Set back for new Hixon Community Sports Pitch

In June 2020, Hixon Parish Council submitted a planning application to Stafford Borough Council to create a 110m x 70m (football pitch size) ‘Community Sports Pitch’ on land alongside the New Road gateway into the village.

The land has been made available by the landowner for an annual ‘Peppercorn’ rent.

The planning application was well supported by local people via the Borough Council planning portal. Stafford Borough Council planning also appear to be supportive.

However, the planning application has been temporarily withdrawn in order to resolve two objections by Staffordshire County Council Highways department and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Staffordshire County Council Highways officers expressed concern over pedestrians walking across the entrance to the Airfield Industrial Estate in front of cars and HGVs. This somewhat of a surprise as the same highways department did not raise any objection to two recent planning applications to construct up to ten industrial units on the Airfield Estate requiring over 420 car parking spaces. The 420 cars would use the same entrance that Highways now say is dangerous to pedestrians. Both planning applications were approved on the same day in July 2020.

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is concerned about a high pressure gas main pipeline that passes under the proposed Community Sports Pitch. HSE argue there is a very low risk of the gas main exploding, but better safe than sorry. The same gas main passes under the footpath and carriageway in New Road just a few metres away from the site of the proposed pitch, where hundreds of cars, vans, HGVs, cyclists, joggers and dog walkers cross over it every day, plus the occasional abnormal load vehicle!

Despite this setback, there is hope that the objections can be resolved and a revised application submitted.

If and when built, the pitch will be freely accessible to the local community for people of all ages to enjoy taking part in sports and recreational activities.