Facilities for Athletes with Disabilities


We were asked to design a new extension for the Leatherhead and Dorking Gymnastics Club to provide an additional gym, along with new facilities for disabled athletes.


The Club is on a confined site in on green belt land, where there is a presumption against development.


Leatherhead & Dorking Gymnastics Club



Leatherhead, Surrey



Extension in Greenbelt

The Challenge

We needed to produce a design for the extension that Dorking and Leatherhead Gymnastics Club urgently needs to enable it to offer more facilities, but which took its setting within the green belt into account.


The Club building had already been extended on two previous occasions and local Planning Officers were understandably reluctant to allow any further extension as they were concerned that this could create a precedent for enlarging buildings on green belt land.


The new extension also had to meet the standards of the British Gymnastics Society, as well as international standards.

The Solution

We built a robust Planning case based on the special circumstances particular to the Gymnastics Club and its status as a Centre of Excellence.


We also highlighted to the Local Authority the benefits that the Club and its development would bring to the whole of the local community, particularly those with physical and learning disabilities.


The design was developed in conjunction with the Gymnastics Club to make sure it catered for the way they train and need to use the facility, whilst meeting the height constraints set by the local planning authority.


It was also key for the new extension to improve the appearance of the existing club and give the building a more unified appearance. This was achieved by designing a feature roof that creates synergy with the existing building through careful use of sympathetic materials.

The Result

Planning consent for the extension to Dorking and Leatherhead Gymnastics Club was granted with limited conditions.


The new design is sympathetic to the Greenfield site of the Club and will give a new, modern look to the building. It provides much-needed additional gym space and facilities for disabled members and guests.


Construction is scheduled to begin early in 2020.