Sidmouth AFC nets floodlights in telecoms deal
- Credit: Archant
Floodlights have been given the go-ahead at Sidmouth Town AFC – on the condition they are not used more than twice a week.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) approved plans to illuminate the Manstone Lane pitch, but limited the lights’ use to protect the amenity of neighbouring residents.
The application also includes a telecommunications mast – an idea proposed by Shared Access, an organisation that supports grass-roots sport by sourcing investment.
Club bosses said they could not have funded the six floodlights without the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ deal and it will boost local sport and the community.
Sidmouth AFC players currently have to travel to Colyton Grammar School for floodlit training sessions.
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The application proposed five galvanised steel floodlights standing 13.5 metres high.
The sixth is 17.5 metres tall and would incorporate a telecommunications antenna for use by Vodafone and O2, with other equipment on the ground.
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There were three objections from residents – with concerns about the scale of the masts, light pollution and noise from ‘ghetto blasters’ if the skatepark is also illuminated – but seven letters of support for the ‘great lengths’ the club goes to to improve the area. Others said a floodlit pitch is long overdue in Sidmouth.
The site is owned by Sidmouth Town Council, whose planning committee members unanimously supported the plans.
Approving the application by delegated powers, district council officers said the benefits of a floodlit pitch and improved telecommunications outweigh the impact on individual homes.
As suggested by the club, EDDC imposed conditions that the floodlights must not be used more than twice a week and no more than 30 times a year.
Usage is limited to between 6pm and 9.30pm on weekdays, between 3pm and 6pm on weekends and the days and times they are used should be logged.