BOURNEMOUTH University has launched plans to deliver a series of improvements to the Chapel Gate sports complex, where Bournemouth plays its South League hockey.
The planning application, which has been submitted to BCP Council, includes carrying out work on the artificial hockey pitch and installing new lighting.
The site near Bournemouth Airport was bought by Bournemouth University (BU) last summer from Bournemouth and District Recreational Charity.
Refurbishments included in the proposals mark the first significant investment in the site since it was acquired.
A spokesman for the university said: “We have a plan for specific enhancements to the buildings and facilities at the Chapel Gate site, including the refurbishment of a hockey pitch, new LED lighting and car park improvements.
“This work was scheduled to take place during summer 2020. However, resource constraints at BCP Council has created delays around planning consent and so, we have taken the decision to postpone the works to summer 2021.
“We hope to still be able to carry out smaller maintenance works in the autumn, as part of our commitment to the site.”
Alongside replacing the one of the astroturf hockey pitches and floodlights for both pitches, the planning application seeks permission to create a new hockey warm up area and pedestrian circulation areas, repace the floodlights on the main rugby pitch and resurface areas of the car park and entrance road.
A statement submitted to the council’s planning department on behalf of BU by Savills says: “The application is sustainable development: it will contribute towards the maintenance of Chapel Gate as a self-funding facility for use by BU students and staff and community visitors.
“In turn the new facilities will help to make BU more attractive to prospective students, which will have a wider economic benefit for the University and the local economy.
“It will contribute to a modern facility that will encourage physical activity and engagement with the associated benefits to health and wellbeing and it will ensure that the existing natural environment is protected and enhanced.”
The 69-acre Chapel Gate is used by the university sports teams as well as local organisations from various sports including Bournemouth Rugby and Bournemouth Cricket clubs.
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