Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club call for council to green light plans for new multi-use games area

The planning application will be put to the Development Management committee meeting on October 15

Friday, 9th October 2020, 5:09 pm

Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club's plans for an artificial games pitch/multi-use games area with fencing and floodlighting will be put to the Development Management committee meeting next week.

The club has applied for planning for an artificial grass pitch at Cow Roast, in Tring, which the club believes would put Dacorum and this corner of Hertfordshire on the hockey map.

In the planning document submitted to the council it says: "This is a Planning Application for a new Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) also known as an Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) at Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club.

Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club

"The pitch will be accompanied by LED lighting replacing and improving on the existing lighting and will have fencing to comply with league rules.

"Hockey has been played at the Cow Roast site for about 50 years and a consent was granted for a MUGA in 1998. This application differs in that the pitch is further away from the Scheduled Ancient Monument."

The main object for which Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club was established is to provide facilities for and actively encourage, promote and develop amateur hockey in Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted and the surrounding area.

The plans have been recommended for refusal by the planning officer but the club is calling for the council to approve the application and help more people play the game.

Roger Payton has been a member of the club for over 50 years and his wife and children are also members.

He said: "The plans have been recommended for refusal by the planning officer, which we think does not make sense.

"Both central and local government put a huge emphasis on sport for all, but then we have an application to make a Multi Sports Playing Surface in Cow Roast, benefitting Hemel Hempstead, Tring and Berkhamsted players, and there are objections to it.

"The objections re Sustainability, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Ecology and Geography have been well answered and in most cases turned expert opinion from no to yes.

"We honestly believe Cow Roast is pretty Ideal geographically for the three major Dacorum conurbations, especially with the bypass running so close to the proposed AGP which gives such great access.

"It is clearly of public interest that provision for hockey within Dacorum is grossly insufficient.

"Planners seem to be hog tied despite enormous public interest that weighs heavily in favour of the development.

"Indeed, we understand from planning that this application has received more supporting comments than any application dealt with before.

"With over 210 supporting comments and 11 councillors publicly supporting us."

The planning application will be put to Dacorum Borough Council's Development Management committee meeting on October 15.