The ArgusElm trees saved after Dorothy Stringer revises artificial pitch plans (From The Argus)

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Elm trees saved after Dorothy Stringer revises artificial pitch plans

The Argus: Residents protest the original Dorothy Stringer pitch plans Residents protest the original Dorothy Stringer 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.”

Comments (4)

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7:05am Thu 20 Mar 14

Melmo9 says...

The objections to this project have always reflected a bias misinterpretation of the plans. Admittedly the original plans did require two mature elms being felled, which would have been regrettable. The school has always had the intention of replacing any trees with multiple of those displaced. This was an opportunity to create a more sustained population of elms.

Artificial pitch construction has come a long way and light pollution and noise are well managed. I urge councillors to look at the potential benefit to the surrounding schools, community sport clubs and health of their residents. Flooding has been detrimental to outdoor sports again this year. This is a fantastic opportunity to help keep people active.

Residents who oppose this project are selfish. Those who continuously complain about noise on the school site should question why they picked the neighbourhood! Strong schools raise the value of surrounding property, so I implore you to support this project!
The objections to this project have always reflected a bias misinterpretation of the plans. Admittedly the original plans did require two mature elms being felled, which would have been regrettable. The school has always had the intention of replacing any trees with multiple of those displaced. This was an opportunity to create a more sustained population of elms. Artificial pitch construction has come a long way and light pollution and noise are well managed. I urge councillors to look at the potential benefit to the surrounding schools, community sport clubs and health of their residents. Flooding has been detrimental to outdoor sports again this year. This is a fantastic opportunity to help keep people active. Residents who oppose this project are selfish. Those who continuously complain about noise on the school site should question why they picked the neighbourhood! Strong schools raise the value of surrounding property, so I implore you to support this project! Melmo9
  • Score: -7

7:53am Thu 20 Mar 14

pwlr1966 says...

Good luck with the application, much needed resource & will keep hundreds of youngsters occupied over those long summer evenings!!
Good luck with the application, much needed resource & will keep hundreds of youngsters occupied over those long summer evenings!! pwlr1966
  • Score: -7

8:27am Thu 20 Mar 14

[Sigh] says...

It is an interesting argument that people deserve to have to put up with noise all day and late into the evening because they live near a school. Obviously it would be churlish to live near a school and to not expect noise at break time, lunch time and leaving time. There is also the expectation of playing fields being used for sports activities during the day and even team competition at the weekend that would go on for the length of a single match (depending on the sport). I am sure when people moved to the area they took this into consideration.

However, it is a very different expectation to have to put up with noise all day and all evening. It appears it is not possible for a game of football to be played without constant shouting as loudly as possible. Actually it’s the adults playing that create the real noise issue as their voices are louder and carry further. So I genuinely feel for the people who live near this school as they have the prospect of listening to whistles and very loud shouting every time they open their doors or windows this summer, with no peace. I assume that there is a time limit to when it will stop. I hope for their sake that those times fit in with normal school closing times. Then, perhaps your argument would be stronger.
In addition I recall when this application originally was originally put forward that there was an excellent argument for preservation of the habitat for local wildlife. There is enough concrete in Brighton and Hove, why do we need more?

With reference to pwlr1966 (a football fan perhaps?) I suspect strongly that the ‘youngsters’ will not be the people using these facilities out of school hours – or are you saying that the phrase ‘youngsters’ includes anybody under 50?
It is an interesting argument that people deserve to have to put up with noise all day and late into the evening because they live near a school. Obviously it would be churlish to live near a school and to not expect noise at break time, lunch time and leaving time. There is also the expectation of playing fields being used for sports activities during the day and even team competition at the weekend that would go on for the length of a single match (depending on the sport). I am sure when people moved to the area they took this into consideration. However, it is a very different expectation to have to put up with noise all day and all evening. It appears it is not possible for a game of football to be played without constant shouting as loudly as possible. Actually it’s the adults playing that create the real noise issue as their voices are louder and carry further. So I genuinely feel for the people who live near this school as they have the prospect of listening to whistles and very loud shouting every time they open their doors or windows this summer, with no peace. I assume that there is a time limit to when it will stop. I hope for their sake that those times fit in with normal school closing times. Then, perhaps your argument would be stronger. In addition I recall when this application originally was originally put forward that there was an excellent argument for preservation of the habitat for local wildlife. There is enough concrete in Brighton and Hove, why do we need more? With reference to pwlr1966 (a football fan perhaps?) I suspect strongly that the ‘youngsters’ will not be the people using these facilities out of school hours – or are you saying that the phrase ‘youngsters’ includes anybody under 50? [Sigh]
  • Score: 10

1:20pm Thu 20 Mar 14

fredflintstone1 says...

