Plans for an all-weather sports pitch at Uckfield Community Technology College are recommended for approval by East Sussex county councillors on tomorrow.
Concerns about neighbours being affected by noise and light pollution are raised in a report due to be considered by the county council’s planning committee and restrictions on the hours of use are proposed to reduce the impact.
The planning application seeks permission to use the pitch from 9am to 10pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 9pm on Saturday and 8am to 7pm on Sundays and Bank or Public Holidays but the recommendation is to limit the hours of use to 9am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday and 9am to 7pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
The proposal is to build a floodlit artificial turf pitch on part of the Uckfield Community Technology College playing fields which would be contained within a fenced enclosure.
The pitch would have a third generation surface resembling plastic grass based on a rubber crumb filling.
The first generation was ‘astroturf’, a short dense plastic pile with a sand fill. That surface could be used for many sports but is described in the report, to be considered by councillors, as “not a particularly good surface for any of them”.
The report continues: “The 3G surface can theoretically be used for multi-sports although it has evolved specially for rugby training and for football.”
The aim is for the new pitch to be used by the community college and local primary schools during the day in term time until 5pm and for community use afterwards and at weekends.
There would be eight columns, each 15 metres high, each side of the pitch for floodlighting. Two, 2kw lamps would be carried on each column.
A viewing area is proposed at the leisure centre end of the pitch which would include a ramp to ease access between the different levels from the leisure centre to the playing field.
Fourteen letters have been received by the council objecting to the proposal on the grounds of light, noise and verbal pollution, inadequate parking facilities, potential hazards for passing traffic from wayward balls and the right to peaceful enjoyment of property being denied.
Sixty-three letters have supported the proposal saying there are no similar facilities in Uckfield and it will be a sporting and health asset, particularly to young people.
A petition containing 320 signatures has supported the proposal and 15 letters of support have been received from primary schools and the Sussex County Football Association, Uckfield Grasshoppers Youth Football Club, Uckfield Rugby Club, Wealden Local Strategic Partnership, Active Sussex and Sussex County Playing Fields Association.