UK's first dedicated dodgeball centre set to open in Hartlepool after sports organisers win planning approval

A team seeking to create the UK’s first dedicated dodgeball centre has been granted planning permission for a site in Hartlepool.

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 3:43 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd August 2019, 5:54 pm
Young Hartlepool dodgeball players in action

The sport – made famous by the 2004 film of the same name starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller – has been growing in popularity in the town to the extent organisers say a dedicated facility is needed.

Proposals were submitted early this year by Paul Hewitson, on behalf of Stott Fitness, to convert a building adjacent to the Iceland Food store off Skerne Road, which is currently empty, into the landmark dodgeball facility.

Council planning officers have now given the proposals full approval enabling work to commence.

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A planning statement on behalf of the applicant stated they targeted the site as there is a demand for dodgeball in the area, but added it could also attract national visitors.

It said: “There has been a notable demand for children’s dodgeball and as such the Hartlepool Mavericks Dodgeball Club now has 120 Hartlepool children registered and partaking in classes each week.

“The existing setup of the dodgeball club is restrictive in that the club has only been able to rent hall space from other community venues for a limited number of sessions each week.

“We have identified that the only way to offer more to the young people in town is to establish the first “dodgeball centre” in the UK here in Hartlepool.

“It is worth noting that this centre would be one of the first of its kind in the United Kingdom and as such a fantastic asset and benefit to our residents.”

The unit is joined on to the Iceland site and has been unoccupied for 10 years.

The building is to offer one full size dodgeball court, along with three smaller courts, a coaching area, activity room and a waiting area for parents.

Council engineering and traffic and transport bosses offered no objections to the plans, neither did the police, however they asked the facility ‘is well managed and access is controlled’.

The council public protection team also did not object, but recommended the site shuts at 8pm and installs sound insulation to doors and windows, due to residents nearby.

Stott Fitness is a community company that has several brands encompassed within it, including the Hartlepool Mavericks Dodgeball Club.

Across the country there are over 85 dodgeball clubs affiliated to British Dodgeball, the leading dodgeball association in the UK, 3 of which are in the North East of England; Hartlepool Mavericks, Billingham Bulls and Middlesbrough Bombers.