New sports facility set to be built in Hoyland to replace site ‘no longer fit for purpose’
Hoyland’s Rockingham sports ground will be moved to a new purpose-built site 900 metres away, if plans are approved by Barnsley Council’s planning board on November 21.
The site is currently an ‘underused’ recreation ground to the east of Sheffield Road, according to a report by council planners.
The scheme is part of Section 106 funding for the Evri distribution centre which opened last year.
A legal agreement ‘required the relocation of the outdated and outgrown Rockingham Sports facility’ as part of the development.
The report adds that the existing Rockingham sports ground was‘severed to enable the link road to the M1 junction 36 to be constructed’.
Preparation works have already begun, including groundwork, constructionof an archery range, some landscaping, access, car parking, drainage works, and boundary treatments.
Planners say the relocation of the Rockingham Sports facility to this site,will ‘provide a new purpose-built community and sports facility to replace the existing building at Rockingham which is no longer fit for purpose’.
If approved, the new site will include a single-story 40.5m x 17.9m building with a reception area, café, studio spaces, two full-size sports team changing rooms, changing rooms for sports officials, accessible changing rooms, and a floodlit artificial grass sports pitch.
Sixty-four car parking spaces will be provided, as well as an overspill car park for a further 30 vehicles.
Campaigners hoped that the existing facility would remain, and Barnsley Council denied breaching a historic covenant protecting the sports ground, which was gifted to miners by Earl Fitzwilliam of Wentworth Woodhouse.
Seven objections have been received, with residents raising concerns about loss of a recreation area, increase in traffic, light and noise pollution, antisocial behaviour, and users potentially having to pay to use the facilities.
A community consultation undertaken by the Forge Partnership in 2021 found that all residents ‘expressed views that [the centre] should continue to serve the community and remain active’ and that it would be a ‘shame to see itclosed’.
However, planners say the green space site, historically used for football has ‘fallen into disuse’.
They add that there will be ‘no impact on residential amenity’ due to overlooking, because of a difference in levels of the pitch and the distance from the site’s boundary.
A timber fence is proposed on the northeast boundary of the pitch to protect properties on Parkside Road from ‘potentially excessive noise impacts’.
Any noise impacts will be ‘acceptable’, and a condition will be imposed to limit the times that floodlighting can be used.
The report adds that the new site ‘is likely to reduce the incidence of anti-social behaviour as a result of organised activities on the site. While there are concerns about potential bad language, the pitch is at a considerable distance from properties, and it is unlikely that words would be able to be distinguished at this distance.
“Although one objection considered that the proposal would result in inappropriate development in Green Belt land and loss of a recreational area, the site does not lie in Green Belt but is a Green Space.
“The proposal is an appropriate use of the recreation ground.
“Overall there will be increased wider public benefits and wider health benefits as a result of the construction of the sports facilities in this location, both locally and in the wider area”
The plans have been recommended for approval.