You can still have say on cricket ground lights bid

December 01 2014

AN application to install six floodlights has been submitted by Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.

AN application to install six floodlights has been submitted by Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.

The club says that the floodlights, each 45 metres high, are "crucial" for allowing the club to host major, international tournaments such as the Cricket World Cup in 2019.

The lights will be used up to 15 times a year, and would be dimmed by 10.45pm and turned off by 11pm.

However, campaign group HowZat? - set up to revise and challenge the club's developments - believes that the increase in matches will provoke more noise, traffic problems, and potential anti-social behaviour, and the floodlights will cause light pollution for local residents.

Alison Orton from HowZat? said: "We regret that Gloucestershire County Cricket Club [has] to erect permanent floodlights in order to retain international cricket in Bristol.

"We hope that if the plan for floodlights goes ahead, that strict conditions controlling the frequency and timing of use and the light spill into neighbouring properties and streets will be imposed, to limit the negative effect on the local area."

The application was submitted by the club following several public exhibitions over the summer, where local residents were informed about the proposed plans.

GCCC initially floated the idea of floodlights at a residents' meeting earlier on in the year.

Will Brown, club chief executive, said: “It is important that we give local residents a chance to have their say on the proposed plans and they will still be able to comment on the application now it has been submitted."

The club says that it has tried to address the concerns expressed by local residents, including the positioning of the lights, the length of time they will operate and the management of spectators during bigger matches.

Stewarding will be increased on selected match days and funding has already been provided to the council to improve traffic arrangements around the ground, the club says.

Since the application was submitted online in October, there have been 69 people submitting comments against the floodlights, and 90 in support.

Martin Hunt from Joe’s Bakery on Gloucester Road supports the development. He said: “Members of the Gloucester Road Traders’ Association have met with the club to understand the reason for the floodlight application.

"We know that the ground improvements will be a move not only for us but for Bristol as a whole and we fully support the plans."

A resident from Kennington Avenue, which backs onto the ground, commented against the lights. She said: "The floodlights would be really intrusive for us as we live at the side of the cricket ground.

"Late night matches and events would be subject to extra noise, traffic and possibly anti-social behaviour, and that is just not acceptable in such a built up area."