February 22, 2023 7.00 am This story is over 14 months old

Councillors to refuse plan to expand sports pavilion into library and cafe just five years after opening

Town council said the building had seen little use since opening

North Kesteven District Council is to refuse permission for a sports facility to be expanded into a community library and café just five years after opening next week.

The Hykeham Hub, off Valerian Place, was opened in 2018 as part of the Manor Farm development after being specifically requested during planning discussions in 2016.

North Hykeham Town Council now says it has seen very little use and instead wants to change how the facility is used and build an extension to the south.

Currently the building measures 30m by 14m and includes four changing room blocks, kitchen, and a flexible club room, office and store.

The town council said the changing rooms had been used once in the years the building had been opened and no sports clubs had used the building. They also argue that the existing facilities would not meet FA standards.

They believe the change will provide a much-needed space for local residents to gather, socialise, and access learning resources.

Sport England, however, has concerns over the loss of playing field space and said there was a lack of evidence to demonstrate that the loss could be mitigated elsewhere.

How the expansion would be laid out if given the go ahead.

In a report before district councillors next Tuesday, officers said: “The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the proposal would not result in the loss of, or prejudice the use of, existing open space, sports and recreational buildings and land.

“No assessment has been undertaken which has clearly shown the open space, buildings or land to be surplus to requirements… or that the development is for alternative sports and recreational provision, where the benefits of which clearly outweigh the loss of the current or former use.”

The report noted that a visit to the site found it was already being used for storage and hosting a mobile library.

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