Councillors have given the green light for a £500,000 outdoor sports pitch at Brighouse High School.
The application for an artificial pitch, fence and eight floodlights has drawn huge opposition from residents living near to the school, who were unhappy with the outcome.
Emotions were running high during the meeting and chair of Calderdale Council’s planning committee Daniel Sutherland warned residents who were asking questions from the back of the room that he would ask them to leave if it continued.
A residents group set up to oppose the plans was represented by Chris Ball who spoke about their concerns about floodlights, increase in traffic and the noise levels of players and supporters that would use the pitch until 9pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and 10am to 4pm Sundays and Bank Holidays.
He said: “The enormous increase in hours of use is totally inappropriate for such a quiet residential area. These hours could constitute a change of use. We are not against the pitch being used in school hours, just to the extension late into the evening.”
Councillor Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) was also against the proposals. “I believe the excess lighting until 9pm most evenings of the year will cause them discomfort and will negatively impact upon their quality of life.”
Suzannah Carter from the school stressed that the driving force was to provide a facility for young people.
She said Clifton Rangers were relocating to the pitch, which is being funded by Football Foundation and Sport England. She said the plan was not a commercial venture as they were putting in £410,000 over 10 years for maintenance and running costs.
Councillor David Hardy voted in favour of the application. “Increased facilities, better facilities gives them a better chance to get kids off the streets and be active. I understand where residents and objectors are coming from, I have the light problem at home with a council facility where I live. I can sympathise with you but in essence there is nothing wrong with this application.”
The school will issue a code of conduct which will stress the leaving times for the site.