Action group vows to beat school pitch bid

Residents concerned over Brighouse High School's plans to build all weather sports pitch.
Residents concerned over Brighouse High School's plans to build all weather sports pitch.

Angry neighbours have formed an action group in a bid to win their pitch battle.

Residents called a meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the plans submitted by Brighouse High School to build an artificial turf pitch in the grounds at Finkil Street.

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

The proposed pitch could include facilities for 11-a-side football, nine versus nine or seven v seven, small sided football and five-a-side football, football training and coaching, rugby to under 18s mini and youth rugby and rugby training and coaching.

Resident Chris Ball who led the meeting said the school could only afford to build the all weather pitch if they got funding from Sports England and for that to happen it needed to be open to the whole community.

Mr Ball objected when the school applied for permission for a small playing pitch back in 2000, an application which was thrown out by the planning committee.

He said it was refused based on three points, the flood lights which were 8metres high, secondly the chief environment officer rejected the plan based on the opening hours and there was 63 letters of objection.

According to the report submitted to Calderdale Council by the school there is a significant lack of resources in the area to accommodate the demand for football.

But resident Anthony Rutherford said building this pitch would take Calderdale over the national average.

“If you step out into Finkil Street you can see the flood lights at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School, Rastrick High and the golf club’s driving range. This end of Calderdale would be over intensified with these pitches.

“It is unfair on people who want to use these facilities at the other end of the valley.”

Residents were concerned about where people were going to park.

“Finkil Street cannot take anymore it is already at saturation point and there is no more room for parking even if they go into the school there is no more room,” said one.

Other residents also had concerns about litter, noise levels, the flood lights, and road safety.

Councillor Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) said: “It is not appropriate to have flood lights lit until past 10pm at night in an area with a high proportion of elderly residents. The construction of eight floodlights, each at a considerable height of 15m, will create enormous light pollution for the surrounding properties and this is simply not acceptable.

“The residents of Finkil Street already experience problems associated with inconsiderate parking and noise disruption; however, at present, these are largely limited to between 6am and 5pm in term time only. This proposal will mean that local residents suffer these problems until late at night all year round. This is the wrong application on the wrong site and as a community we need to fight this proposal to ensure that it gets rejected.”

Councillor Ann Martin (Lab, Brighouse), who used to be on the planning committee, told residents to keep their objections to planning issues and to do individual ones.

Councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) is unable to comment on the application for legal reasons.

More than 30 residents attended the meeting. Mr Ball said: “I am thrilled to bits with the amount of interest. We were worried with the weather but I think this shows the strength of feeling.”

The councillors are requesting that the date for representations, in writing or by email to the council, which should have ended on February 15 be extended due to some residents not being notified about the plans.

Anyone who would like to contact the action group should call Anthony Rutherford on 01484 712508 or email