West Notts College get green light for new sports centre

An artist's impression of the new West Notts College sports hall, due to be complete by summer 2012.
An artist's impression of the new West Notts College sports hall, due to be complete by summer 2012.

WEST NOTTS College is to start work on a £1.5m new sports hall within weeks after winning planning permission.

The six-court facility will be multi-use and is part of ambitious redevelopment plans drawn up by the college.

Mansfield District Councils’s planning committee voted unanimously to approve the plans last Wednesday, with work due to start next month.

Once open in around May to June 2012 the new Derby Road facility will be open to the community for sports when not being used for classes.

Said college principal and chief executive Asha Khemka: “It will replace our aging gymnasium and provide students and the wider community with high-quality facilities fit for the 21st century.

“Crucially, it takes us a step closer to realising our ambitions of transforming the Derby Road campus with state-of-the-art new buildings as part of our wider £24 million redevelopment plans.”

The plan to overhaul the majority of the main college site was announced in April.

Permission for the sports hall marked a double boost for the college inside seven days after its new £5 million creative arts centre opened on Monday.

The state-of-the-art sports hall, also a key part of the changes, will feature a sports science lab besides the multi-use space.

Refreshments and a viewing area, toilets and changing facilities will also feature.

The college is also extending its car parking off Cauldwell Road as part of the plan, adding 37 spaces.

Key concerns over the scheme had included the loss of several mature trees which will be cut down to make way for the development.

But councillors heard benefits of the scheme would “on balance, outweigh the loss of the protected trees”.

Officers also said a condition of landscaping had been placed on the plans, including replacement of the lost trees.

The building will be built between the nursery building on the site and Cauldwell Road.

It will stretch to a floor size of 1,586 sq m and be 12.75m to the highest point of a curved roof.

The £24m plan unveiled earlier this year also includes a landmark two and three-storey new building and a re-vamp of the current six-storey main tower block.