Controversial 3G sports pitch plans for Wellingborough set for approval

The 3G pitch plans for Redwell Leisure Centre in Wellingborough
The 3G pitch plans for Redwell Leisure Centre in Wellingborough

Plans for a new 3G sports pitch which have attracted more than 100 objections have been recommended for approval.

If given the go-ahead next week, Redwell Leisure Centre in Wellingborough will soon have a new sports pitch with 3G artificial grass.

It would come with 4.5m high perimeter stop fencing, adjoining hard standing areas, spectator viewing space and floodlights.

While the application has received 16 letters of support, saying it would be a great facility for the town and lots of community groups would use it, 102 people have objected to it.

Their reasons include anti-social behaviour, light pollution, loss of green space and dog walking facilities, increase in parking, more floodlights and columns than previously proposed, effect on the character of the area and lack of meaningful consultation.

A petition from the Redwell Action Group has also gathered 584 signatures and 450 e-signatures.

Their concerns include a range of activities currently undertaken in the park will no longer be possible, the area won’t be able to cope with the additional traffic and they believe 3G sports pitches are a health risk.

But despite all the points raised, officers have recommended that the plans are approved subject to various conditions.

A report prepared ahead of next week’s meeting states: “The proposed development complies with the relevant development plan policies and is consistent with the provisions in the NPPF specifically in relation to promoting sustainable development, and includes the provision of an alternative sports and recreation provision on the site - the need for which clearly outweighs any loss of the existing grass football and cricket green.

“An alternative short and long term solution has been found for the cricket green which would be lost as a result of the proposed development.

“The proposed scheme and alternative provision for cricket is now supported by Sport England.

“The proposed scheme would raise design standards and mitigate its visual effect on landscape character.

“The proposed development includes sufficient surface water drainage mitigation and management.

“The effect of noise and light spillage with appropriate conditions would not be harmful on neighbouring amenity.

“There would be adequate on-site parking provision to serve the proposed development and there would be no harmful effects on highway safety and capacity.

“The development would not lead to crime and disorder.

“In the absence of any material considerations of sufficient weight, it is recommended that the proposal be approved subject to conditions.”

The application is set to be discussed by Wellingborough Council’s planning committee at Swanspool House from 7pm on Wednesday (June 6).