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Elms could block Brighton secondary school's sports pitch
Two elm trees could stand in the way of a Brighton secondary school’s plan for an all-weather sports pitch.
Campaign group Save Our School Trees argued against the pitch at Dorothy Stringer School – attracting support from 559 people on a petition.
Its concerns about the loss of mature trees which are part of the National Elm Collection on the site are among the reasons planning officers at Brighton and Hove City Council have recommended the project is refused at a meeting to discuss the scheme on Wednesday.
There are also concerns about how noise and light from the pitch would impact on neighbours.
But there have been 235 letters of support for the new facility, as current pitches are described to be “virtually unusable” in the autumn and winter.
Supporters claim the pitch will pro- mote an active lifestyle, benefiting the people of the city and will dovetail with government policy to promote physical exercise and sport as a way to develop good health and fight obesity.
A school spokeswoman said: “Should the project be turned down it would be a huge disappointment and wasted opportunity both for our students and the local community; however we are very much looking forward to taking this proposal forward at the planning meeting next week.”
David Macdonald, 45, Loder Road resident and member of Save Our School Trees, said: “Obviously we’re pleased with the recommendation and I think it’s a victory for common sense.
“But we are not there yet and it will be down to the committee to decide on Wednesday.
“At the end of the day these trees are a very important part of our landscape and we believe they should remain.”
Preston Park and Fiveways Local Action Team, Councillors Ann and Ken Norman and Brighton and Hove Wildlife Forum all object to the plans while Sussex County Football Association Ltd and Active Sussex support the facility.
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