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Bid for £750k school all-weather pitch rejected
8:09am Thursday 12th December 2013 in News
A School's plans for a new £750,000 floodlit all-weather pitch will not go ahead.
Dorothy Stringer, in Loder Road, Brighton, wanted to build a 107m by 76.5m facility on its playing fields.
Richard Bradford, the school’s headteacher, claimed it would see a “largely unusable, badly-damaged waterlogged space” turned into a community facility.
But hundreds of people objected, voicing concern over the possibility of light pollution and the removal of two protected mature elms.
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After an hour-long discussion yesterday Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee rejected the scheme by ten votes to two.
In a statement released after the meeting, Mr Bradford said he was “hugely disappointed”.
He added: “While the school regretted the potential loss of two mature elms for this development, we believed the overall benefits outweighed this loss.
“This included the addition of 30 elms to the national elm collection, the bio-diversity net gains of the proposed butterfly havens and improvements to the education and health of generations of children.
“We were shocked to hear the view of some councillors that tackling obesity is not the responsibility of schools but should be dealt with at home.
“The Government certainly see tackling obesity as both ours and the councils’ responsibility.”
The school said it had already secured £500,000 from the Football Foundation towards the project with the rest being raised from income for bookings.
Phelim MacCafferty, chairman of the council’s planning committee, said: “I don’t think it’s a good thing to say that development is for your good but we have to cut down two brilliant trees.
“I’m not sure that’s appropriate.”
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