Complaints shine light on pitch use

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Residents’ complaints about an all-weather pitch in Hadleigh have prompted stricter procedures to limit the use of its floodlights.

People living in Station Road have repeatedly complained about problems with noise and light pollution from use of the pitches at Hadleigh High School since they were built in 2010.

Ken Lewis has claimed he is still waiting for Babergh District Council, the planning authority, to complete a report addressing problems with the validity of the original application.

Mr Lewis said: “A further two months have now passed and we appear to be no closer to having these matters attended to. There is clearly a need for all the issues to be properly resolved once and for all.

“I don’t know how Babergh can expect to have a facility operating that doesn’t have proper consent.”

Mr Lewis said he and other residents affected were seeking to reach a compromise with Hadleigh High School, with pitches used in winter, allowing him and his neighbours to enjoy their gardens in summer without interruption.

Ben Elvin, corporate manager for planning enforcement at Babergh District Council, said: “I am currently preparing a report that sets out the position in relation to the perceived breaches of planning control that Mr Lewis has raised.”

A meeting was held with Hadleigh High School and facility manager South Suffolk Leisure on Monday and new measures, including staff keeping a diary of when lights are switched off and the use of a mechanical timer, have been adopted.

Mr Elvin said: “The school has taken its responsibilities seriously and believes that these measures will remove any potential for breaches of the operation hours.”

He said once these measures had been considered with other information, the report could be completed.