Harrodian School, Barnes has gained approval for a new sports and cultural centre after a formal challenge to the original resolution in January 2021.

Residents raised a formal complaint, and after taking legal advice, the council officers have resubmitted the application.

The officers considered the advice, and in light of the adoption of the London Plan in March 2021 and the July 2021 changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, which have come into play since the original resolution was made.

Officers decided it prudent to recommend that the Planning Committee take a fresh decision on the application.

The proposal is for a two-storey sports and cultural centre and associated hard and soft landscaping at Harrodian School, Barnes. The building is to be located on the existing school tennis courts, which are to be relocated to an existing all-weather pitch (AWP) adjacent to the school car park. A new AWP is also proposed to the north of the existing AWP in addition to two single-storey changing room buildings, boundary treatments and upgraded hardstanding.

The Sport and Cultural Centre (SCC), new changing rooms and all-weather pitch (AWL) are all considered to improve the choice and facilities at the school and the quality of education provided. The Community use of the SCC and AWP is welcomed, providing wider sporting and wellbeing benefits to the community, and such multi-use of buildings is in line with policy aspirations.  

The officers stated that the development would result in the loss of playing fields and open space and it has been adequately demonstrated there is suitable reprovision. The wider sporting and community benefits that result from the scheme (which will be secured via the community use agreement) outweigh the harm caused by the loss of such facilities. 

The councillors voted seven to two in favour of the proposal.

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