Villagers object to football club's floodlight proposal

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 July 2015

Neighbours oppose football club's application to extend floodlight use.

Neighbours oppose football club's application to extend floodlight use.

Archant

People living near a football club in Backwell fear their quality of life will be affected if an application to increase the use of floodlights is approved.

Ashton and Backwell United Football Club wants to keep its floodlights up throughout the summer, but residents are concerned about light and noise pollution if the proposal is granted.

The club plays at Lancer Scott Stadium in West Town Road and the football field backs onto the gardens of a number of nearby homes.

The floodlights are required to be taken down on April 30 and not used again until October after a planning inspector said the lights would cause ‘noticeable harm to the overall quality of the environment as enjoyed by nearby residents.’

However, in 2013, the club was granted temporary permission to keep the lights up in August and September and the club is now asking for this to be made permanent.

In the planning application, club chairman Jim Biggins states: “Our continued participation in The Western League is dependant on access to two full sides of the ground which is impossible when light columns are down 20 games per season.

“The insertion of condition one was to allow monitoring and assessment and as a full season has since passed we consider any problems would have been raised, therefore we request that it be removed.”

But homeowners say the problems have not been resolved, with loud noise, bright lights, swearing and the visual impact of 16m poles towering over their homes blighting the use of their gardens throughout the summer.

Backwell Parish Council is writing to North Somerset Council to ask planning officers to consider the history of the site before making a recommendation about planning permission.

Chairman Bob Taylor said: “These four monstrosities light up the residents’ homes and gardens and they must be lowered in accordance with the original application.

“Some conditions were changed for a trial period but we feel that hasn’t worked and we should go back to the original conditions.

“Unfortunately the football club has not managed to control the noise levels which include shouting and bad language in the summer when families are using their gardens. This is unacceptable.”

Backwell Residents’ Association has also objected to the proposal as they cause ‘unacceptable and unnecessary intrusion for nearby residents’.

People have until July 25 to comment on the proposal, which can be done through North Somerset Council’s website or in writing.

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