A DECISION on whether to allow a multi-million-pound hockey centre to be built in the city has been hit with a delay.

A three-month consultation on a plan by RGS and Worcester Hockey Club to build the facilities on the Old Porcelain Ground off Droitwich Road in Worcester ends on January 22 and the item was pencilled in to be discussed by Worcester City Council’s planning committee less than a day later.

The new hockey club has not been included on next week’s planning committee agenda (January 23) and public consultation has re-opened due to some changes made to the original plan following Sport England’s ‘holding’ objection which it has now withdrawn.

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Sport England said, despite wanting to support the new centre, it had to raise an objection as the location of the new hockey pitches would have a negative effect on existing playing fields and more information was needed on the proposed loss of football pitches and how existing football teams would be accommodated.

Sport England, in an email to city council planners, said it was withdrawing its objection as the changes to the layout of the site meant “the majority of the existing playing field is now unaffected by the proposed development.”

The changes in layout now allow for an adult sized football pitch to remain.

Following the changes, England Hockey and Football Foundation both said they did not objection to the plan.

The controversial application received hundreds of comments within a couple of weeks of being submitted and comments from the public have continued to flood in.

Last year, the council agreed to loan £2.1 million to cover the cost of building the hockey centre with an opening planned for the end of 2020.

The land is owned by the city council and would be leased jointly for 30 years to RGS and Worcester Hockey Club with agreements to make sure the facility is built.

The plans show two new international standard hockey pitches, two youth football pitches, a single-storey pavilion with changing rooms and a club room and a 36-space car park with coach and minibus spaces.

If approved, the hockey centre is expected to open by the end of 2020.