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80% back £5m sports academy ideas – college

By Stroud Life  |  Posted: November 14, 2012

Local residents and businesses protest at the site Stratford Court.

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PROTESTORS say objections are mounting to a proposal to develop a sports' academy at Stratford Court in Stroud.

But South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, which is behind the £5million plan, reckon most of the comments it has received are in favour of its ideas.

A public meeting is now planned at the cricket pavilion on Stratford Court field at noon on Saturday, said opponent Gail Bradbrook.

"In addition to the grass football and cricket pitches, the area is extensively used on an informal basis by the community," she said.

"Activities as diverse as kite flying, picnics, sports days, dog walking and jogging take place there."

Objectors fear that, under the proposals, the college would decide when and how the community used the amenities and might also charge fees.

Resident John Fisher said: "Everyone welcomes an increase in sports facilities but I believe there would actually be a reduction in the number of sports pitches and a decrease in publicly accessible, open space."

Stroud District Council owns Stratford Court and has still to decide whether or not to allow the college to use the land.

SGSC held two drop-in public consultation sessions at the Stroud campus in Stratford Road to explain its plans on Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning.

Its spokesman Andrew May said hundreds of comments on Facebook, by email and hand written feedback cards had been gathered and noted.

"The vast majority of comments, well over 80%, have been in favour of the initial ideas for Stratford Court," he said.

He stressed that the college was investing its own money in the project.

He said: "The proposal would mean that college students and local schools will use the site in the daytime, with community use in the evenings and weekends."

New classrooms, changing rooms, offices and other buildings are among the suggested developments.

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