Plans for floodlit hockey pitch approved despite homeowners’ objections

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 October 2018

Land at QEH School where the pitches will be built. Picture: QEH School

Land at QEH School where the pitches will be built. Picture: QEH School

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More sporting facilities will be built in Failand after a school’s plans for a floodlit hockey pitch and tennis courts were approved.

The cluib wants to improve its academy facilities. Picture: Bristol City FCThe cluib wants to improve its academy facilities. Picture: Bristol City FC

Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital (QEH) school applied to replace grass sports pitches with artificial surfaces, including an all-weather hockey pitch and four tennis or netball courts with floodlighting, perimeter fences and storage areas at its Clevedon Road site.

Six 18-metre high floodlights would illuminate the hockey pitch, which would house six tennis courts.

The school will only operate the floodlights until 6pm and will put sound baffles and acoustic fencing in place to reduce noise levels.

North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee gave the plans the green light at its meeting on October 10.

MORE: Concerns raised over school’s plans to increase sports facilities.

The proposals were criticised by Long Ashton Parish Council and its ward councillor Charles Cave, who said it would have a ‘detrimental impact on nearby homes’.

Speaking at the meeting, he said: “These plans do not take into account the major impact it will have on people’s living conditions.

“Hockey is a noisy game with sticks hitting the ball and goals at regular intervals and the intrusion of light will be on the same level as it is with Bristol Grammar School.

“There is an issue with the amount of flood lighting in Failand, which collectively has more floodlights than Bristol Airport, and this is simply not acceptable.”

Longwood Lane homeowners, who would be affected by the floodlit hockey pitch the most as it will be located less than 10 metres away from some houses, voiced their concerns to the parish council while more than 20 objections were submitted to the North Somerset Council.

But Cllr Felicity Baker said: “It is a sports area, people bought their houses knowing this and there are not many homes which will be affected by the hockey pitch.

“We only gave permission to Bristol City Football Club to expand its facilities last month, so it will make us look silly if we refuse this.”

QEH is pleased with North Somerset’s decision and believes it will be to its pupils’ benefit.

A school spokesman said: “We aim to improve the sporting provision for both boys and girls at QEH during the coming years.

“Engaging young people in sport is essential for improving their health and wellbeing.”

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