PLANS lodged by a Chester school to replace its multi-purpose grass sports field with a new artificial hockey pitch featuring sheltered seating and floodlights – have been given the green light.

The application put forward by The Queen's School, which also includes replacing the existing artificial pitch with a grassed area for athletics related sports, was rubber stamped by Cheshire West and Chester Council last week.

The City Walls Road school's current artificial grass facility is used for tennis lessons and hockey practice, however it is not of sufficient quality or size to meet the needs of the school or to allow for any competitive hockey matches.

Pupils are currently transported to a hired facility at Cheshire County Sports Club (CCSC) for some lessons and all home games.

The planning application, submitted on behalf of the school, states: "This application therefore seeks approval to install an astro pitch suitable for hockey at The Queen’s School (Senior Site) and replace the existing artificial turf area with a grass sports area.

"The proposed facility would provide a significant new resource for pupils at The Queen’s School, supporting many more sports-playing opportunities in addition to hockey throughout the year, as well as providing a valuable new centrally-located resource for the local community outside of school hours and during school holidays."

The development will see the multi purpose grass sports field replaced with a green coloured artificial hockey pitch, along with sheltered seating along the western boundary, an asphalt spectator area to the east, boundary fencing and retractable floodlights around the perimeter of the pitch.

The existing artificial pitch at the north of the site, which is directly opposite the school premises, will be replaced with a grass sports area.

In a report recommending that the plans are approved, council case officer Jo Redmond said around 30 representations were received, all of which were in support of the application.

The reasons included the development helping to increase participation in sports, the all-weather facility meaning less lessons having to be cancelled, and pupils no longer needing to travel away from school.

Mrs Redmond stated in the report: "The site is within the Chester settlement boundary and comprises an existing open space associated with the school.

"The open space officer considers that the proposed development would provide a better quality of sport pitch provision. The open space officer has confirmed that the latest assessment regarding need, shows that there is a shortfall for the Chester locality of 3G provision.

"The proposed wider community use would also bring additional sporting benefits."

The application was approved subject to conditions.