Church plans back with multi-million pound football facilities

By Sam Cooper | 24/02/2017

Church plans back with multi-million pound football facilities
Pictured taking a look at the plans are (from left to right), Richard Percy, planning consultant, Gareth Rusling, treasurer Anston Rangers JFC, Richard Ball, general manger ARJFC, Stephen Crofts Under-13s manager ARJFC and Richard Lycett, ARJFC, welfare officer.

DEVELOPERS hoping to build a church on land where two previous applications were refused say their latest attempt addresses planning bosses’ concerns.

Elsworth Acres hopes to build a Plymouth Brethren Christian Church on land off Common Road in North Anston.

The proposals come after similar applications were rejected in 2013 and 2015 - but the firm said the latest plans “seek to address issues identified”.

Plans shown at a public consultation event at Anston Parish Hall last Thursday include multi-million pound facilities for Anston Rangers Junior Football Club.

Philip Hutchinson, director of Elsworth Acres, said: “We have striven to answer every planning concern with this latest application.

“We have done something about the road access, which was one of the reasons for refusal last time.

“It was not an officers’ recommendation, it was the councillors themselves who refused the application.”

Mr Hutchinson said the Brethren community had been looking for a bigger worship hall for around ten years.

The application, which is due to be submitted within the next few months, will include six new pitches, a clubhouse and changing facilities for Anston Rangers.

Gareth Rusling, club treasurer, said: “The club has grown from no members in 2011 to 200 kids and we have outgrown the facilities we’ve currently got.

“We have been looking for new facilities since 2013 and we have spoken to Anston Parish Council and Coalfield Regeneration Trust to see if there was any land and there was none so we approached the Brethren community.”

Mr Rusling said the facilities would include an all-weather pitch, possibly floodlit, as well as smaller pitches for younger members.

“I just think it could be a fantastic facility for now and for the future for the kids of Anston, Dinnington and the surrounding community because there is nothing out there for them.”

Richard Percy, planning consultant at Abbott Associates, said the consultation meeting was a vital part of the developers’ plans.

Subject to planning approval, he said work could begin on site in 2018.

He added that the football facilities would be built first and then the church.

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