THE proposed £2.9million hockey facility in Worcester will go before the city council’s planning committee in January.

A joint venture between Worcester Hockey Club and Royal Grammar School, Worcester, has already secured commitment from Worcester City Council to underwrite a £2.1million loan to develop the Old Porcelain Ground on Droitwich Road.

The plan has proved controversial with the council already agreeing to underwrite a £2.1million government loan on top of purchasing extra land to facilitate the venture.

Project managers had hoped to put their case to planners during the autumn of this year but now target starting work in March and opening in September 2020.

Included is a promise to eradicate “unregulated parking and anti-social behaviour” as well as improving floodlight spill.

A statement read: “If planning is granted the proposals will deliver a stunning new home for hockey in Worcester which will enable anyone interested in playing hockey – regardless of age, ability, disability or background – to play on international-standard water-based pitches.

“We are extremely grateful to the local residents for their overwhelmingly supportive and constructive input into the final design and we look forward to continuing to work with them.

“The proposals will ensure past issues of unregulated parking and anti-social behaviour associated with the site will cease and we will remove the existing uncontrolled flood lighting, visible from homes opposite, in favour of a state-of-the-art screened lighting scheme which will leave no light spill outside of the site.

“The Old Porcelain Ground has a long and proud history of community and recreational sport.

“Our proposals intend to celebrate and continue that tradition, including returning a sports pavilion in its original location with a low-profile timber clad design within a landscape surrounded by trees and hedges. These are all being retained and improved with new planting of native species.”

The statement indicated neither the club nor the school intends to comment further ahead of any planning decision.