School sports plan approved
Dudley councillors have approved a plan for a new multi-use games area which threatened to put neighbours at loggerheads.
Residents living next to Bishop Milner Catholic College on Burton Road had split into two camps opposing and supporting the upgrading of sports facilities for some 800 pupils.
The school had applied for planning permission to replace an ageing artificial grass pitch with a new multi-use games area surrounded by a three metre high mesh fence.
But after a formal consultation the plan led to 11 formal objections from residents living close to the college.
They said the area would suffer noise late into the evening with balls hitting the fencing and from increased traffic entering and leaving the site.
They also feared neighbours would experince disturbance during construction.
But 15 letters of support were lodged with the council saying it would be good for the community, improve facilities for the children and help in providing a wider range of activities.
Members of the council’s development control committee heard a proposal to install an acoustic barrier had been rejected because of the £40,000 cost.
Cllr Asif Ahmed, supporting the proposal, said he was surprised at the cost of a noise barrier but the games area was badly needed: “The facilities at the school are very, very poor. I’m surprised this has taken so long. It does need a lot of work doing to it.”
A proposal to install flood lights was withdrawn limiting the area’s use to daylight hours.
Recommending approval of the application, planning officers say the scheme had the support of Sport England and the council’s existing policy was in favour of sports facilities which promote health and well-being.
In response to the claims of noise nuisance, they said: “It is unlikely that any potential noise and disturbance would be over and above that currently experienced.
“The proposed changes would allow a greater community use of the site, which is supported by (the) policies of the Local Planning Authority.”
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