Controversial Anston church and football facility plans earmarked for refusal

By Gareth Dennison | 10/02/2018

Controversial Anston church and football facility plans earmarked for refusal

A RELIGIOUS group’s plan for a church and football centre on green belt land have been recommended for refusal.

Previous applications from the Plymouth Brethren Christian for a place of worship on Common Lane, North Anston, were rejected in 2013 and 2015.

Last year, a third proposal was announced — this time including multi-million sports facilities for Anston Rangers Junior Football Club.

Rotherham Borough Council’s planning board will vote on the latest plan — including 331 parking spaces — at its meeting on Thursday.

Officers noted the Brethren’s need for a larger premises but have recommended refusal, saying the proposal would be inappropriate for the green belt.

They said the sports facilities — comprising six pitches, a clubhouse and groundsman’s shed — were not necessary given the team’s current premises and did not provide a reason to build on the protected countryside.

A report added: “It is noted that the football club currently play at Greenlands Park, where there could potentially be further pitches laid out with moderate investment for the removal of some small islands of trees and shrubs and the levelling of an area that was previously laid out for golf.

“The site at Greenlands Park has purpose built changing rooms, toilets, training room, kitchen and storage. 

“These facilities are of brick construction, built in 2007 and meet Sport England requirements.”

Of 349 letters sent to the council, 327 were in favour of the plan.

They said the site was currently blighted by fly-tipping and praised the potential benefits to sport for young people.

Objectors, including Dinnington Town Council, bemoaned the loss of the green belt and raised concerns about the extra traffic.