Planning permission granted for new field at Farnham Park
Fri 4 Dec 2015
BaseballSoftballUK has been granted planning permission by South Bucks District Council (SBDC) to build an additional baseball and softball field at Farnham Park on the plateau beside the existing baseball diamond.
Permission for the field was granted at a Council meeting in November, and BSUK also received assent for a change of use for the cottage adjacent to the plateau on which the new field will be built, clearing the way for the building to become a baseball and softball clubhouse and a catering hub for our sports on site.
The Council has also undertaken to upgrade toilet and changing room facilities in the cricket clubhouse and in particular to create appropriate facilities for women.
BSUK Joint CEO John Boyd said, “This outcome is all the more pleasing because for a while planning permission looked problematic. Our fields are to replace two casual use football pitches and this resulted in an objection being tabled. In the end, I'm happy to say that Council planners supported our application and all objections were withdrawn, and I want to add a special thank you to Rosie Benson at Sport England for all her hard work and support behind the scenes.
“The next steps,” John added, “are to conclude and sign the lease with SBDC and then to begin construction.”
Like the existing baseball diamond on site, the new facility will contain an international standard baseball field, and a softball diamond in the right field corner, which will be next to the new clubhouse.
Expectations are that the new fields won’t be ready for play until the latter part of the 2016 season, but this could change – in one direction or another – depending on weather over the winter, when most of the construction will be carried out.
Funding for the construction, in the form of a Sport England capital grant, is already in place.
When complete, facilities on site will consist of two high-standard baseball diamonds and four softball/youth baseball fields, enabling both sports to expand the scope of their activities, including hosting international events.
Conversion of the cottage to a clubhouse with social and catering facilities, and office space upstairs, will depend on finding funds to carry out the work. But regardless of progress made on the clubhouse, BaseballSoftballUK expects to have a contracted caterer on site by the beginning of next season to service baseball and softball events.