College gets go-ahead for new sports centre

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A SPORT centre is to be build at Warwickshire College’s Moreton Morrell campus.

Stratford District Council’s east area planning committee approved the plans at a meeting last Wednesday, 13th July.

The campus in the grounds of Moreton Hall will be the new location of the college’s sports courses with the Henley-in-Arden campus due to close at the end of this academic year later this month.

 

The sports facilities at Henley will continue to be run by Warwickshire College for the foreseeable future, the college said this week.

Plans for a care village for over 55s on the site of the campus were given the go-ahead by Stratford District Council’s west area committee on Wednesday, 6th July.
The development will include the conversion of the Georgian Arden House into apartments, the building of a care home with communal facilities, and 45 self-contained homes.

The application approved last week was only an outline one and a detailed application is not expected for at least 18 months, with the first residents expected to move in in around five years.

Bill Leech, chairman of the parish council, told the Herald: “It’s a good solution for Henley.

“The beautiful Georgian, Grade II-Listed building is an important landmark for the south side of Henley, so we are pleased to see that will remain.

“We still have some concerns about access into the site, it is not suitable in parts for emergency vehicles and we await the detailed planning application, although we expect nothing to happen in the next 18 months to two years.”

The parish council has had concerns about the sports facilities, which are open to the public, since Warwickshire College announced the closure in September last year. In documents that accompanied the planning application, the council asked to be given control of the sports centre and pitches.

But speaking this week, John Vickery, director of estates at Warwickshire College Group, said the facilities were being retained by the college.

He added: “The college is retaining the existing sports facilities at Henley and will continue to operate them, supporting the local clubs and community who use the facilities.”

Warwickshire College has also announced this week that it is to merge with South Worcestershire College on 1st August.

It will see South Worcestershire College rename its campuses Evesham College and Malvern Hills College.

Angela Joyce, group principal and chief executive of Warwickshire College, said: “Through this merger we can expand provision in the south of Worcestershire for young people and employers, and we aim to continue to provide a consistent, high quality experience for students across all of our college sites.”