Mullion School should be offered chance to take over unused gym, say councillors

  Posted: 07.04.21 at 15:05 by Richard Whitehouse - Local Democracy Reporter

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Plans to demolish a gym and replace it with two new homes have been put on hold after councillors said a school should be given the chance to use the building as a sports hall.

Adrian Punter had applied for permission to demolish Mullion Gymnastics Centre and build two new homes as well as retaining manager’s accommodation as a home.

Cornwall Council planning officers had recommended the application for approval, but the West Sub-Area Planning Committee agreed unanimously to defer the application.

That decision came after local Cornwall councillor Carolyn Rule highlighted that Mullion School, which sits next to the site, was interested in using the former gym as a sports hall.

Mr Punter had told councillors that the gym had been closed since March last year and would not reopen after it was found to no longer be financially viable.

However, Cllr Rule explained that she had spoken to Mullion School’s headteacher who said that the school would like to use it as a sports hall.

Mullion Gymnastics Centre, which had been proposed to be demolished and replaced with homes, but councillors have deferred the plans as Mullion School is interested in taking on the building as a sports hall.

She quoted from an email from the headteacher which explained that there had been talks taking place between the applicants and the school but that these ended when the applicant pulled out.

Cllr Rule said that the school had been “very disappointed” when the discussions ended “as they don’t have a sports hall and would be very interested”.

Committee member Mark Kaczmarek proposed that the application should be deferred to allow for further discussions with the school.

He said: “At the moment because of the local concerns and the interest shown by Mullion School we should defer this and see if the building can be used for what it was built for, a sports hall.”

His proposal was seconded by Dave Biggs who said that it would be “reasonable” to do more work and see if the building could be retained for community and school use.

The committee voted unanimously in favour of deferring the planning application.

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