Nonsuch High School for Girls shrinks proposed sports dome in face of opposition

An image showing views of the dome from Warren Farm, without additional planting. Submitted by school as part of the planning applications.

An image showing views of the dome from Warren Farm, without additional planting. Submitted by school as part of the planning applications.

First published in News
Last updated
Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A school has reduced the height of a proposed sports dome in the face of fierce opposition from residents.

Nonsuch High School for Girls, in Ewell Road, Cheam, still wants to build the dome on the edge of nature reserve Warren Farm but has lowered the proposed height from 45ft (13.6m) to 31ft (9.5m).

Its revised plans for the air-supported dome as well as a running track, pitches and a pavilion have now been submitted to Epsom Council.

Sutton Guardian:

The view with additional planting, based on predicted growth in 15 years

The school will hold two public meetings on its proposals later this month.

Residents opposed to the plans and who have been demanding greater consultation have created a pressure group, No to Nonsuch Dome, and are also forming a residents’ association.

Neill Denny from the pressure group, who lives in nearby Holmwood Road, said the plans remain "virtually unchanged" and nothing had been done to allay fears over parking, noise, pollution and out-of-hours use.

Mr Denny said: "We are pleased that the school have agreed to reduce the enormous size of the dome but that is only one cosmetic concession, a slightly more alluring shade of lipstick on what remains a gigantic pig.

"As planned, the sports development is too big for the site, will generate traffic and noise late into the evening and at weekends, will harm local wildlife and represents a blot on the landscape that will wreck the tranquillity of the Warren Farm Woodland Trust site."

The school's design statement said the creation of a "high quality sporting facility" would benefit both the school and the local community.

It said trees would be planted along the boundary with Warren Farm nature reserve to screen the sports dome and there would be "little visual change" to the character of the site.

Sutton Guardian:

Neill Denny by the site

Since the plans have already been submitted, Mr Denny said the school meetings, on August 20, were to inform residents what will happen, not to consult them in any meaningful sense.

He added: "It’s a little bit like shutting the stable after the horse has bolted." A response from the school is still awaited but on Monday headteacher Peter Gale, confirmed the school was looking at holding a "public information hearing" about the sports development in the third week of August.

An Epsom Council spokesman said the plans were expected to come before the council's planning committee in October.

View the plans, with reference 14/00444/FUL, on the Epsom Council website, www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk

Comments (8)

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10:24am Sat 9 Aug 14

Neill Denny says...

Just a couple of minor points to add to Alice's excellent piece. Local people are free to comment on the application online and if you want to stop this huge development go to

http://eplanning.eps
om-ewell.gov.uk/onli
ne-applications/appl
icationDetails.do?ac
tiveTab=documents&ke
yVal=N7OI3CGY8H000

Secondly, all the residents of Cheam village who will be affected by the traffic, parking and congestion this new sports centre will generate have been effectively disenfranchised. Unfortunately, because the playing fields are in the borough of Epsom & Ewell that council will decide on the planning application - even though all the traffic generated by the development exits on to the Ewell Road in Cheam, opposite the Grumpy Mole.

Thirdly, as far as I can tell all the three Cheam ward councillors, who sit on Sutton Council, are opposed to the scale of what the school are planning, but they have no say in the matter.

Finally, although the Dome is mercifully slightly lower it will still be the height of a three story building, it will still dominate Warren Farm as it is deliberately sited at the extreme edge of the school site, it will still glow at night as it is translucent, and it will still be kept aloft by constant air pumping. It is a wholly inappropriate 'temporary' structure that in fact has a thirty-year plus design life.

