Floodlight concerns over Elland school's bid for new FIFA and rugby league artificial pitch

Brooksbank School in Elland
Brooksbank School in Elland

A Calderdale school is looking to develop a new artificial grass pitch – but it is floodlighting which might make it available later into evenings that is causing objectors to the plans concern.

Brooksbank School has applied for permission to develop a new FIFA and rugby league standard artificial grass pitch (AGP) which would be enclosed by a 4.5m high ball stop fencing with entrance gates, perimeter barrier, hard standing, floodlight system and maintenance equipment store.

An overspill car park is also proposed to the south of the existing sports hall car park, which is south of the school building at Victoria Road, Elland, itself.

Grass mounds with planting are proposed on the southern boundary of the site, and following comments from council Environment Health officers are also suggested for the east boundary.

In all 22 letters of objection and one letter of representation have been received by the council, whose Planning Committee will determine the application when it meets at Halifax Town Hall next Tuesday, June 11, from 2pm.

Objections on grounds of light pollution, traffic congestion, potential disturbance including possible foul and abusive language from adult groups using the pitch which is likely to be available later due to floodlighting, fears of vandalism and potential crime risk due to increased number of strangers, and privacy have been raised.

But the Rugby Football Union has advised Sport England it feels it will meet the latter’s standards but adds that the pitch should also be made World Rugby compliant.

“Brooksbank School have taken part in rugby union this year and as such the RFU would be keen to ensure that the proposed development doesn’t result in the school losing the ability to provide a rugby union pitch to play on.

“With other grass pitches still remaining and the proposed AGP replacing a grass pitch the RFU can confirm there they feel the proposal will meet Sport England planning policy, however we would recommend consideration be given to the final surface selected to allow it to be used by existing users of the school.”

Planning officers are recommending the committee approves the application, subject to conditions.