Green light for £500,000 all-weather pitch

The plan for an all-weather sports pitch at Axe Valley Community College recently approved by the c

The plan for an all-weather sports pitch at Axe Valley Community College recently approved by the county council - Credit: Archant

Axe Valley Comunity College gets the go ahead for its Astroturf sports facility despite concerns over noise and traffic congestion

Plans for a new all-weather pitch at Axe Valley Community College have been approved, despite neighbours’ concerns over noise and traffic problems.

The £500,000 scheme received overwhelming support from Devon County Council - opening the door for major fund raising to begin.

Welcoming the decision a spokesman for the Axminster-based college said: “The planning approval was an essential part of the funding process and the unanimous support helped to demonstrate the strength of the school’s case with potential funding bodies.

“There are many challenges ahead before construction can begin but it is hoped that the full application will be made shortly.

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“The College is now in the process of putting together a funding plan to raise over half a million pounds. We will be focusing on The Football Foundation and Sports England as the main funding providers, as well as actively seeking support from Section 106 funding for leisure and education. “The College has appointed a specialist sports consultant to lead our applications.

“We have a great project team, fantastic support from local partners and above all a great case for why Axminster needs first class sporting facilities like this.

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“The college and its partners will need to secure significant funding from a range of sources and none of this is guaranteed. However, if successful, construction could start in the summer of 2014 and, with construction hours restricted by the county council, be expected to take around 12 weeks.

“The new Astroturf sports facility will significantly benefit students and the wider community.”

The College says it has carefully considered all the issues raised regarding the project and has been able to satisfy the planning officers on most – like the number of parking spaces - with an acceptance that some matters still have to be agreed to satisfy planning conditions.

And the college says it is determined to work closely with local residents to ensure that any of their concerns are acted upon quickly. To further enhance this it has said it will agree a code of conduct with users, a forum to exchange views and clear lines of communications with neighbours.

“The school will continue to work closely with its partners to ensure it can achieve its goal for a project not just for the school but for the community as a whole,” added the spokesman.

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