Hadleigh: Sports pitch gripes ‘falling on deaf ears’ claim campaigners who are fed-up with noise and light pollution

Children playing on a similar pitch in Felixstowe

Children playing on a similar pitch in Felixstowe

ONGOING complaints about excessive noise and light pollution from an all-weather pitch in Hadleigh are falling on deaf ears, according to a man who has led a two-year campaign to get restrictions imposed at the site.

The £150,000 artificial pitches, based at the Hadleigh High School’s leisure centre, were built in 2010 on land next to Station Road. But immediately after the facility opened, residents of neighbouring Lister Road and Station Road claimed the pitch was built too close to their homes, and that their “peace and quiet” was being shattered by swearing, and balls hitting a perimeter fence.

Ken Lewis, of Station Road, has been battling for measures that would stop the pitches being used during the summer evenings. He says he has been forced to highlight breaches of planning rules in relation to the facility to get Babergh District Council to take his concerns seriously.

In a statement issued yesterday and sent to Hadleigh ward councillors, the district authority’s corporate manager for planning enforcement, Ben Elvin, recommended that no further action was needed in respect of the size and position of the multi-use games area. But he also said the council would continue to require compliance with the controlling conditions imposed on the original planning permission for the facility.

Mr Lewis said: “We are not trying to get the place closed down, and we are happy to see it used as it should be. People have a right to use the facility but we also have a right to peaceful enjoyment of our gardens during the summer evenings, which is not possible as things stand.

“Babergh’s statement of where they are up to with it all indicates that they are not going to address any of the issues, and it looks like they are simply trying to justify their position of doing nothing about it.”

But Ben Dixon, who lives in Lister Road and uses the pitches regularly said not all neighbouring home-owners objected to the facility. He added: “We appear to have two objectors that are trying to stop over 2,000 people a month using the centre. They say that the lights are too bright, but I live as close to the centre as these people and I cannot say that I have experienced these problems. The facilities at the High School allow us all to take part in regular physical activity on our doorstep. We are a close community and cannot believe that this facility may be put at risk because two of our neighbours do not like it.”

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A meeting is scheduled for April 24 when councillors will discuss ongoing issues surrounding a single amenity light installed at the site.

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