Fears over Kettering floodlit pitches plan

Residents from Rydalside, Kettering, are angry that planning permission has been granted for flood-lit pitches at the bottom of their gardens.

Residents from Rydalside, Kettering, are angry that planning permission has been granted for flood-lit pitches at the bottom of their gardens.

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Residents fear they have been left in the dark over plans to build all-weather floodlit sports pitches at a Kettering school.

Work is set to get under way on the sports pitches at Kettering Science Academy (KSA) in the New Year, the final stage of a £26m refurbishment project at the school.

But residents living in neighbouring streets have organised a petition to protest against the development.

Peter Doughty, who lives on Rydalside near KSA, said he had a number of fears about what might happen once the pitches had been installed, including excessive noise and residents being disturbed by the floodlights in the evenings.

The plans are for one full-size football pitch, two five-a-side football pitches and three tennis courts.

Part of the requirements for planning permission to be built included that the facilities would be made available for community use.

But Mr Doughty says many of the academy’s immediate neighbours would not be using the pitches and feared the impact the new developments would have.

“The people in this area are mostly retired,” Mr Doughty said. “We bought these houses because it’s quiet.

“We really, really didn’t know this was going ahead until about three weeks ago. I feel it’s very mysterious about why we have been left out of the loop.”

Mr Doughty, whose petition has received 100 signatures so far, says residents fear they will be disturbed at all times of the day. He says the facilities will be open to the public between 6am and 9.30pm six days a week and between 6am and 6pm on Sundays.

He added: “We think as if we have almost been hoodwinked. We are not against sports for schools but we don’t want it to turn into a public thing like at the Kettering Leisure Village. It is a school, not a private enterprise.”

But Mr Doughty said he was pleased a four-way meeting between residents, the academy, Brooke Weston – the partnership of which it is a part – and the council had been arranged for Wednesday, January 9.

The academy’s development was approved by planning officials in 2010. Pupils moved into a brand new circular and glass-panelled school building at the start of this academic year.

The plans to install the sports pitches at the site – the former Ise Community College on Deeble Road – is the final stage of the renovation.

Nobody from the academy or Brooke Weston was available for comment.