BUILDERS could soon begin working on a new sports pavilion in the heart of Ringwood.

New Forest District Council's planning development committee members gave permission to Ringwood Junior School governors and Ellingham and Ringwood Rugby Club for the pavilion in the school grounds.

The building would feature four changing rooms, loos, first aid room, bar, kitchen, beer cellar and store.

Carol Hazell, chairman of governors, told the committee the application was the result of six years of effort to provide quality sports facilities.

"This project will directly affect the sporting opportunities of the 380 pupils of Ringwood Junior School as well as 260 pupils of Ringwood Infant School who currently have no sporting facilities," she said.

The project has been carried out in partnership with the rugby club, Ringwood and Avon Junior Athletics Club and Ellingham Cricket Club.

The council received 36 objections raising concerns about late-night use, increased noise and vandalism, dangerfrom stray balls, light pollution, loss of privacy and rowdy gatherings in the bar.

Town councillors recommended refusal on the grounds of inadequate parking, increased traffic, unacceptable use and impact on the neighbouring cemetery.

However, district councillors agreed with their officers that "the benefits outweigh the concerns".