All-Weather Sports Pitch Passed by Inspector

Local protesters against previous scheme

A government inspector has granted planning permission to Sweyne Park School for an all-weather sports pitch. He has overruled District Councillors who refused permission because of its effects on residents in Cheapside East, Oakwood Road and Downhall Park Way.

This is very disapponting. All the Lib Dem Councillors thought it would have been much better to have an all-weather sports pitch at the old Park School site.

The Inspector clearly felt it was a difficult decision. On one side he said

“.. If spectators were on the mound during matches or at other times pupils climbed the mound, it would engender an unpleasant sense of loss of privacy for the limited number of people living at the ends of Cheapside East and Oakwood Road…”

He then added

“This impact could be considerably reduced by the erection of fencing between the perimeter fence and the boundaries of properties to the east. Good supervision could further reduce this impact by limiting spectators to the western side of the new pitch. The effect of such a fence or enclosure would be to limit spectators to the more westerly parts of the pitch perimeter . This area would be 60 m or more further from the closest residence. However there is little doubt in my mind that there would be an increase in noise disturbance.. ”

So even the inspector thinks there will be an increase in nuisance. However he has imposed an extra condition abour fencing:

“Condition 6 : No development shall take place until full details of a scheme to fence the area between the all-weather pitch and the eastern boundaries of the school have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority and the scheme shall be carried out as approved.”

The first 5 conditions are about starting within 3 years, no use after 1700 hrs on Saturdays or 1230 hrs on Sunday, against artificial lighting (other than security lighting) , against amplified sound , and landscaping.

The Lib Dem councillors , especially Chris Lumley, will be working with residents to make certain we can make the best we can out of these conditions.But it is dissppointing news.

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