Sports Pitch & Car Park proposal

The college is proposing to dispose of its old sports pitch and ‘overflow’ car park which have not been in use for over 18 months in order to provide a critical investment back into its facilities and curriculum.

In addition, disposal of these areas will deliver an important contribution to the housing shortage within the borough by making provision for a future developer to deliver a number of family and affordable homes on the site.

During the associated planning process, the college has been made aware of a ‘Save Trafford College Outside Sports Facilities’ petition and accompanying claims which unfortunately contain numerous factual inaccuracies.

For ease of reference, the following table clarifies and corrects some of the main inaccuracies being circulated by various parties so that the local residents of Trafford can make an informed decision on whether to support the proposal. The college hopes that in providing the correct information local residents will be able to see that, on balance, the proposal would place both the college and the wider community in a much better position than the current situation.

Alleged by the petition Trafford College clarification
“Facilities up for the chop are: Outdoor 3G All weather football pitch, 2 Outdoor Hardcourts effecting adjoining nature areas” There is no 3G pitch at Trafford College nor do we have 2 outdoor hard courts. The proposal will lead to the loss of one artificial sand-based hockey pitch. However, this will be fully mitigated by a replacement pitch of better quality and quantity, at a location to be determined by the Council in agreement with Sport England and relevant sporting bodies. The existing artificial sports pitch and car park have negligible ecological value. The Timperley Brook will be protected by a 4m development free buffer and new habitats will be created for aquatic animals and bird, as well as new landscaping and tree planting. In addition, there will be no impact on the adjacent fenced-off ‘wildlife life’ area to the north (which is owned by the Council).
“Local children study this subject and need it's facilities for obvious reasons”. The College’s sports curriculum has evolved since the pitch was constructed in 2006 and now practical sports are taught within the on-site sports hall and gym or, when required at higher quality, outdoor facilities at another Trafford College Group campus. As a result, the pitch is surplus to requirements.
“It is also used by locals of all ages throughout the week/end”. The pitch is a private facility and is in very poor condition. Due to health and safety and public liability reasons, the pitch has not been used by the community or the College for 18 months. Prior to this, there was very limited community use with just one junior football team (Timperley Villa FC) using the pitch on Saturday mornings only (providing no financial advantage to the College). Whilst Trafford College is a keen promoter of health and wellbeing, it is not obliged to provide leisure services to the public generally (this is a responsibility of Trafford Council) – it is only required to ensure that its own students’ needs are appropriately catered for through the curriculum.
“If these facilities are built on for a proposed housing development, key facilities for a sports qualification could be lost and the integrity of the course compromised”. The pitch is surplus to the College’s requirements and has not been used for the sports courses for some time. The loss of the pitch will not impact upon the curriculum – practical sports are taught within the on-site sports hall and gym or at facilities on another campus.
“These fantastic facilities have been resurfaced and are still fully fit for purpose and within their 10-year guarantee”. The pitch was originally constructed in 2006 and has not been resurfaced. It is in a very poor condition and has closed due to health and safety and public liability reasons. The facilities therefore are not fantastic and there is no 10-year guarantee. A significant investment would be required to bring the pitch up to safe and acceptable and playing quality. The pitch is surplus to requirements and in any event no funding exists to replace the pitch. However, its loss will be fully mitigated by a replacement pitch of better quality and quantity, at a location to be determined by the Council in agreement with Sport England and relevant sporting bodies.
Concerns for “the impact on the local area and environment, with additional traffic servicing 40+ houses, and the associated pollution and congestion to and from Manchester Road”. A range of technical assessments have been undertaken and submitted in support of this application. No statutory consultees have raised any concerns or objections to the proposals.
“Potential damage to green-space and natural wild areas”. The existing artificial sports pitch and car park have negligible ecological value. The Timperley Brook will be protected by a 4m development free buffer and new habitats will be created for aquatic animals and bird, as well as new landscaping and tree planting. In addition, there will be no impact on the adjacent fenced-off ‘wildlife life’ area to the north (which is owned by the Council)
A weblink to an article regarding the Trafford College/Stockport College merger(dated February 2019) suggests that the application at the Timperley campus will fund proposals at the Stockport campus. This is not correct. The refurbishment of Stockport College is funded through a combination of grant funding and funds generated through the disposal and sale of surplus land within the Stockport town centre campus.
There will be “zero benefits for residents of Trafford” The scheme will deliver a range of significant benefits within the Borough, including a £560,000 investment in a replacement new sports facility, educational improvements and investment at the Timperley and Stretford campuses, 20% on-site affordable housing, a policy complaint contribution to local open and green space, and a Community Infrastructure Levy payment towards community infrastructure projects. In addition to this, during a period of anticipated economic challenge for the area, the scheme (during the construction phase) is likely to support employment and trade for local businesses.