The school already have a David Lloyd sports centre on-site: why do they need to cram in what amounts to a second sports centre? This is absurd, selfish empire-building at the expense of Cheam village, Warren Farm and Nonsuch Park.
Just a couple of minor points to add to Alice's excellent piece. Local people are free to comment on the application online and if you want to stop this huge development go to http://eplanning.eps om-ewell.gov.uk/onli ne-applications/appl icationDetails.do?ac tiveTab=documents&ke yVal=N7OI3CGY8H000 Secondly, all the residents of Cheam village who will be affected by the traffic, parking and congestion this new sports centre will generate have been effectively disenfranchised. Unfortunately, because the playing fields are in the borough of Epsom & Ewell that council will decide on the planning application - even though all the traffic generated by the development exits on to the Ewell Road in Cheam, opposite the Grumpy Mole. Thirdly, as far as I can tell all the three Cheam ward councillors, who sit on Sutton Council, are opposed to the scale of what the school are planning, but they have no say in the matter. Finally, although the Dome is mercifully slightly lower it will still be the height of a three story building, it will still dominate Warren Farm as it is deliberately sited at the extreme edge of the school site, it will still glow at night as it is translucent, and it will still be kept aloft by constant air pumping. It is a wholly inappropriate 'temporary' structure that in fact has a thirty-year plus design life. The school already have a David Lloyd sports centre on-site: why do they need to cram in what amounts to a second sports centre? This is absurd, selfish empire-building at the expense of Cheam village, Warren Farm and Nonsuch Park. Neill Denny
  • Score: 8

11:07am Sat 9 Aug 14

Environment-worker says...

The sports development will make a massive difference to our enjoyment of Nonsuch as a whole. The School's head should be setting an example in life to his pupils - to consider others when planning what you want. Some of us are elderly and may not be here in fifteen years' time when the planting to hide the dome is supposed to have matured. For us, this means the probable end of any enjoyment of the site for the rest of our lives. This expansion will be at the expense of the rest of the local community.
The sports development will make a massive difference to our enjoyment of Nonsuch as a whole. The School's head should be setting an example in life to his pupils - to consider others when planning what you want. Some of us are elderly and may not be here in fifteen years' time when the planting to hide the dome is supposed to have matured. For us, this means the probable end of any enjoyment of the site for the rest of our lives. This expansion will be at the expense of the rest of the local community. Environment-worker
  • Score: 10

11:24am Sun 10 Aug 14

labyrinth says...

'Shrinking' the height will do nothing to mitigate the appalling effect this thing will have on the local area! The decision is made by Epsom, but most of the increased traffic and loss of amenity will be suffered by residents of Cheam, who have no say in the matter.
Nonsuch school already causes massive traffic problems - but perhaps more to be noted, is the fact that it already has excellent sports facilities! Take a look at the fabulous David LLoyd centre, which is on the site & used by the school -how many other schools do you know that have such a pool, and such sports facilities? Very few.
As for the notion that this new sports dome would be used by 'the local community' - that is a hollow claim.It is a commercial enterprise, open until 10 pm, which will be hired out to groups from all over the place. The only impact on the local community will be the increased traffic and parking.
'Shrinking' the height will do nothing to mitigate the appalling effect this thing will have on the local area! The decision is made by Epsom, but most of the increased traffic and loss of amenity will be suffered by residents of Cheam, who have no say in the matter. Nonsuch school already causes massive traffic problems - but perhaps more to be noted, is the fact that it already has excellent sports facilities! Take a look at the fabulous David LLoyd centre, which is on the site & used by the school -how many other schools do you know that have such a pool, and such sports facilities? Very few. As for the notion that this new sports dome would be used by 'the local community' - that is a hollow claim.It is a commercial enterprise, open until 10 pm, which will be hired out to groups from all over the place. The only impact on the local community will be the increased traffic and parking. labyrinth
  • Score: 5

11:34am Sun 10 Aug 14

labyrinth says...

