Agenda item


Application for determination:


Proposed extension and alteration to clubhouse to include new gym, larger ground floor lounge bar, addition of balcony and bar area on the first floor. Extension to existing store and extended car parking area.


The Senior Planning Officer presented the report detailing an application for a proposed extension and alteration to Longlevens Rugby Club clubhouse to include a new gym, larger ground floor lounge bar, addition of a balcony and bar area on the first floor, and an extension store and extended car parking area.


The Senior Planning Officer noted that Longlevens Rugby Club comprises buildings associated with the club, a car park area, playing fields and a recreational play area. She explained that the Longlevens Football Club building was immediately next to the Longlevens Rugby Club building and other surrounding developments included residential properties to the south, east, north and Milestone School to the west. She further noted that the proposal included a number of extensions and alterations to the existing clubhouse building.


A representative of Longlevens Football Club addressed the Committee in opposition of the application.


He objected on the following grounds:


 - The proposal was not discussed with the football club beforehand.

- The gap between the proposed extension would leave just 1 metre space between the Longlevens Rugby Club and Longlevens Football Club’s changing rooms, which would have safety implications for football club members accessing the changing rooms as the gap would reduce to 25cm when the door to the changing room was open.

- The club had met with the applicant to request that the proposed extension be amended to provide a gap of 2 metres, but the parties were unable to reach an agreement

- The club had looked into amending the angle of the changing room door to open inwards but had found this was unlikely to resolve the issue.

- Longlevens Football Club already experienced issues with drainage due to root damage from nearby trees. There were concerns that the proposed rugby club extension would exasperate this further.

- Concerns had been raised regarding the proposed new tarmac car park and the implication that the rugby pitch would move further into the sports field and take up more space which was regularly used by the football club.

- The football club were in the process of applying for a lease which would allow them to make improvements to the pitches.


A representative of Longlevens Rugby Club (applicant) addressed the Committee in support of the application.



He argued that it should be granted for the following reasons:


- Access to the football club changing rooms was the main concern and the rugby club would argue that amending the changing room door to open inwards would resolve this problem.

 - The football club had no legal right to use the door as it opened onto rugby club property.

- The rugby club had outgrown the facility and needed more space to meet the needs of its membership. It was noted that the rugby club accommodated over 250 players, including over 50 senior players, 30 walking rugby players and many mixed ability, girls, and women players. It was noted that at the moment, there were no changing facilities to meet the needs of women and girls, and this was one of the reasons the club needed to expand.

- A lift was needed to accommodate players of mixed ability.



The Senior Planning Officer responded to Members’ questions concerning drainage, the space between the proposed extension and the football club’s changing rooms, the purpose of the extension, whether the materials would match the existing building, tree loss and whether the proposal included an additional entrance as follows:


- Drainage was considered as a condition in the report, and existing drainage would be dealt with at the building regulation phase.

- The extension would retain a 1 metre gap alongside the building.

- The proposed extension would include a new gym, larger clubhouse bar space, a balcony and a bar area on the first floor. There was also lift provision in the plans.

- The proposal would use materials matching the existing building.

- The plans would include the loss of two trees which would be replaced by two additional trees to the south-east of the site.

- The proposal included one entrance.



The Planning Development Manager responded to a Member’s question regarding disabled access to the football club’s changing rooms as follows:


- The existing door would be unaffected but there would likely be implications for the space outside.


Members’ Debate


Councillor Finnegan commented that she liked the proposal.


Councillor Tracey also noted her support for the proposal but was concerned about the issues raised by Longlevens Football Club, particularly in relation to the changing room entrance and the prospect of the football club membership expanding in the future.


Councillor Melvin observed that the proposed extension as it stood would have an implication for Longlevens Football Club and raised concerns that the issue could cause a divide between Longlevens’ football and rugby communities. She expressed a preference to allow more time for the parties to discuss the access arrangement and try to find a solution between themselves.

Councillor Melvin moved and Councillor Tracey seconded a motion to defer the application due to concerns regarding access arrangements, and to provide a further opportunity for the applicant and Longlevens Football Club to reach an agreement.


RESOLVED that: - The application is deferred due to concerns regarding access arrangements, and to provide a further opportunity for the applicant and Longlevens Football Club to reach an agreement.



In response to an additional question from Councillor D. Brown after the final agenda item had been discussed as to when Members would start receiving a list of weekly planning applications again, the Planning Development Manager noted that weekly lists were available on the City Council’s website but confirmed his understanding that the IT issues which halted the weekly lists to Members were close to being resolved.

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