Leeds sports pitch plan kicks off row

PIC: Google Street View
PIC: Google Street View
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Residents are objecting to a school’s proposal to build an all-weather sports pitch in the middle of a residential area, citing worries about the impact it could have on those living there.

Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley is hoping to gain council approval for a football pitch for the school and local community’s use.

But residents who live nearby have raised concerns about glare from the floodlights, the potential for late opening times, noise and a rise in traffic.

Gillian Spencer, a 66-year-old retired civil servant, told the YEP: “We have no objection to a sports pitch but it has to be in the right place.

“Luckily I’m 25 metres away, although that’s nothing when people are shouting – but some people are only 10-15 metres away which is only the length of a garden.”

Janet Sherrif, the headteacher of Prince Henry’s, said they had been in consultation with residents and made changes to the plans, including reducing the pitch size and installing a noise-minimising barrier.

The opening hours for the pitch’s use are yet to be finalised and could be a condition of any planning permission granted.

Otley town councillor Ray Georgeson said: “The council believes there’s a shortage of all-weather pitches in the town.

“Understandably some residents are very upset but they do live near a big high school. I think the school has made a lot of effort to understand the residents’ concerns.”

The sports pitch would be partly funded by the Football Foundation if it wins approval.