Melmo9 wrote:
The objections to this project have always reflected a bias misinterpretation of the plans. Admittedly the original plans did require two mature elms being felled, which would have been regrettable. The school has always had the intention of replacing any trees with multiple of those displaced. This was an opportunity to create a more sustained population of elms.

Artificial pitch construction has come a long way and light pollution and noise are well managed. I urge councillors to look at the potential benefit to the surrounding schools, community sport clubs and health of their residents. Flooding has been detrimental to outdoor sports again this year. This is a fantastic opportunity to help keep people active.

Residents who oppose this project are selfish. Those who continuously complain about noise on the school site should question why they picked the neighbourhood! Strong schools raise the value of surrounding property, so I implore you to support this project!
Really? Why not look at the facts? There's still a large area of tree clearance proposed, covering an area that was planted as compensation for the previous sports development on the site. The school - particularly bearing in mind that it is currently an ecoschool - should respect this fact. The planners should make it clear that felling these trees is not an acceptable option.

Plus this proposed pitch is going to excavate down across much of the area where the roots of the older trees protected with preservation orders are present, which is therefore likely to kill them slowly as a consequence, in place of simply chopping them down.

In fact, very little has changed from the original application. There have been no proper wildlife surveys carried out once again. The grounds for rejection then are just as relevant now, as far as this latest application is concerned.

Plenty of underused pitch provision already exists in the local area. It is neither needed nor wanted. You clearly didn't look at the level of support last time. Despite very intensive lobbying of around 5000 people by the school, barely 240 supported it. In contrast, more than 500 local people opposed the plans - including many parents with pupils at the school.

Also, perhaps you can enlighten us as to why was the school so negligent in managing its grounds that it allowed a prime cricket pitch to become this conveniently waterlogged area as the result of its PFI contract? Surely those in charge should have insisted that it was reinstated under the contract to a playable condition with a grass surface at that time? That could still be done, if this was a genuine matter of improving playing facilities, instead of what appears to be simply a money-making scheme.
[quote][p][bold]Melmo9[/bold] wrote: The objections to this project have always reflected a bias misinterpretation of the plans. Admittedly the original plans did require two mature elms being felled, which would have been regrettable. The school has always had the intention of replacing any trees with multiple of those displaced. This was an opportunity to create a more sustained population of elms. Artificial pitch construction has come a long way and light pollution and noise are well managed. I urge councillors to look at the potential benefit to the surrounding schools, community sport clubs and health of their residents. Flooding has been detrimental to outdoor sports again this year. This is a fantastic opportunity to help keep people active. Residents who oppose this project are selfish. Those who continuously complain about noise on the school site should question why they picked the neighbourhood! Strong schools raise the value of surrounding property, so I implore you to support this project![/p][/quote]Really? Why not look at the facts? There's still a large area of tree clearance proposed, covering an area that was planted as compensation for the previous sports development on the site. The school - particularly bearing in mind that it is currently an ecoschool - should respect this fact. The planners should make it clear that felling these trees is not an acceptable option. Plus this proposed pitch is going to excavate down across much of the area where the roots of the older trees protected with preservation orders are present, which is therefore likely to kill them slowly as a consequence, in place of simply chopping them down. In fact, very little has changed from the original application. There have been no proper wildlife surveys carried out once again. The grounds for rejection then are just as relevant now, as far as this latest application is concerned. Plenty of underused pitch provision already exists in the local area. It is neither needed nor wanted. You clearly didn't look at the level of support last time. Despite very intensive lobbying of around 5000 people by the school, barely 240 supported it. In contrast, more than 500 local people opposed the plans - including many parents with pupils at the school. Also, perhaps you can enlighten us as to why was the school so negligent in managing its grounds that it allowed a prime cricket pitch to become this conveniently waterlogged area as the result of its PFI contract? Surely those in charge should have insisted that it was reinstated under the contract to a playable condition with a grass surface at that time? That could still be done, if this was a genuine matter of improving playing facilities, instead of what appears to be simply a money-making scheme. fredflintstone1
  • Score: 4

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