PENARTH Town Council has called for the opening hours for a proposed all-weather multi-functional hockey pitch at Stanwell School to be cut to minimise disruption to local residents.
Councillors said the proposed opening hours of 8am until 9.30pm Monday to Friday, as well as 9am until 5pm on weekends and Bank Holidays, were “excessive” and should be cut back to 7pm on weekdays and earlier on weekends.
During the planning and transportation committee meeting on Thursday night, June 19, a number of local residents raised concerns about parking problems, noise and light pollution, and the proposed pitch being rented out to third parties.
One Stanwell Road resident said he was not opposed to the pitch as he wanted it to improve sports facilities for the whole community, but he was questioning the need to rent it out to third parties after school day hours and the disruption it would cause to local residents in the evenings up until 9.30pm.
He added that away teams would be “very disruptive in surrounding roads” and cited the example of two buses colliding in the area last year.
“We are concerned about the noise at night, particularly when people leave the premises.”
He added that up to 7pm was the “perfect opportunity to provide these pitches to the community” and “anything after that really is a bit over the top”.
He added that he believed that the school was more concerned about revenue than local residents.
“We feel that in the past the school has treated Stanwell Road residents with a degree of disdain in favour of revenue. Revenue first, residents second.”
Councillor Philip Rapier, who represents the St Augustine’s ward, said that the hours “seem to be wrong and excessive” and that qualified people should look into whether the light and noise pollution would have “unintended consequences” for surrounding residents.
Councillor Michael Turner, who represents the Plymouth ward, said that he supported the pitch going ahead providing some sort of compromise over the timing. He added that the likes of Penarth Hockey Club could use it to their advantage.
After recently conducting a site visit to the school the councillors also recommended that tree planting should be considered to cut down on light and noise pollution, that there should be restrictions on parking, and that the Vale Council should look at the effectiveness of the flood lights in terms of light pollution.
Councillors Neil Thomas, Michael Turner, Philip Rapier and Michael Cuddy approved the recommendations, Cllr Clive Williams declared an interest as a school governor and left the room, and ‘twin-hatted’ Penarth and Vale Council councillors Mark Wilson, Janice Birch and Gwyn Roberts abstained so they could preserve their views and votes for the Vale Council planning committee.