Work clear to start on new 3G floodlit pitch at Hartlepool's High Tunstall College of Science

Plans to bring a new artificial football pitch to a school in Hartlepool have been heaped with praise as the proposals got the green light.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 8:01 pm
An artist's impression of how High Tunstall College of Science showing how the sports facilities will look once work is complete.
An artist's impression of how High Tunstall College of Science showing how the sports facilities will look once work is complete.

Hartlepool Borough Council Planning Committee unanimously approved plans to provide a new all weather playing pitch with floodlights at High Tunstall College of Science.

A new £17million state-of-the art facility opened in November which replaced around three quarters of the existing High Tunstall school site on Elwick Road.

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

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High Tunstall College of Science opening day in November. Pupils and staff move around the new school.

Mark Tilling, headteacher at High Tunstall, told the planning committee how the facilities will help keep members of the community ‘safe and healthy’.

He also mentioned how it will help tackle obesity issues in the town and provide good facilities for the whole community.

He said: “This gives us the opportunity to develop the fantastic facilities we offer to young people in the community that we serve.

“The AGP (artificial grass pitch) will be used for both youth and women’s football, but we also want to engage with the older generations with walking football and disability sport through other organisations.

“This will also enable us to continue to have outside sport and engage with those doing outside sport throughout the academic year.”

Mr Tilling also said the facilities will help support the community use agreement in place with the new school, adding they already host swimming, athletics and police cadet sessions.

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

The premises will only be able to open to the public from 8am to 9pm Monday to Sunday, and floodlighting will also only operate between these hours.

In total 15 letters of objection were submitted raising concerns over the plans, including potential noise, anti-social behaviour and traffic concerns from the site.

However councillors unanimously praised the proposals and said they could not understand criticism to the plans.

Coun Jim Lindridge said: “I think it’s recognised we have issues with obesity in the town, and this will be a tremendous step to adjusting that imbalance and getting young people exercising out and about.”

Coun Marjorie James said: “I think this is an absolutely excellent application and it will enhance the new school.

“I don’t quite understand the level of objections, this will create an excellent facility at the North end of the town.”

Planning officers added the headlights for the pitch are designed to stop the overspill of light and will point down towards the pitch.