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School unveils plans for community sports hall
PLANS for a multi-million pound sports facility at a Darlington school that will also open to the local community have been revealed.
Longfield Academy of Sport, in Longfield Road, has submitted an application for a £2m sports hall and five enclosed and floodlit community tennis courts to Darlington Borough Council as part of a package of improvements for the school.
The school, which became an academy of sport in August last year, has won the backing of sporting organisations including Sport England, the FA and the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The proposals, which will go before the planning committee at Darlington Borough Council on Wednesday include a two storey sports hall with four courts, along with changing facilities, a fitness suite, an extra classroom and staff offices.
The existing school tennis courts would be converted into a 60 space car park, with five new floodlit tennis courts built elsewhere in the grounds.
The school’s existing sports hall was built in the 1960s and has space for one court, which the school argues limits the number and quality of activities it can provide.
In a report prepared for the planning committee, officers note that the council’s own Sport and Facilities Strategy 2009 identifies Longfield as the only specialist sports college in the region without at least a four court sports hall and recommends ‘that support is given’ to its development.
The facilities would also be open to the wider community and local sports clubs, with the hours of use to match the existing multi-use pitches already open to the community.
A number of objections to the plans have been received from nearby residents who have raised concerns about the impact of the new car park near their homes, the cumulative impact of extra floodlighting and noise pollution.
Letters of support for the facility have been submitted by the Durham Cricket Board, the tennis development manager for the North East and Cumbria and the Darlington Triathlon Club.
An open day to allow prospective pupils and parents to view the plans will be held at the school on Tuesday between 2pm and 6.30pm.
For more information call 01325-380815, email email@example.com or visit longfield.uk.com
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