Artificial sports pitch plan set to get go-ahead

Walton-le-Dale Arts College and High School
Walton-le-Dale Arts College and High School
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Plans for an artificial sports pitch next to a Lancashire college look set to be approved despite residents’ objections.

The application relates to a 0.6 hectare section of existing grass playing field near Walton-le-Dale Arts College in Brindle Road, Bamber Bridge, near Preston.

The site, and the wider Walton-le-Dale Arts College site, is allocated as Green Infrastructure under South Ribble Borough Council’s plans.

The application by Mrs Stacey Eckersley seeks planning permission for the upgrading and part re-location of an existing multi-sports pitch to form an artificial pitch enclosed by 3m high fencing together with an additional 2m ball catch netting on top and eight 15m high floodlights.

A report to today’s South Ribble planning committee says the proposed artificial pitch would be open between 9am and 9pm Monday to Friday and between 10am and 6pm on weekends and Bank Holidays for use by the school and the community. No spectator facilities are proposed.

Existing buildings and landscaping within the site would largely screen the development to the north and south, with exception to the proposed floodlighting columns.

The report noted that five letters of objection had been received from nearby residents. They raised issues about the floodlighting, its closeness to neighbours, noise pollution and other factors.

But the report said: “The proposed formation of a multi-sports artificial pitch will not have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the area or the amenities of nearby properties.”

The plan is recommended for approval with conditions, including specified opening times, and that the development must begun not later than the expiration of three years beginning with the date of this permission.