New sports hall at St Aidan's school in Preesall approved by planners

A high school in Over Wyre is celebrating after council planners gave the green light to a new sports hall - after a wait of some 28 years.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 7:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 7:02 pm
Design plans for the new sports hall for St Aidan's, expected to be ready by September 2022
Design plans for the new sports hall for St Aidan's, expected to be ready by September 2022

A high school in Over Wyre is celebrating after council planners gave the green light to a new sports hall - after a wait of some 28 years.St Aidan’s High School, on Cart Gate, Preesall, expects the new amenity to be ready to use by September 2022 and follows nearly three decades of trying to get a sports hall built.

The school's proposals for the new sports hall and associated parking was permitted by Wyre Council's planning officers.

Delighted head teacher Andy Smith said: "We have some excellent outdoor pitches but what we have lacked for a long time is a suitable indoor sports hall.

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"I believe that we are the only high school in the whole of Lancashire not to have one, so we are delighted it has got the go ahead."

The school was having to get by without a full-sized hall by bussing pupils out to the privately-owned Over Wyre Sports Recreation Centre in Knott End, which was more than a mile away.

Mr Smith said: "If you added up the total transport costs over the last 20-odd years, it would probably pay for a new hall!

"It has also been a huge time constraint, having to take them all off the school premises.

"This will not only mean we have excellent indoor facilities for those in the school but for the wider community, who will be able to make use of it."

No costings for the sports hall have been divulged at this stage but design plans show it will be have a “fairly standard” internal size of 34.5m long by 20m wide.

The new facility is intended to accommodate four badminton courts and facilities to play netball, basketball, five-a-side football and other indoor games.

A first floor is proposed to provide an viewing platform, fitness suite and further storage.

Architects Bramley-Pate & Partners, in a design statement for the application, said: “St Aidan’s does not have the benefit of a four-badminton court sports hall.

“In 1993 the Governors appealed to Wyre Borough Council for a sports hall on the site and in spite of recommendations for approval for the officers, this was refused by members of the planning committee.

“The proposal was subsequently approved on appeal but by that time, the Government money to build the sports hall had been spent elsewhere.”

Of the proposed new facility, it adds: “It will provide an excellent facility for the pupils of the school and also the other young and older people of Over Wyre, Poulton and elsewhere.”

The sports hall will be built on land which is some 110m away from the nearest residential homes on Park Lane.

However, one objection was lodged by a neighbouring resident, raising concerns about the potential loss of unobstructed views.

Mr Smith said funding has come predominantly from Government sources, via the Diocese of Blackburn which allocated funds.