Peterborough United training ground air dome plans recommended for refusal

Plans to revamp Peterborough United’s training ground have been recommended for refusal due to the presence of a new air dome covered 3G pitch.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 8:57 am

Posh are seeking to revamp their training academy at Nene Park Academy in Oundle Road after receiving approval for Category 2 status - the second highest available for academies.

Under the plans submitted to Peterborough City Council, the new covered pitch and additional changing, educational and administration facilities would be introduced, and existing car park facilities extended.

The new covered pitch is a requirement for the club to be a Category 2 academy.

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How the revamped training ground could look
How the revamped training ground could look

It is also proposed that the new facilities would be available for Nene Park Academy pupils between 9am and 3pm during term time, with access also available for other schools, youth groups and community organisations.

The application will be voted on next Tuesday by the council’s planning committee which has been advised to reject the plans by the authority’s planning department, largely due to the 6.87m high air dome which it described as a “wholly incongruous and alien feature which would appear unduly dominant and obtrusive within the street scene”.

In a report which has been sent to the committee, the council notes that the air dome, largely covered in a white polyester fabric, would be “an unusual structure and the proposal would be the first seen in Peterborough”.

But despite the aim to plant trees to try and mitigate its appearance, the report states if built, the air dome would “result in unacceptable harm to the character, appearance and visual amenity of the surrounding area”.

How the revamped training ground could look

Another concern is the usage of the new facilities, which would see the community allowed to use them outside of school hours.

It is believed this could result in up to 98 vehicle movements between 7pm and 8pm which would “result in undue levels of noise and general disturbance to neighbouring occupants, and at a time when those occupants would reasonably expect a quiet level of amenity”.

The report adds: “Whilst it is accepted that at present some degree of disturbance occurs to residents, the proposal would bring this closer and to a more intensive level.”

Summing up its findings, the council said: “Officers acknowledge that the proposal would result in an elite football academy within the city which would offer enhanced sporting facilities for not only the PUFC Academy itself but also Nene Park Academy, local schools and the wider community.

“However, harm has been identified as arising from the proposal. The proposed air dome would appear a wholly incongruous and alien feature which harms the visual amenity of the locality, and considerable and unacceptable harm would result to the amenities of neighbouring occupants.

“It is considered that the harm that has been identified would not be outweighed by the benefits of the proposal and, therefore, taking account of the planning balance, the scheme is considered to be unacceptable.”

Demolition of the existing lakeside building at the training ground has already taken place.