Pro Vision gets green light for 174 additional homes and £5m community sports facility in countryside.

20th March, 2019

Plans for 174 new homes and a multi-million pound sports village, including landmark pavilion, in Wimborne Minster have been given the green light.

East Dorset District Council’s planning committee voted overwhelming (7:1) to approve the outline application for the new housing and a detailed planning application for the community sports facility on the site together with change of use to leisure at its meeting on March 20.

The scheme, designed on behalf of Gleeson Strategic Land, represents the second phase of the development on the site south of Leigh Road, which includes the remains of an old Roman road, a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

It was the last ever application to be considered by the planning committee before the Dorset councils merge.  Cllr Barbara Manuel said it was “great to go out on such a high note.” Several councillors praised the design of the scheme with Cllr Derek Burt describing the new pavilion as a “great looking building.”

The 174 additional homes, including 49 affordable dwellings, will link up with 305 homes in the first phase previously approved and currently under construction by house builder Barratt David Wilson. The new homes include a mix of houses, flats and bungalows.

Pro Vision master planned both phases of the new neighbourhood on the 75-hectare site and consulted widely with the local community, hosting open days and a website. The scheme has been carefully designed so all the new housing is outside of the green belt with only the sports ground inside.

Planning Director Katherine Miles said: “This development provides a significant boost to local housing supply and delivers a new, high-quality sports facility for Wimborne.

“We worked closely with local stakeholders and as a result of the extensive consultation approach, the scheme was supported by Wimborne Town Council, the Rugby Football Union, Highways England and other consultees.”

The new neighbourhood will benefit from landscaped grounds, local centre, country park for informal recreation and private off-street parking.

The two-storey pavilion with first-floor viewing terrace will provide a new home for Wimborne Rugby Football Club and be shared with other local sports clubs. In addition to modern changing and support rooms, it has a clubroom, bar and catering facilities. Meanwhile, the recreational ground includes sports pitches (natural and artificial turf), floodlights and 250-space car park.

As part of the scheme, the developer will pay for the £5m community sports facility and contribute £1m toward local education, health services, highways improvement and creation of a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG).

Associate Director and architect Chris Fry said: “Siting of the various components of the scheme was largely determined by the arrow-straight line of the Roman road which is carefully incorporated into the final design. The buried stretch of road is picked out in outline form on the sports ground.”

The modern clubhouse has a mono-pitch roof sailing over a rectangular-shaped building with large expanses of glazing. Essentially, it has a simple form. Materials (timber cladding, light-grey composite panels and neutral blockwork) were chosen to ensure longevity and be hard-wearing while softening the impact of the building on the green belt.