90 student placements axed: Councillors reject plans to build Canterbury sports complex

The opportunity for 90 CCCU students to gain work placements with Canterbury City FC football club has been scrapped after councillors reject plans to build a £125m sports and leisure complex.

Canterbury City Council’s planning committee have last night rejected plans to build the sports complex and 175 luxury homes on Highland Court Farm.

Alongside Cotswold-style luxury homes and the sports hub, the development would have also created two full-size pitches, a junior pitch, clubhouse and training area for Canterbury’s football club to use.

The committee argued that the plan would bring adverse traffic problems to the small villages around the proposed development, as well as the potential to harm protected landscape.

Computer generated picture of the sports hub development

Canterbury’s nomadic club ‘Canterbury City FC’ hoped the new sports complex would have finally given the team a home. The team currently shares grounds with Faversham Football team.

Since 2016, the council have ‘washed their hands’ and given up trying to find the team a home, says club chairman Tim Clark.

‘A massive loss of opportunity’

Canterbury City FC had a proposed partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University where 90 students each year would take on work placements with the club. The councillor’s rejection of the development plans means the partnership will no longer go ahead.

As long as placements for CCCU students, Clark hoped that the new sports hub would have attracted young people to get involved with sports – something he claims the council have neglected.

Tim Clark said: “It’s abundantly clear that the council has no coordinated strategy to get young people into playing sports.
“The plan with Canterbury Christ Church would have enabled us to get into local schools, especially primary schools to provide them with locally trained coaches. It’s a massive loss of opportunity.”
He added: “We’re at a time where the youth no longer engage in sports and that’s concerning. They didn’t see the bigger picture and it’s the young people who will be really suffering.”


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Claisse Opulencia

Editor-in-Chief of Unified. Claisse is a third year multimedia journalism student at CCCU. Amnesty Media Award Finalist 2018, IRN Awards Runner-up 2018 and nominated for two SPA Awards 2018.

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