Sports ground’s £2m makeover

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Sheffield University is to spend £2 million on a big redevelopment of its sports facilities in Norton.

The university wants to upgrade its athletics and sports ground off Warminster Road to provide a new 8,500 sq m all-weather pitch, a spectator shelter for 150 people, eight 15m high floodlights and parking areas for coaches and cars.

The facilities would be available for use by the community, as well as students.

In an application submitted to Sheffield Council, consultants DLP Planning said the plan formed part of a ‘wider recreational strategy’.

Under its ‘campus masterplan’, the university also hopes to create a much bigger sports centre on Northumberland Road on the edge of Broomhill, next to the existing Goodwin Sports Centre, which is over 50 years old.

“The provision of enhanced recreational facilities in this location will make a positive contribution to the local economy by facilitating extended and fee-earning recreational facilities,” said DLP.

“The proposal will result in a £2 million investment in the site and associate employment creation during the construction process and longer- term management and operation of the facility.”

A better sports ground would also ‘enhance the reputation and attractiveness’ of the university to students.

The new pitch would be for football and rugby, and could be rented out to local clubs, who frequently lose fixtures during winter months because of waterlogged pitches.

New parking spaces for 132 cars would be accessed via an upgraded access road between houses on Warminster Road. The existing car park close to the sports pavilion which dates from the 1930s, will be kept.

Coach parking is considered ‘particularly important’. Currently, coaches stop on the road, and in the past residents have raised concerns about damage to grass verges, noise and obstruction.

Planning officers will prepare a report before a decision is reached by councillors.