, particularly with car parking. Officers admitted the original proposals presented unacceptable and substandard provisions.

However, they today assured that the approved application included measures which would allow the project to meet parking demand including, for instance, the introduction of an overflow area for use during busy periods.

Chilton Sports Club. Credit: Google
Chilton Sports Club. Credit: Google

Also approved was the outline planning permission of the project’s third package which includes a wellbeing hub — meaning this stage of the project will come back to councillors during its reserved matters stage where details such as scale, layout, and appearance will be nailed down.