EXCITING plans to build a multi-use games area (MUGA) in a Malvern village have been formally submitted.
Lower Broadheath Parish Council’s application to build on the area of grassland at the corner of Frenchlands Lane and Martley Road is now in the hands of officers at Malvern Hills District Council.
Agents DJD Architects, based in Worcester, have been working on behalf of the parish council with the Worcestershire Wildlife Consultancy who undertook a preliminary ecological appraisal of the site to ensure the plans met legal requirements.
Officials from the WWC say in their report the site has ‘limited’ ecological value but have recommended the existing hedgerows and orchard trees to be retained where possible.
However, as hedgerows provide a suitable nesting habitat for birds, the organisation has urged DJD Architects they should take care to avoid the risk of harm to the birds during the nesting season, which runs from late February to late August.
The report added: “There appear to be no immediate issues with regard to any protected species.
“However, in the unlikely event that a protected species is found on the site during the works then works must cease immediately and the advice of a suitably qualified ecologist must be sought.”
Mr Andrew Hackley, headteacher of Broadheath CE Primary and Pre-School, has extensively backed the project which he says would benefit his 175 pupils if they were allowed access to the space both within and outside school hours.
Currently the school utilises the ‘community time’ scheme available at Sport Martley but this is only limited to one hour a week and involves students making a ten-mile all-round trip between Broadheath and the leisure centre.
Having a MUGA would allow children to have daily access to a much closer site and give the school the chance to run at least three after hours clubs.
“This would clearly be an asset to the whole village and particularly the school,” Mr Hackley added.
“At present we make use of the Village Green for P.E lessons but this is restricted by weather as the ground becomes waterlogged and can become damaged through overuse when wet.
“If a MUGA was built, and the school had access, the range of sports possible would be greatly increased and we could offer many more after school activities as the surface would be consistent.”
However, Mr Hackley has expressed his concerns over the safety of children crossing the main Martley Road between the school and the proposed MUGA site.
But DJD Architects’ site plan shows they intend to install a crossing point with reflective bollards on both sides of the carriageway.
The south west section of Martley Road will be narrowed to 6.5metres to improve pedestrian and driver visibility while 30mph roundels will be added along the road to enforce the existing speed limit.
The consultation process for the plans ends on Monday, August 7.