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Elm trees saved after Dorothy Stringer revises artificial pitch plans
Dorothy Stringer High School is making a second play at building an artificial pitch for its students.
The Brighton school is hoping it is second time lucky after resubmitting plans for the pitch at their Loder Road site.
The original proposal was rejected by councillors in December after a campaign was launched to preserve two mature elm trees which faced the chop.
Residents were also worried about light nuisance from floodlights and the possibility of increased traffic along quiet neighbouring residential roads.
The new proposals have seen the pitch, which would be built in conjunction with Albion in the Community, shrink down from the previous full-sized 106 by 70m pitch down to an under 13 sized pitch of 88m by 56m which preserves the elms.
The school claims there is “strong demand” for this type of artificial pitch in the city and will be built on land previously used as a building site which has never recovered.
They also argue that the lights are not as powerful as similar ones used by Blatchington Mill School and that the pitch is further away from neighbours.
David MacDonald from the Save Our School Trees campaign said he was pleased that the school was no longer going to cut down the elms and the smaller pitch was more sympathetic to the area.
But he added: “The floodlights and long hours will be disruptive to local wildlife and residents.
“We need to see more concessions in terms of opening hours, and loss of natural woodland habitat before we can withdraw our objections to the current scheme.”
Ward councillor Ann Norman, who opposed the original proposal, said the plans could get her support this time if the initial objections over light nuisance to residents, increased traffic and the retention of the mature elms were resolved.
She said: “We want to support Dorothy Stringer, it’s an excellent school, but we have the residents to think about too.”
A school spokeswoman said: “After a winter of almost no outdoor playing space due to the flooded pitches we are all the more keen to be successful in our application for the revised ATP pitch.
“We have listened carefully to the objections raised at the previous planning application and feel we have taken into account the considerations and have added in acoustic fencing.”
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