Concerns have been raised about plans for a new all-weather pitch in Wellingborough.
Wellingborough Council has successfully completed the first part of a two-stage bid for match funding from the Football Foundation to provide an all-weather sports pitch at Redwell Leisure Centre.
The third generation ‘3G’ synthetic grass pitch would be available for public use and give local football teams and clubs the chance to play in all conditions.
As part of the second stage, the council has submitted a planning application for the flood-lit pitch, measuring 106m by 70m, with a 4.5m-high perimeter fence and various line markings to accommodate different size football pitches.
It will also have a spectator viewing area and equipment store.
However, concerns have been raised by people living nearby and more than 30 residents attended a councillor’s surgery to have their say on the proposals.
Residents are worried the new pitch will leave them with nowhere to walk their dogs as the field is popular for dog walkers.
They also say parking is already difficult and it will only get worse if it gets the go-ahead.
The green space is currently used by runners and is popular with children playing outdoors during the school holidays.
Suzanne Sanders, who lives with her family nearby, said: “There’s a natural bank behind all our houses, and it’s alive with wildlife - from foxes, badgers and hedgehogs, to robins, bluetits and finches.
“We also get huge numbers of pollinating insects like bees and butterflies, and it’s well known that they are negatively affected by light pollution.
“I am worried that this new development will not only affect my enjoyment of our garden, but will also drive wildlife out of their home.”
Retired engineer Stuart Coles, whose property is less than five metres from the proposed development, said: “People have to remember that while the trees in their gardens are currently in full bloom, come winter, they will offer scant protection against light pollution from this development.”
More than 100 comments, both for and against, have been left on the council website about the plans.
Retired solicitor Anne Coles said: “This development won’t just affect people on my street; it will also affect residents in Lowry Close, in all the roads off Barnwell Road and everyone who uses Redwell Primary School, and it will be operating while they are at school.
“I encourage everyone who lives locally to visit the council website, read the plans carefully, and think about how the development could affect their families.
“While sport is very important, as it creates community spirit and keeps people fit, this development would be better suited to a less densely populated area.
“It’s important that we all speak out to protect our homes and push the council to find a more considerate and positive solution.”
To read more about the plans, click here