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Planning permission granted for new multi-sports facility in Surrey countryside

DATE: 01 Apr 2009

The Secretary of State has granted planning permission for a major new multi-sports facility on a 8.2 ha site in the Strategic Gap between Farnham and Aldershot. The scheme will provide extensive facilities for indoor and outdoor sport, including outdoor tennis courts and rugby pitches, a multi-use games area (MUGA), swimming pool, squash courts, health and fitness areas and treatment rooms, together with provision of new facilities for the relocation of Farnham Rugby Football Club. The "multi-sports" concept has been pioneered by Sport England with the active and consistent support of Central Government and the scheme will significantly enhance the sporting and recreational facilities available to residents in the area.

The Applicant, Stax (Farnham) Ltd, was represented by Russell Harris QC. The scheme was supported by Waverly Borough Council, represented by Robert Walton. The scheme was opposed by Surrey County Council (in respect of sustainability and minerals sterilisation) and by Cannons, a rival operator (in respect of wider planning considerations including the proper application of PPS6 and emerging RSS policies, qualitative and quantitative need, visual impact and the scheme's impact on the Strategic Gap).