Campaign against Roseberry School floodlight plan
10:00am Thursday 10th May 2012 in News
Plans to install 14m floodlights to convert a school's playing field for community use has alarmed neighbours who are campaigning against the scheme.
Rosebery School, on Whitehorse Drive, Epsom, submitted a planning application to Epsom and Ewell Council last month asking permission to allow community use of its all-weather pitch until 9.30pm on Mondays to Saturdays and on Sundays until 6pm.
It also asked for permission to install floodlights on the pitch.
But a number of residents have contacted ward councillor, Liz Frost, to express their concern about increased traffic, parking problems, noise, light spillage and the negative visual impact they say will follow.
Ladan French, of Wheelers Lane, whose house is next to the school, is urging residents to oppose the application before it is considered by the council’s planning committee on May 17.
The 59-year-old, said: "The school is literally 100m from our house and this is a residential and conservation area which we moved to 21 years ago to retire because we didn’t think anything here would change.
"We have nothing against the school and we don’t mind the noise we hear from the children having their P.E. lessons on the field, but it doesn’t need to be opened up to football and rugby and other clubs.
"One of the main issues is parking. They say parking will be provided for the clubs on school premises, but it doesn’t have enough parking.
There will also be light pollution from the floodlights and noise - I can only imagine what we will hear when they have football games there and people getting drunk and start shouting."
Mrs French, who was a parent governor at Rosebery School - where both her daughters were educated - said she now plans to start a petition against the plans.
She said: "I held a neighbourhood meeting last week and people are against it. I am now going to start a petition and I’m sure others will support my view.
"I hope that the council will reject the planning application and I would like to urge everyone who lives around this field to write an objection letter to the council and attend the planning meeting at the town hall on May 17."
Councillor Frost said residents do not feel that the changes applied for by Rosebery School are appropriate for the area.
She said: "Residents have told me they feel that the increased traffic movements, parking problems, noise, light spillage and visual impact of the proposals are an unreasonable increase in the disturbance expected when living in close proximity of a school.
"Many appreciate the benefit of youngsters taking part in sports activities, but feel that a cul-de-sac in a residential area is not the location for such activities.
"It is already extremely difficult to navigate some roads close to the school during the school day in term times.
"The school do have plans to prevent excessive traffic and parking from the extended use of the facilities, but residents are not convinced that these will be effective.
She said flood lighting technology had improved, meaning light pollution in surrounding areas had decreased.
"It is now better focused and there is far less light spillage," she said.
"However, there is still some local spillage and the lights are very high and so visible from a wide surrounding area."
Rosebery School was unavailable for comment.
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