Sports centre and pool ruled out for rec site

Battle Recreation Ground. SUS-140918-114254001
Battle Recreation Ground. SUS-140918-114254001

PLANS for major new sporting facilities on Battle Recreation Ground have been rejected by the council.

Battle Abbey School asked the town council if the land, which is owned by the council, could be made available for development.

Earlier this year the school revealed ambitions to build a new indoor sports facility in Battle for the use of the school and the wider community.

Meanwhile a separate proposal for a community swimming pool on the recreation ground, submitted by the Battle Local Action Plan group, was also put before the town council.

But both proposals were rejected, with town councillors saying there was insufficient space for the projects.

The council said it wished to preserve the open ‘green’ space on the recreation ground.

However Battle Town Council has reiterated its support for the idea of a swimming pool in the town.

Alternative sites for the pool project have been suggested and will be investigated.

The news was the latest blow for Battle Abbey School in its quest to improve facilities for its students.

Earlier in the year Battle Town Council turned down an appeal from the school to make land at George Meadow available for the sports hall project.

Alternative sites are now being considered, including land at Blackfriars.

James Dennett, marketing manager at Battle Abbey School, said: “The decision is disappointing but not unexpected.

“We were hoping to work with the community on this project with a view to opening the facility up to use by the town of Battle, but regrettably this now appears not to be an option.

“We do however have other opportunities and possibilities to explore and we will now pursue these instead.”

Mr Dennett previously said that the school may be forced to purchase a plot of land and build a smaller hall.

The school is hoping to have the new facility built by September 2015.

English Heritage, which owns Battle Abbey and the 1066 battlefield, previously said it had worked with the school to try and find a suitable site nearby.

An English Heritage spokesperson said: “We have worked with the school to look at whether any of the land in our estate would be suitable for their requirement to build a new sports hall.

“Apart from the walled garden area on the far side of Powdermill Lane, which the school did not feel was suitable, the rest of the land we hold is registered battlefield and therefore not appropriate for development.”