SIR STEVE Redgrave still hopes to deliver his Redgrave Institute sports facility at the proposed student village despite the scheme being turned down by the planning authority last month.
The combined plan, earmarked for green belt land between Blacon and Mollington, was narrowly rejected by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s strategic planning committee because it failed to meet the ‘very special circumstances’ test as an exemption from policy.
However, applicants Bell Developments has indicated it will appeal and may resubmit the application.
The Redgrave Institute, for use by students, the local community and elite athletes, would feature a gym, high performance suite, sports injury clinic and sports science facilities.
Sir Steve this week commented in the wake of a critical Ofsted report which highlighted that PE lessons in more than a quarter of Britain’s schools involve so little physical activity they fail to improve pupils’ fitness at all.
He said: “When we chose Chester as our location it was because of the encouragement of both CWaC council and Sport Cheshire, having them as partners and their continued commitment to engage with us in the extra programmes that we could deliver was vital to our programmes’ success.
“We have already been seen at schools in and around Blacon, Queen’s Park and Northwich and our programmes are extending further in to the borough.
“Of course we are hopeful that we will be able to house our institute within the student village off Parkgate Road and this Ofsted report highlights just how critical our work will be within the community going forward. I am thankful to the many schools and parents who supported us recently and testified to the good work we are doing in the schools.
“It is The Redgrave Institute model, of working with its education partners, that allows us to create the economies of scale to make this vital community work deliverable and sustainable.
“I believe together we can make Cheshire West and Chester schools the envy of the UK, with the very best fit and healthy children all having the opportunity to engage with and enjoy all sports for a healthier future, now that’s an Olympic legacy worth fighting for.”