School hopes to increase floodlit pitch use hours
PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 July 2015
Nailsea School is hoping to extend the use of the floodlights on its all-weather pitch (AWP) to enable more sports clubs to use it.
The school was the first in the country to have a fourth generation sports pitch and it is the only facility of its kind in North Somerset.
It is used by students in school hours, by sports clubs and members of the public during evenings and weekends.
At present, the pitch cannot be used before 8.30am and after 8pm on Monday to Friday, before 8.30am and after 6pm on Saturday and before 9am and after 1.30pm on Sunday.
Since it opened there has been a high level of demand for the pitch, but due to its restricted use Nailsea School says it has had to turn clubs down.
In its application, the school says extending the hours will help it cope with future demand when new homes are built and will provide recreational and health benefits to the community.
The school wants to change the conditions so the pitch can be used until 8.30pm on Monday to Friday in May-July and until 9.30pm from August-April.
On Saturdays, the school hopes to use the pitch until 7pm from May-July and until 8.30pm from August–April.
No use would be permitted on Sundays in July, but for the rest of the year the school has applied to use the pitch until 3pm on Sundays.
Its previous application to extend the hours of use were turned down in 2012 due to unacceptable light pollution.
Planning and environmental health officers have since visited to assess light pollution and found it would not be detrimental to nearby homes. However, inspectors said noise levels were likely to be excessive for people living in Ash Hayes Drive and Mizzymead Road.
An acoustic fence has been recommended to mitigate the effects and the school has also offered to supply neighbours with black-out blinds.
The application has been supported by a number of clubs including Clapton-in-Gordano Football Club, which is keen to use the training facilities.
A number of neighbours have objected to the proposals online including Susan and Mark Cummings, of Mayfair Avenue, who wrote: “The AWP is close to many homes in the community and there have been consistent complaints about the noise and light pollution.
“The acoustic fence has been suggested as a means of solving it but this cannot be at all certain. It is only on part of the boundary and will provide no protection for our house and many others. The school should be aware the houses most affected already have blackout blinds.”