Decision due on plans for new all weather playing pitch with floodlights at High Tunstall College of Science

A decision is due to be made on plans to bring a new artificial football pitch to a school in Hartlepool after concerns were raised over the development.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 8:56 am
Decision due on plans for new all weather playing pitch with floodlights at High Tunstall College of Science
Decision due on plans for new all weather playing pitch with floodlights at High Tunstall College of Science

Earlier this year proposals were submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council by bosses at High Tunstall College of Science to provide a new all weather playing pitch with floodlights at the school.

A new £17million state-of-the art facility has recently opened which replaces around three quarters of the existing High Tunstall College of Science on Elwick Road.

The artificial 3G floodlit grass pitch would be created on land made available through the demolition of the school buildings.

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A decision is to be made next week on the proposals by the council planning committee, with 15 letters of objection submitted raising concerns over the plans.

These include potential noise, anti-social behaviour and traffic concerns from the site.

However a report from senior council planning officer Jane Tindall is recommending the plans for approval, adding they would not harm the surrounding area.

It said: “The proposed development would enhance the sport and recreation facilities available at the site and is considered to be acceptable in principle.

“It is not considered that the development would adversely affect the amenity of neighbouring land users or the visual amenity of the surrounding area.”

Many of the concerns come from residents who live near the area and have submitted written objections to the council.

One resident Claire Passman said: “As a resident of the area I strongly protest to this. It will bring noise pollution to this quiet area. It will bring more traffic and people through this lovely respectful area.”

Concerns were also raised by some about the opening times, with the pitch planned to be open until 10pm Monday to Friday and until 8pm on weekends, with the floodlights turned off and pitch locked up 15 minutes later.

The site would have multiple pitch markings meaning as well as being used as an 11-a-side pitch, the site could be split into multiple nine, seven and five-a-side pitches, along with training areas.

A planning statement submitted by Labosport Ltd on behalf of the school states the facilities would provide a boost to the school and the whole area.

It said: “This proposal offers an ideal opportunity to introduce a state-of-the-art artificial grass pitch (AGP) for college students, young aspiring footballers and for senior football.

“The plan is to increase grassroots football development at the college and to encourage whole-life sport by enhancing pathways into senior football.

“The project will succeed in its ambition to develop more competent and capable footballers with improved technical skills from a younger age.”

A decision will be made on the plans at the council planning committee on Wednesday, December 18, at 10am at the Civic Centre.