Sport England lead objections

An image of the proposed shopping and leisure complex in Burgh Road.

An image of the proposed shopping and leisure complex in Burgh Road.

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Sport England objected to the new Burgh Road retail development, claiming it would result in the permanent loss of a playing field.

Sport England objected to the new Burgh Road retail development, claiming it would result in the permanent loss of a playing field.

The Burgh Road site is currently home to Skegness Town Football Club, one of the most successful amateur sides in the county.

However, as part of the deal for the retail park, the football club will move to existing playing fields off Wainfleet Road.

Members of East Lindsey’s Planning Committee were told Sport England claimed the loss of the existing playing was contrary to national planning policy.

In a letter submitted to ELDC, Sport England pointed out Wainfleet Road is already a community sports facility, operated by the Skegness Sports Association.

The letter added: “What is clear from all of the available information is that the re-location of Skegness Town FC to Wainfleet Road would represent an intensification of use of the existing playing field, rather than the delivery of a new provision to offset the loss at Burgh Road.”

Sport England also suggest that as the Burgh Road side is adjacent to Skegness Academy and Skegness Grammar School, it would have been an opportunity to create a potential extension to sporting facilities.

However, councillors were assured the new Wainfleet Road site would provide ‘enhanced’ facilities for various sports, not just football.

There will be a ‘third generation’ artificial turf pitch, a second sports pavilion, additional car parking and floodlighting.

Crucially, the plans are being backed by the local sports clubs and the Football Association.

Planning officers pointed out the existing Burgh Road pitch is privately owned and not available for general public use.

They admitted the development would lead to the loss of a pitch but said that in terms of balance, there would be improvements to facilities at Wainfleet Road.

A Section 106 agreement - paid for by the new retail development - will provide funding for the improvements to Wainfleet Road.

That is subject to a separate planning application but it understood work will start on that particular development, before Burgh Road - to ensure the football club is not left without a ground.

Details of an objection of behalf of Morrisons were also submitted to the planning meeting.

Morrisons claimed the new development would have a negative impact on town centre retailers.

Several councillors, though, said there was nothing wrong with added competition and pointed out Morrisons must have had a similar impact on existing businesses when they arrived in the town.