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Public consultation begins on Birchwood High School's plans to build sports and leisure complex on Pearse House site in Bishop's Stortford




Birchwood High School welcomed members of the community to view its plans for a multi-million-pound sports and leisure complex.

The Parsonage Lane secondary opened its doors last Thursday (July 15) for the launch of its public consultation as it looks to develop an eight-acre site it owns opposite the school in the grounds of the Pearse House development off Dunmow Road.

The state-of-the-art facility will feature a floodlit artificial football pitch with spectator stands, a mountain bike/cyclo-cross track, a low-lit, traffic-free running path and a pavilion that will house a multi-purpose gym, changing facilities and space designed for social and arts pursuits along with fitness classes such as yoga, Pilates and spinning.

Birchwood High School deputy principal and project lead Charles Gilbank with Emily Joyce from architects Wilby & Burnett. Picture: Vikki Lince
Birchwood High School deputy principal and project lead Charles Gilbank with Emily Joyce from architects Wilby & Burnett. Picture: Vikki Lince

It could also become the new home of Bishop's Stortford Football Club, while British Cycling and British Triathlon are looking to get involved.

At the exhibition, members of the public were able to view site plans, elevations and a 3D fly-through. Architects Wilby & Burnett were present and were joined by Abacus Floodlighting and MAS Environmental (Acoustics) to provide more detail.

"We were delighted to welcome members of the town to build on three meetings we've already had with our nearest neighbours," said Birchwood deputy principal and project lead Charles Gilbank.

Some Summercroft pupils and their mum check out Birchwood's plans for a new sports and leisure complex. Picture: Vikki Lince
Some Summercroft pupils and their mum check out Birchwood's plans for a new sports and leisure complex. Picture: Vikki Lince

"Legitimate concerns were raised regarding other developments, parking, noise and light issues.

"But we're confident that, with thought and careful planning, we can work with local people to bring about a successful project that will provide a huge cross-section of the Bishop's Stortford population with the ability to access community sports facilities of the highest order, with an added massive benefit to the students at our school."

The plans can be viewed and comments made by visiting www.birchwoodonline.co.uk/consultation_dpf until September 6.



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