COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Basketball and beach volleyball site approved
Organisers of Birmingham 2022 have welcomed news that structures for basketball and beach volleyball at the Smithfield site have gained planning approval.
The Commonwealth Games events will be held at the currently vacant Smithfield site south of the city centre next year – and are expected to attract up to 4,000 spectators.
The event’s organising committee had applied for planning permission to build temporary fields of play along with warm up and training areas, spectator seating and a roof/shade structure.
The application also included plans for a logistics, media and storage compound, food and drink outlets, a large screen area, toilets, fencing and sports lighting of up to 30 metres in height.
The plans were approved by the city council’s planning committee – paving the way for the area to be used at the event in July and August next year before being removed by September.
The plans were opposed in one letter of objection, which took issue with the impact on “views and light”, construction noise, traffic and disruption.
It was reported last week that residents of the West Midlands can now apply for tickets for the sports at the games – while children in care in Birmingham are eligible for free tickets.
Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022, said: “We are pleased that our application for the temporary change in use and for the installation of temporary structures at Smithfield was approved and we are looking forward to transforming this site to stage the basketball 3×3, the wheelchair basketball 3×3 and the beach volleyball competitions at this venue.
“Smithfield is a fantastic location for these sports, with an impressive city-scape backdrop, and using this site will allow us to create a key hub for the Games in the heart of the city centre.
“It’s currently a blank canvas but we’ll install a vibrant venue for these exciting sports, bringing a festival atmosphere to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and showcasing the city to millions of visitors and viewers.
“Residents of the West Midlands can currently apply for tickets for the sports at Smithfield as well as the 17 other sports on our programme.
“These include the likes of lawn bowls and para lawn bowls in Royal Leamington Spa’s Victoria Park, table tennis, badminton and boxing at the NEC and women’s T20 cricket at Edgbaston Stadium but the regional ballot closes on 30 July so I’d urge everyone to go to birmingham2022.com to apply for tickets now so that they don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime experience.”
Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Democracy Reporter
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