Fulwood Academy floodlights plans are ‘step too far’

Plans: A meeting was held to discuss plans for floodlights at Fulwood Academy
Plans: A meeting was held to discuss plans for floodlights at Fulwood Academy
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Residents say plans for new floodlights at Fulwood Academy are a ‘step too far’.

Around 80 people attended a public meeting on Tuesday to hear about the plans for eight new floodlight at the academy, as part of proposals to open up the school’s new pitches to the community.

Fulwood Academy, on Black Bull Lane, has undergone a £25m overhaul over two years with a new building on the site of the former Fulwood High School.

Attention is now turning to the school’s playing fields where new football pitches are being formed.

School bosses say they have been ‘inundated’ with requests from local sporting groups to use the facilities, which will need floodlight for evening and weekend use, and decided to take the plans to residents to get their views. No formal application has been submitted yet.

But the plans have been met with some opposition.

Dr Sean Bradley, who lives on Ingle Head, said residents were ‘now tired’ of works at the school.

He said: “There were around 80 to 100 people (at the meeting), and not a single one spoke in favour. We have had enough of this. Everyone was up in arms.

“It is on my doorstep. We have been living with this for years.

“You try and get on with things and the noise is terrible. We have had three years of incessant dim.”

He said the building was ‘lovely’, but feared that school bosses were not taking the views of residents into consideration.

He said: “It is a lovely building no doubt, and I see they want to improve the education for students, but I feel like they have ridden rough shod over us.”

Neil Reynolds, director of standards and sport at the academy, said: “We got planning permission for the football pitches in 2010 and they are currently being erected.

“We have been inundated with phone calls from local football teams and rugby teams to see if we would be putting in floodlights for evenings and weekends, and that is why we held the meeting.

“We haven’t had chance to decide what the next stage is yet. If we do put in a planning application for the lighting we do want to work with the community.

At no point did we want to upset or inconvenience the neighbours, although we do know with the lighting we are going to do that.”