Sport England dramatically drops objection to Melton 3G pitch

Sport England has this afternoon (Tuesday) dramatically withdrawn its objection to Melton Town FC’s proposed 3G pitch.

By Nick Rennie
Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 4:46 pm
Melton Town FC EMN-210623-105000001
Melton Town FC EMN-210623-105000001

The Melton Times broke the story last week about how the government body was opposing the scheme, which the club want to provide a youth pathway to the first team and to enable it to play at the highest level of football ever seen in the town.

Melton Borough Council will shortly determined whether to give planning permission for the artificial pitch but a holding objection from Sport England would have led to it having to be referred to the Secretary of State even if the council approved it.

The football club reacted angrily to the objection, which was linked to a similar pitch already having planning consent at John Ferneley College.

Sport England was not convinced of the need for two such pitches in Melton and earlier this week was seeking to restrict community use of the Melton Town FC pitch in return for dropping its objection.

However, after discussions between the organisation, the club and Melton MP, Alicia Kearns, Sport England said today it was dropping the objection.

A spokesperson said: “Protecting long-term community access to high-quality sports facilities is a priority for Sport England.

“This is why robust planning processes are maintained, and why we performed our duty as a statutory consultee in this application.

“We have worked very hard, alongside Melton Council, to find a resolution to some of the challenges this application has presented.

“We are happy to confirm that an update to planning conditions means that the application from Melton Town FC can now move forward without an objection from Sport England.

“Melton Council are clearly now confident that provision for sport and physical activity in their community has been protected, and they will take the final decision.”

More to follow.