New sports facilities at Millthorpe: public consultation

Please support our plans which will benefit Scarcroft Primary School children as well as Millthorpe.

State-of-the-art outdoor sports facilities, including an artificial grass, all-weather, appropriately lit pitch and new netball/tennis courts, are planned for Millthorpe School.

There has never been a better time to encourage an active lifestyle and to instil a love of sport into the lives of our children and young people.

From a community usage perspective, we also would like to create a facility to be used by local people, individually or through clubs.

City of York Council has agreed to fund these facilities, which will include a reorganisation of car parking, plus some additional spaces on the Millthorpe site. This is to compensate for an expansion of Scarcroft Primary School which currently has limited outdoor space for its children.

Outside school hours, on evenings, at weekends and during the school holidays, the facilities may be booked for community use.

Governors at Millthorpe and Scarcroft, working with PE leaders at both schools and a specialist consultant, have agreed an initial plan and we now invite comments from parents, pupils and students and our neighbouring community. All comments will be considered and may result in amendments to the plan before we submit our planning application.

Your views matter – please take part in our survey here.

You now have until 12 February to submit your views.

Providing planning permission is granted, we would like works to take place during the summer holidays this year so that the new facilities should be available for use from the start of the new school year, in September 2018.

Your questions answered

Please be aware that we are very much at the planning stage of this project. While both schools have the benefit of the knowledge being shared by our highly experienced project manager, who has installed many similar schemes across the country, this consultation process opens up the scheme for comment and suggestions and all submissions will be considered before a definitive plan is submitted for planning approval. Our neighbors are important to us; they help shape the school community as much as our staff and students. Below are answers to some of the questions we are being asked. This list is not exhaustive and will be regularly updated as comments or new questions come in. Please revisit this website to keep abreast of our plans.

Why is this happening? Because of growing demand for places, Scarcroft Primary School is being expanded to accommodate an additional 15 pupils per year. There is limited existing outdoor space at the school anyway and so to compensate for the expansion, City of York Council has agreed to fund new outdoor sporting and car parking facilities at nearby Millthorpe. This is specific funding and cannot be used for anything else. Both schools will use the facilities and share the car park. Scarcroft children will also be able to use the new facilities as their ‘home ground’ for their sports fixtures, for the first time.

What are the new facilities? Close to the Nunthorpe Avenue entrance will be a fenced-in all-weather surface which will primarily be used by Scarcroft as it is closest to the school; a new car park on what is currently tennis courts – this will not be floodlit, but there will need to be some low level lighting for safety (UPDATE: we have received many comments that the planned size of the car park is too large. We are now looking at options); new fenced-in tennis and netball courts at the correct size opposite the main house; and a fenced-in, appropriately lit artificial grass pitch, divisible into three separate playing areas, suitable for football, hockey and other sports, with a sprint track and long jump pit. The artificial surface will conform to all safety standards. There are also plans for modest additional car parking on what is currently scrubland behind the gym.

Regarding the plans for an all-weather surface close to the flats, on the right hand side of the main route into the school from Nunthorpe Grove. 1. Isn’t there a drainage issue here? 2. Isn’t this on medieval ridge and furrow land, which is protected? Addressing the ridge and furrow point first of all – Millthorpe doesn’t believe the land does come under this category but we will investigate and liaise with the local authority as appropriate. We are aware that especially at this time of year, a lot of the land on our site can be boggy. As part of the work to install new all-weather surfaces, we will address any drainage issues.

Does this mean there will be no sports played on real grass and will there be a big reduction of ‘green space’ at Millthorpe? No, it means the existing rugby and football pitches will get less use for training purposes and therefore will be kept in a better condition for matches. The new artificial grass pitch can be used all year round. We retain the cricket square and boundary and there will still be a lot of wide open, natural ‘green space’ for students to enjoy.

Won’t the new lighting be a nuisance for residents in houses backing onto Millthorpe? And what about noise and extra traffic? Great effort is being made to minimise the impact of the new facilities on our neighbours and to satisfy rigorous planning conditions. Advances in technology means the lighting will be highly directional on to the playing surfaces, with limited light ‘spill’ beyond where it is needed. There will be a glow, but it will not be intrusive. Although we are providing some additional car parking, the main car park will be to consolidate existing parking that has always been haphazard on the Millthorpe site. Redirecting car parking to a specific area will make the site less dangerous: currently students have to weave between parked cars at break and lunch times. The car park will also be shared with Scarcroft staff. From a community use perspective, the car parking on site goes a long way to alleviating nearby on-street parking. We expect most community users to be local and we will encourage them to walk or cycle to us. The project manager on our scheme will be reviewing traffic management and liaising with the council as appropriate. New cycle facilities could be introduced. The facilities will close at a reasonable time so as not to disturb residents.

Can individuals and sports clubs use the new facilities outside school hours? Yes. There will be a fee which will be in line with similar facilities provided elsewhere. An online booking system will be implemented and if there is any surplus, it will be reinvested in ongoing maintenance of the facilities. The main all-weather pitch surface, for example, will need to be replaced in ten years. A full range of pricing will be considered at the appropriate time, but we want to make it clear that the new facilities will be also be a community asset and we want to make the pricing as affordable as we can, so that it is readily accessible to local people.

Why is it important to take part in the survey? Although funding is being provided by City of York Council, there is still a consultation and planning application process to complete. Comments, suggestions and observations are all considered, and our plans possibly amended, before the final planning application is submitted. You will then be able to see our final, detailed planning application on the City of York Council website. The schools, as well as the council, need to be satisfied that the facilities meet the approval of the community. It is very important that the survey reflects the views of our

community and of our schools and of the children and young people who would use the facilities. You have until 12 February to tell us your views.

Your views matter – please take part in our survey here

View a pdf of our consultation document here