MIDHURST town councillors are backing residents who object to plans for the extension of hours of Midhurst Rother College’s new floodlit artificial turf pitch.
Residents say plans for longer hours at the Lamberts Lane pitch, especially on Saturday mornings and evenings, are an unreasonable intrusion into their privacy which would bring unacceptable noise and more light pollution.
In 2010 West Sussex County Council granted permission for the pitch to be used from 8am-9pm from Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm on Saturdays and from 10am-4pm on Sundays.
Now the college wants to extend the week-day hours by one hour in the evening to 10pm and by six hours on Saturdays with use from 8am-10pm.
But members of the town council’s planning committee have objected to the plans after visiting the site, taking a look at it from neighbouring properties and talking to Simon Elliott, the county council’s college building project leader.
Making their objection, they said the original application recognised the effect the lighting would have on nearby residents and nothing had been done to ameliorate the situation.
“It may be argued the effects will be greater because the tree line then in existence, has now been felled.”
Their objection continued: “The council acknowledges some replacement planting has taken place, but doubts that the slow-growing trees selected will be effective in the short to medium term in shielding residents from noise and light pollution.
“The town council is convinced adequate screening for residential properties is an essential precondition and would be happy to reconsider the application when such screening is established.”