Surprise at rejection of games area

November 12, 2008 1:53 PM
By Cllr Karen Chilvers in Brentwood Gazette

SUCH a very one-sided view of the Conservatives' refusal of planning permission for a Multi Use Games Area at Sawyers Hall College appeared in the Gazette (November 5) that the balance has to be sensibly redressed.

Opposition councillors were particularly surprised to see this rejected as it was fully supported by the Conservative mayor of Brentwood, Cllr Dudley Payne, who sent a statement, read out in support of the application.

Liberal Democrats have a strong record of standing up for the Green Belt, but a facility which would encourage young people to participate in sport is certainly not harmful to the Green Belt and, in our view, would be welcomed by the many residents who tell us there is nothing for their children to do. The application complied with all the relevant policies and was, therefore, recommended for approval.

Yes, it is appreciated that fencing and floodlighting would be required but not to an unacceptable level. The site benefits from existing tree screening and the fence constituted netting, not a palisade fence.

It's a shame that the Conservatives did not apply the same attitude to the retrospective application for two classrooms on the Green Belt (recommended for refusal and approved by them) when we were considering an application for Woodlands School.

Cllr Karen Chilvers

Liberal Democrat councillor, Brentwood West