Brighouse High gets green light for new sports area

What the proposed artificial turf pitch at Brighouse High School could look like
What the proposed artificial turf pitch at Brighouse High School could look like

Brighouse High School will be able to proceed with plans for a new artificial sports pitch after receiving approval from councillors.

Calderdale Council’s planning committee voted in favour of the plans despite efforts by local residents to have the application rejected.

The council received 101 letters of objection and one letter of support for the application.

They had cited the impact of traffic on Finkil Street and nearby roads with users of the pitch struggling to find parking when the school was open late for parent evenings and other events.

They also questioned the effect on the local bat population nesting nearby which would be affected by the floodlights and light spillage in the surrounding area.

In response to this the proposals have seen the pitch rotated through 90 degrees to decrease the impact from the floodlights on nearby housing.

Because of this the council planning officers recommended that the hours of use will be restricted to 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and 10am to 4pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

The council has also imposed a condition that the development will include the planting of a hedgerow to create another habitat for any bat population.

Chris Ball of the Hove Edge Neighbours Association spoke at the meeting against the proposal.

“We feel there should be a compromise with school and local residents,” he said.

“Residents of Hove Edge have a basic right to peace and privacy - please give us these rights by compromising on closing times.

“We would recommend 7pm would be more acceptable.”

Councillor Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) spoke on behalf of residents against the proposal.

He said: “The original proposals were for opening until 7pm. I don’t believe moving the pitch round accounts for extending this by two hours.”

Council planning officers said: “The pitch moved 90 degrees in terms of moving away from residential properties in light of Environmental Health concerns. In terms of the bats our conservation officer has years of experience and has looked at the issue. It’s not a building that’s being created but a pitch with open space.”

Residents’ calls for a condition limiting opening hours when the school held evening functions was discussed but officers said it would be difficult to enforce.

A compromise was reached, however, with the submission of a traffic management plan.

This gives the highways department the chance to go through dates on the school’s calendar and highlight when there might be issues.

“It makes it far tighter,” said Coun Martin Peel (Con, Skircoat). “Hopefully residents concerns will be addressed by this - it’s far better than a general condition.”