This post was first published by My London on 20/02/2019.
Why neighbours won’t play ball as Croydon junior school gets floodlit sports pitch
People living nearby say it will cause noise and light pollution.
A new sports pitch will be built at a Croydon junior school even though neighbours don’t want to play ball and are really not happy about the light and the potential noise they say will come from it.
The Minster Junior School raised £200,000 to pay for the 3G pitch at the school in Warrington Road. Fencing and lighting was also approved by Croydon Council.
But nearby residents spoke out about the effects the pitch would have on their lives at a planning meeting on Thursday, February 14.
Noise and lights are a big worry
David and Angela Kelly, who live in St Leonard’s Road at the rear of where the pitch will be, spoke out against the application.
And they weren’t alone.
They were joined by about 10 other residents, all concerned about light and sound pollution from the pitch.
Mr Kelly said he objected to the pitch being so close to houses.
He said that during the autumn and winter, the existing trees would do nothing to shield homes from the flood lighting.
Mrs Kelly said she spoke on behalf of the residents of Ludford Close and 42 flats overlooking the playing fields.
“If you intend to accept the recommendation, we would like you to reconsider the hours of use to 6pm and for it not to be used on public holidays,” she said.
Ward councillor Joy Prince, who is a planning committee member, did not vote on the plans, instead speaking against them.
Councillor Prince said she is not against the proposal in principal but thought the operating hours were too long for a primary school.
“The artificial lighting is going to be on until quite late hours and the trees are not going to be any good as a noise barrier,” she added.
The council had a different view
Director of planning at Croydon Council, Heather Cheesbrough, spoke out to clam their fears.
She said that there is already a sports pitch at the school.
And she stressed the 10m tall floodlights would be fitted with ‘baffles’ to absorb some of the extra light.
Deputy chair of the planning committee, Cllr Paul Scott, said with childhood obesity on the up “we need to make sure facilities are provided”.
He added: “The important thing is that the impact on neighbours is minimised as much as reasonably possible.”
The plans were approved unanimously by the committee – but with conditions.
- There must be extra landscaping to create a buffer of trees between the pitch and homes.
- There must be an 8pm finish.
- Lighting levels must be monitored
- And the lights must be switched off when not in use.
When the plans were first submitted there was concerns that they would be made of rubber crumb – a potentially cancer causing material.
But the school’s business manager, Andrea Lee, later clarified that the pitch will be sand based.
The planning permission for the new pitch will be valid for three years and it allows for the floodlights to be used from Monday to Saturday.