£1 million cricket trust plans approved
A charity which helps youngsters to lead healthy and active lives has won planning permission for a new clubhouse and multi-use hall at Knipton in the Vale of Belvoir.
The Belvoir Cricket & Countryside Trust says the new facility, which will cost in the region of £1 million to build, will replace an unsightly pavilion and will help it grow and inspire
future generations to lead a healthy lifestyle.
The application was unanimously approved at last week’s Melton Borough Council planning committee meeting with councillors agreeing with the recommendation of its planning officers that the public benefits of the proposal outweighed any harm to local heritage assets.
The sports and outdoor education charity has reached capacity during the summer months and wants to be able to deliver projects all year round with the aim of reaching more than 5,000 primary age and special needs children each year.
As well as giving the charity a permanent base, it will also be the new home of Belvoir Cricket Club and be made available to local community and sports groups.
Darren Bicknell, chief executive of the Trust, said: “We are delighted our plans have been approved. We recognise that the site, on the fringe of Belvoir Park and Gardens, is a sensitive one so we have worked closely with the council’s conservation officer and Historic England on the design and landscaping to get to this point.
“The future is so exciting. We have a 50-year lease on the ground and look forward to working with our funding partners and supporters to make it happen.”
The new pavilion and hall will give the Trust wet weather options so it never has to cancel any school visits. It will also support its partnership with Belvoir Cricket Club, part of the community for over 100 years, and help to develop girls’ and disability cricket.
Mr Bicknell, the former Notts and England ‘A’ cricketer, added: “The ground, our home for 12 years, is a unique and inspirational setting for the youngsters who visit us to play cricket, try new activities such as fishing, archery and orienteering and learn about the great outdoors.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted that it has never been more important to support our young people and we want them to be able to enjoy, cherish and protect our beautiful countryside.
“We have also received interest from local community and sports groups as well as cricket clubs for indoor nets.
“The new facility will bring people together and the Trust is determined to develop it into something the whole community can be proud of.”