New life will be breathed into the site of the former Queen’s Park Sports Centre in Chesterfield.
On Tuesday, Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning committee granted conditional permission for the authority to install a 3G multi-use artificial sports pitch at the location.
Councillor Chris Ludlow, the council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “By having a 3G multi-use artificial sports pitch we can meet a need identified by Sport England for more of these pitches in the borough, as well as contribute to the council’s priority of promoting health and wellbeing.
“Chesterfield has some of the worst health statistics in the country across a range of indicators, including child obesity, low levels of physical activity, poor diets and excessive alcohol use. By offering facilities like this in a town centre location we can provide more opportunities for people to lead healthier lives.”
The council will now consult with local sports groups and bodies to encourage as much use of the pitch as possible.
According to the results of a public consultation in 2016, a total of 384 respondents – 68.9 per cent – indicated that they agreed with the council’s preferred option of a 3G pitch.
The council previously said that the all-weather pitch will be built to standards approved by the Football Association and be suitable for seven-a-side games or be split in half to be used for two five-a-side games.
It will be sited to make the fencing and lighting less visible from within Queen’s Park and nearby properties.
The remaining area will be landscaped with trees, shrubs, bedding plants and grass so it is closer to the original park design by William Barron which was in place before the old Queen’s Park Sports Centre was built in 1968.
The former Queen’s Park Sports Centre was demolished last year.
The centre closed at the end of December 2015, a few days before the new £11.25million Queen’s Park Sports Centre opened further up Boythorpe Avenue in January.