Residents’ call to stop use of pitch over invalid plans

Residents in Hadleigh have demanded an all-weather pitch be shut to the public because it was built based on invalid plans.

The multi-use games area at Hadleigh High School was built by Suffolk County Council in 2010 but residents in nearby Station Road have repeatedly complained about problems with noise and light pollution outside school hours.

Last month, Babergh District Council approved a retrospective application from Hadleigh High School for a light – part of a floodlight at the multi-use games area – which shines on a footpath.

Ken Lewis, who lives in Station Road and challenged the application’s validity, said: “Babergh has accepted the light is invalid and the plans are incorrect.

“The plans show the pitch in three different positions to where it actually is – it is a right mess really.

“What has been built is not shown on the plans from the original application.

“We are happy to see it used during normal school hours but outside of that we want to see it closed until valid planning consent is granted.”

Mr Lewis said he did not blame Babergh for the issues, as it inherited the site from Suffolk County Council when Hadleigh High School became an academy in 2011.

He said planning officers had ignored residents’ objections at being “dazzled” by the lights.

A spokeswoman for the district council said the light was outside the application site but denied residents had been ignored.

“We have invited the school to amend the plans so we can consider the light in the position it has been built,” she said.

The plans will undergo further consultation before going back to Babergh.