PLANNERS have ignored protests and given the go-ahead for a large sports hall to be built in protected parkland at Farnborough.

The decision by Rushmoor Council's development control committee breaches rules governing important open areas.

But the committee was told in a report that the 32ft high sports hall, earmarked for the grounds of Farnborough Hill School, would have a "minimal impact" on the area. Steps would also be taken to ensure that the hall was built from materials which allowed it to blend in with what is a conservation area. The hall, which will have four badminton courts and other facilities, will be some distance from the main school building, the committee heard.

The committee's decision will upset two Farnborough Road residents who objected to the planning application. They said it was wrong to put up such a large building in a parkland and conservation area.