Planners give go-ahead for school sports hall

A SCHOOL in Great Finborough pressing ahead with expanding its facilities after planners approved a new sports hall building.

Finborough School is preparing for construction to begin on the 18,000sqft building which will provide state-of-the-art facilities for sports, drama, concerts and assemblies as well as school events.

The independent school, which caters for 271 pupils, also plans to open the building up for use by local residents and communities.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning committee approved the school’s proposals which were submitted in December.

James Sinclair, principal of Finborough School, said: “This is fantastic news. We are really excited about this development as a school but also looking forward to supporting the local community by sharing and making these facilities available.”

The plans include a multi-purpose four-court sports hall for PE lessons and sports teams to use. The plans also include another small hall, a gym and fitness centre, changing rooms, toilets and space for storing equipment.

Designed by Bury St Edmunds-based architects Whitworth-Co Partnership, the building will be partly sunk into the ground so that it will look like a low one-storey building and will be almost hidden from view.

The new building will stand among the school’s 13 hectares of parkland and will be built alongside the main Grade II listed school building.

Mr Sinclair said: “This important facility will be a wonderful addition to our growing school. Pupil numbers have continued to increase through the past two years and the sports hall will be very much at the centre of school life.”

The plans caused controversy when they were submitted as several residents were concerned about the size and intended use of the building. Conditions were put in place surrounding the use of the building.

Cllr John Matthissen said: “The objections were heard and the conditions were shown to be put in place.”