02:55AM, Sunday 13 July 2014
Permission for a £1.6m leisure facility has been granted after a senior school's head boy and former head girl put forward a list of reasons why it should go ahead.
Barnaby Morton-Woodruff and Sarah Donlon from Furze Platt Senior School addressed a Royal Borough planning panel explaining why the build at the site in Furze Platt Road should be approved.
Barnaby, 16, said: "Improving the facilities will provide more opportunities for competitive sport so that the school and the community are able to develop their sporting reputation."
The pupils said the new facility would allow more groups to participate in sport at any one time and provide a home ground for competitions.
Sarah, 18, who has just left the school and is planning to study sports development at university, said after the meeting: "We have so much sporting talent that could really be developed.
"Other schools can benefit too, and the community as a whole."
A letter from Cllr Hari Sharma (Con, Furze Platt) was also read to the committee.
He said: "There is a problem with obesity and health in the area.
"This would bring a new lease of life and economic benefits to Maidenhead."
The facility will include an all-weather pitch, multi-use play area (MUPA) and cricket wicket. It will be open to the public after school hours and at weekends to ensure the whole community would benefit.
After the meeting headteacher Tanya White said: "The school is blessed with extensive land.
"The new facilities will be a fantastic resource as part of our wider efforts to promote fitness and healthy lifestyle."
It was originally proposed the facility would be open until 10.30pm on weekdays and 10pm at weekends. That was amended 9.30pm on weekdays and 9pm at weekends to appease residents in the area who were concerned about late-night noise.
The leisure centre plans are a joint project between the Royal Borough and the school. The council has estimated it could be used by 100,000 people from the north of Maidenhead every year.
Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) said the proposal was a 'win-win for everyone'.
The panel voted unanimously on approval for the development during the meeting at Maidenhead Town Hall on Wednesday, July 2.
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