On-lookers have applauded a decision to allow the redevelopment of Norman Park, with advocates talking of the creation of a “community hub” at the well-used sports ground.

Bromley’s development control committee met on November 26 to discuss the proposal to demolish the park’s existing pavilion to make way for the construction of a new multi-sports facility.

Addressing the committee, applicant Chris Hilditch, a trustee of Blackheath and Bromley Harriers Athletics Club, said he hoped councillors agreed it would be “potentially a great facility for the community.”

Mr Hilditch revealed the athletics club had sold the clubhouse freehold to facilitate the funding of the project, which they predict will be in excess of £3m.

Plans for the new facility include an indoor multi-sport hall, physio treatment rooms, multi-function rooms, a café, and function area.

Mr Hilditch explained the development would see a 71 per cent rise in use for what he said was already “the most used track in the country”.

“As far as usage is concerned, because we (will now) have rooms for (activities such as) pilates and yoga, there will be gymnastic groups using it every day,” he said.

Mr Hilditch said this would see an extra 150 people use the facilities daily.

“Specifically we want it to be a hub for people to use on a social basis,” he added.

“Any member of the public who wanted to use it would be very welcome.”

It would see the facility open year-round except for Christmas day.

Outside of sport, the hub could also be used for social functions up until midnight up to six times a year.

In finishing debate, committee chair Alexa Michael said the committee should grant permission based on  “mitigating factors, the benefit it would bring, and local support this has received”.

“It is green belt land, but I believe there are very special circumstances that will outweigh any harm to the greenbelt,”  said Cllr Michael, adding:  “It will give a very much needed and welcomed facility in the centre of our borough”.

The move was subsequently unanimously approved by councillors, leading to a round of applause from a small but invested public gallery.