College's bid to transform sports facilities at Stratford Court to create Olympic legacy

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , senior reporter covering Dursley, Cam, Wotton-under-Edge, Sharpness, Slimbridge, Berkeley, Coaley, Uley, North Nibley, Stinchcombe and Cambridge

THE PUBLIC are being called to give their views on plans for Stroud district’s future Olympic legacy.

South Gloucestershire and Stroud College wants to invest £4.8 million in transforming existing sports facilities at Stratford Court playing fields and create a new sport academy. Around 5,000 leaflets with the college’s initial ideas are being sent out to those in the nearby area.

It will give members of the public a chance to give feedback as well as ask some questions of their own.

Plans are in their early stages, as the college would still need to lease the Stroud District Council-owned land first.

However one idea the college is considering is adding an eco-friendly sports pavilion which will offer first-class sports education resources and facilities for students, local schools and community sports clubs.

They are also considering using the site to include a full size all-weather pitch for football and rugby, two grass football pitches, a 600m cross-country running circuit and improved cricket facilities.

Community sports clubs would be invited to set up a committee to manage the facilities for and on behalf of themselves when the college or local schools are not using them.

However, opposition has already grown over the college’s proposal with people concerned that the current ability to use the fields on an "informal basis", such as jogging, dog walking and holding children’s activities, will be jeopardised.

Other concerns surround what is seen to be potential drainage problems as well as increased light, noise and traffic congestion.

Drawings of the ideas for Stratford Court, and directions on how to comment on them, are available at www.stratfordcourtproject.co.uk

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