The public will be able to use a private school’s sports centre for the foreseeable future after councillors approved a permanent membership plan.
Stamford Endowed Schools opened their £6.1m sports centre in Conduit Road to up to 300 public members for a 12-month trial period in January last year.
In October the schools applied to South Kesteven District Council to change a planning condition so the membership scheme could be made permanent. And on Wednesday last week the application was approved.
Council officers said the scheme would “provide for wider benefits by allowing greater access to the sports facilities whilst not having a sufficiently detrimental impact on highway safety or residential amenities.”
The permanent scheme will be open to 150 memberships or 200 members; whichever is reached first. The centre currently has 75 individual and family memberships.
The schools worked closely with the council and neighbouring residents, who initially raised concerns about traffic in Conduit Road and access to the car park.
A traffic management plan forbids public members from using the sports centre car park itself, instead asking them to use the school’s other car parks. An £18,000 traffic barrier was installed and a parking attendant employed to enforce the rule.
Stamford Endowed Schools principal Stephen Roberts said: “We are very pleased to be able to continue the expanded usership of the sports centre beyond our pupils. Our schools have a strong commitment to supporting the Stamford community and this facility will greatly enhance the town’s sporting provision.
“The 25m pool will be particularly welcomed by serious swimmers. Pupils across our three schools have ample opportunity to use the centre in curriculum lessons and extra-curricular activities, and it will be pleasing to see the centre’s capacity being optimised during the quieter times beyond the school day and in holidays.”
Individual membership starts from £156 for six months and family memberships from £312 for six months.