New sports facilities approved for East Boldon Junior School

Plans for new sports facilities at a school have been given the go-ahead.

Back in 2021 South Tyneside Council’s planning department registered an application for East Boldon Junior School, off North Lane.

The local authority application included the construction of a multi use games area (MUGA) with a three-metre-high “mesh panel fence surround with recessed goal areas”.

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A planning statement from the school set out the reasons for the development, which was planned towards the east of the school playing fields near the boundary with Grange Park.

East Boldon Junior School, North Lane. Picture c/o Google Maps.

This included providing a facility for pupils serving as a “devoted sports zone all year round”, as well as wider community uses involving local groups.

The applicant’s supporting statement also indicated that the MUGA would improve the delivery of physical education taught throughout the year and would be an improvement on the existing playground.

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In addition, no flood lighting was proposed for the development.

During consultation on the plans, a number of public comments were received raising concerns about drainage and amenity impacts to neighbouring properties.

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As a result, the MUGA was relocated further away from residential properties and additional technical information on drainage was provided.

According to planning documents planners concluded that, on the evidence available, the MUGA would have a “neutral impact in terms of surface water drainage”.

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Consultee Sport England, referencing impacts on existing playing fields, also concluded that the plans would not “reduce the sporting capability of the site”.

After considering the application and assessing it against planning policies, South Tyneside Council planners approved it on July 18, 2022.

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A council decision report stressed the primary purpose of the MUGA would be for use by school pupils.

Council planners also clarified that community use by local groups would be limited to the hours of 9am-6pm.

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The council decision report reads: “The proposals would provide an additional sporting/recreational facility associated with the existing school, while protecting the existing playing pitches, and without any likely significant adverse impacts arising as a result of the development in respect of other relevant material planning considerations.”

Under planning conditions, the development must start on site within three years.