A planning application has been submitted seeking permission to create a 3G multi-use artificial sports pitch on part of the former Queen’s Park Sports Centre site in Chesterfield.
The plan by Chesterfield Borough Council would see the rest of the area landscaped to form an extension to the existing grade two star listed park. It follows a public consultation held in late 2016 which supported an all-weather pitch being the preferred use of the site.
Councillor Chris Ludlow, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Queen’s Park is Chesterfield’s key park so a lot of time and effort has gone in to ensuring that the plans being submitted fit in sympathetically to the historic park setting and are true to the ethos of this area being used for health and wellbeing activities.
“By having a 3G multi-use artificial sports pitch we can meet a need identified by Sport England for more of these pitches in the borough, as well as contribute to the council’s priority of promoting health and wellbeing.
“Chesterfield has some of the worst health statistics in the country across a range of indicators, including child obesity, low levels of physical activity, poor diets and excessive alcohol use. By offering facilities like this in a town centre location we can provide more opportunities for people to lead healthier lives.”
The all-weather artificial pitch would be built to standards approved by the Football Association and be suitable for seven-a-side games or be split in half to be used for two five-a-side games.
The pitch would be sited to make the fencing and lighting less visible from within Queen’s Park and nearby properties. The floodlights would be designed to reduce light emissions, with the fencing and lighting in dark colours to blend in with the park environment.
The remaining area would be landscaped with trees, shrubs, bedding plants and grass so it is closer to the original park design by William Barron that was in place before the old Queen’s Park Sports Centre was built in 1968.
The landscaping will also involve:
- Walls, railings and a new pedestrian entrance to the park being installed where the site joins Boythorpe Road. These will match existing walls and railings further along the road. The new entrance will prevent users from having to walk through the car park to visit the park.
- The existing listed entrance gate near the Queen’s Park South car park, which has the crest of the borough of Chesterfield on it, will be restored and then moved to the new pedestrian entrance point
Following a public consultation period, which will also include consultation with statutory bodies including Historic England, the planning application is expected to be considered by Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning committee in a few months’ time.
Councillor Ludlow added: “If the plans are approved then we will be consulting with local sports groups and bodies to encourage as much use of the pitch as possible so that we can bring the maximum health benefits to the community as possible.”