Town school gets the green light for new all weather pitch

First published in News

AN application to build a new all weather pitch at a town school has been given the go-ahead by Bromsgrove planners.

South Bromsgrove High School's application for the pitch was considered by Bromsgrove District Council's planning committee yesterday, (February 13).

The application was for the replacement of a sports pitch at the Charford Road-based school, to a full size floodlit, all weather facility.

Permission was sought for a single storey building containing changing rooms, a two metre standing space for spectators on the south side of the pitch, and eight lighting columns surrounding it that met the Football Association's standards.

It was proposed the facility was for the use of students and the wider community.

Officers recommended the scheme was approved.

But there had been concerns raised from residents of Charford Road and Manor Court Road who objected to the added light from the floodlights illuminating the pitch, disturbance from the noise, the additional traffic and the pitch being open late in the evening.

At the meeting, the school's head of PE, David Bayliss, made a passionate appeal for the scheme to be approved pointing out there was a "massive need" for the pitch in Bromsgrove.

He explained that the current weather conditions meant youngsters could not use the current pitch, and pointed out Sport England had demonstrated their support for the scheme with a grant.

During councillor's discussions on the scheme, Norton councillor Pete Lammas said he had nothing against the application in principal, but said he couldn't support it as he had "great reservations" about the floodlights.

Coun Lammas said the 15 metre pylons were a "considerable size", and would be a great intrusion into neighbours lives, especially being used late at night.

He said: "I remember Avon Close, Parkside and Meadows, and most recently, problems with lights in Crown Close."

Stoke Prior councillor John Tidmarsh said: "They (the school) have a pitch there at the moment that they cannot use.

"There are street lights in Charford Road, so I do not see any problems with the lights."

Slideslow councillor Rod Laight said: "We are desperately short of all weather pitches.

"These facilities will be used by hundreds of local people."

The scheme was given the green light after five members of the committee voted in favour, with two against.

Permission was granted subject to conditions including that floodlights are switched off between 10pm and 9am every day, and that trees and hedges on the site are protected.

After the meeting South Bromsgrove High School's headteacher, Paul Topping, said: "I am very pleased that Bromsgrove District Council is supporting plans for construction of a pitch - the first such provision in the Bromsgrove area.

"Governors take very seriously their responsibility as a community partner and are proud of the strategies the school is involved in to support the legacy of the London 2012 games, which include enhancing our sporting facilities.

"Having a son who is actively involved in local teams, I understand the huge potential offered by the availability of a high quality, all season, all-weather facility. "

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