Environment-worker wrote:
The sports development will make a massive difference to our enjoyment of Nonsuch as a whole. The School's head should be setting an example in life to his pupils - to consider others when planning what you want. Some of us are elderly and may not be here in fifteen years' time when the planting to hide the dome is supposed to have matured. For us, this means the probable end of any enjoyment of the site for the rest of our lives. This expansion will be at the expense of the rest of the local community.
That would indeed be a very good lesson for them to learn, but unfortunately Nonsuch has never taken that attitude. If anyone wants to get a taste of what the school really thinks, consider the previous application for this monstrosity: it went to the Council with no notification to most of those who would be affected by it, and until Neill found out about it, nearly all the 'Neighbour comments' (sic!) were from people associated with the school, from addresses which were often miles away (or, in some cases, given as the school!) In other words, those who would benefit from it & then leave the area.
In the school's newsletters, the Head asked that parents to write to the Council in support of the plan. And of course, they did, and will again. It's a bit like asking ski enthusiasts if they'd like a new ski dome ' Ooh, yes, please, we'd love that, it would sooo make us more fully rounded human beings...and we can just brand the locals, who'll have to suffer all the noise & traffic & ruination of their park, a bunch of miserable old nimbies! That should do the trick.' sadly, it often does.
[quote][p][bold]Environment-worker[/bold] wrote: The sports development will make a massive difference to our enjoyment of Nonsuch as a whole. The School's head should be setting an example in life to his pupils - to consider others when planning what you want. Some of us are elderly and may not be here in fifteen years' time when the planting to hide the dome is supposed to have matured. For us, this means the probable end of any enjoyment of the site for the rest of our lives. This expansion will be at the expense of the rest of the local community.[/p][/quote]That would indeed be a very good lesson for them to learn, but unfortunately Nonsuch has never taken that attitude. If anyone wants to get a taste of what the school really thinks, consider the previous application for this monstrosity: it went to the Council with no notification to most of those who would be affected by it, and until Neill found out about it, nearly all the 'Neighbour comments' (sic!) were from people associated with the school, from addresses which were often miles away (or, in some cases, given as the school!) In other words, those who would benefit from it & then leave the area. In the school's newsletters, the Head asked that parents to write to the Council in support of the plan. And of course, they did, and will again. It's a bit like asking ski enthusiasts if they'd like a new ski dome ' Ooh, yes, please, we'd love that, it would sooo make us more fully rounded human beings...and we can just brand the locals, who'll have to suffer all the noise & traffic & ruination of their park, a bunch of miserable old nimbies! That should do the trick.' sadly, it often does. labyrinth
  • Score: 6

8:52am Tue 12 Aug 14

Reggie of cheam says...

I wonder how the Head, Teachers and Governors would feel if one of their neighbours decided to erect a bright white dome at the bottom of their garden, illuminate it and have a generator running for approximately 360 days a year! I suspect they may well complain!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!! Enough said I think.
I wonder how the Head, Teachers and Governors would feel if one of their neighbours decided to erect a bright white dome at the bottom of their garden, illuminate it and have a generator running for approximately 360 days a year! I suspect they may well complain!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!! Enough said I think. Reggie of cheam
  • Score: 1

4:57pm Tue 12 Aug 14

labyrinth says...

The 5 comments which were here, seem mysteriously to have disappeared. ??????
The 5 comments which were here, seem mysteriously to have disappeared. ?????? labyrinth
  • Score: 0

4:58pm Tue 12 Aug 14

labyrinth says...

labyrinth wrote:
The 5 comments which were here, seem mysteriously to have disappeared. ??????
Sorry, slight glitch!
[quote][p][bold]labyrinth[/bold] wrote: The 5 comments which were here, seem mysteriously to have disappeared. ??????[/p][/quote]Sorry, slight glitch! labyrinth
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Tue 12 Aug 14

labyrinth says...

Reggie of cheam wrote:
I wonder how the Head, Teachers and Governors would feel if one of their neighbours decided to erect a bright white dome at the bottom of their garden, illuminate it and have a generator running for approximately 360 days a year! I suspect they may well complain!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!! Enough said I think.
Exactly! Many of them supported the previous application with enthusiasm, from their addresses in Southall, Banstead, Reigate, and so on...and of course from an address given as 'Nonsuch School! A few took umbrage at the suggestion that the dome would not affect them! 'Of course it will affect me, because I will be using it and it will be a very good sports facility for us.' Something tells me that someone at Nonsuch needs to educate some pupils as to what "affect" means! Not to mention "affekt."
[quote][p][bold]Reggie of cheam[/bold] wrote: I wonder how the Head, Teachers and Governors would feel if one of their neighbours decided to erect a bright white dome at the bottom of their garden, illuminate it and have a generator running for approximately 360 days a year! I suspect they may well complain!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!! Enough said I think.[/p][/quote]Exactly! Many of them supported the previous application with enthusiasm, from their addresses in Southall, Banstead, Reigate, and so on...and of course from an address given as 'Nonsuch School! A few took umbrage at the suggestion that the dome would not affect them! 'Of course it will affect me, because I will be using it and it will be a very good sports facility for us.' Something tells me that someone at Nonsuch needs to educate some pupils as to what "affect" means! Not to mention "affekt." labyrinth
  • Score: 1

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