PLANS to extend the sports pavilion in Shedfield have been given the green light – despite concerns over traffic and parking.

The parish council had submitted an application to improve and enlarge the facility in Upper Church Road, which has not been refurbished since the 1980s.

Civic chiefs approved the plans, which received 10 public objections due to not including additional parking spaces in an already-busy area.

Greg Hatt, a local resident who also used to manage a youth football team at the recreation ground, told members of the planning committee: "I am concerned that the plans do not provide additional on-site parking. It is a fact that since the reconfiguration of the recreation ground to provide two football pitches, parking and congestion has been an issue.

"On the occasions where two matches take place simultaneously the road is often lined from top to bottom with parked cars.

"It's also a fact that the rec's usage is not just seasonal, nor just restricted to the weekend. The rec sometimes hosts back to back matches and evening matches are occasionally scheduled as well.

"Additionally, it has already been acknowledged that Upper Church Road and Church Road have also been heavily used for parking during weddings and funerals at the church."

Mr Hatt pointed out that one of the aims of the extension was to attract more people to use the facility.

He said that more cars, combined with residents receiving online shopping from delivery drivers in large vehicles, will cause heavy congestion.

City councillor Mike Read questioned whether there would be enough space for additional parking.

But parish councillor Lynda Warren who is spearheading the scheme said that residents will be encouraged to walk or cycle.

She said that the plans were first started following a Winchester City Council project that identified a 'severe lack' in football pitches across the district.

"The playing fields were underutilised and we managed to sort a pitch for under 11-12 year olds," said Cllr Warren. "However this threw up the problem of whether the changing rooms were in good enough condition."

She said that they were too small and did not meet safety criteria to provide for young football teams as the toilets were outside and away from the main set up.

The planning committee unanimously approved the plans, but Cllr David McLean urged Cllr Warren to keep an eye on the situation.

"Teams will be coming from distance so cars are necessary here," he said.

The extension will include: two larger separate unisex changing rooms with showering facilities; two separate changing rooms with integral shower facilities; an access bathroom and separate male and female toilets; a large function room with a separate table/chair store; a large kitchen to serve onto the function room; a refurbished and extended parish council office with store room; a new draft lobby entrance to the parish office; a separate external entrance to the function room plus a large sliding folding glazed door with direct access to external terrace; a separate entrance from the field to the changing facilities; and an internal link doors between the changing facilities.