Harold Wood residents fear plans for floodlit sports area at Redden Court School will cause major disruption
PUBLISHED: 07:30 09 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:05 09 January 2019
Harold Wood residents are concerned that plans for a sports area with six metre high floodlights outside a nearby secondary school will result in a "dreadful" intrusion on their privacy.
Havering Council has submitted a planning application for a floodlit multi-use games area outside Redden Court School in Cotswold Road.
The land is currently used by the school as a playing field, however the council is hoping to build a bigger sports area that will include 12 six-metre high floodlights which will allow for sporting activities to be played at night.
Gwen Hilton, 77, from Upland Court Road has lived in the area for nine years.
She told the Recorder: “It’s a dreadful thing that is going to happen. I don’t know how they can do this in such a tiny area.
“It’s a tremendous worry that we might have these huge floodlights in an area that’s surrounded by housing.
“This field is surrounded by houses backing onto the field which will affect us all greatly. Noise, extra traffic, even more parking and our privacy will of course be hugely affected well into the evenings.
“Obviously with 6m high floodlights this is intended for night use and we are sure this is intended to be rented out to various sports organisations.”
Victoria Pennells from Cotswold Road teaches at another secondary school in the borough which has a floodlit multi-games area.
“These schools are not surrounded on all sides by residential homes and often back onto parks and large fields where the invasion of harsh, bright lights would not intrude into people’s homes,” said Victoria.
Nick Joseph, 70, from Upland Court Road added: “We’ve already had to complain about the noise and swearing we could hear from people playing football.
“Redden Court School is located down a very short road with nine properties and more importantly, it is not a through road and essentially is a dead end.
“The parking situation (even though there are yellow lines) is grave and most resident constantly have difficulty gaining access to their own driveways.”
Redden Court School has three times the national average of students with special needs and students with disabilities.
The planning application states that: “The school currently has over 50 students with an educational health care plan, of which 16 students have a degree of physical disability.
“As a result current facilities at the school cannot provide a sufficient range of activities for these students.”
The new space will allow for football, netball courts, tennis courts, and space for hockey, basketball, cricket, disability sports such as boccia, wheelchair tennis, basketball and walking football.
Jim Harby, 52, from Beltinge Road has lived in the area all of his life and is in favour of the plans.
He said: “Anything that brings more sport into the area is welcome. I speak as somebody who was a lazy kid and now has Type 2 diabetes.
“I went to Redden Court School when I was young and I encourage all children and young adults to exercise and be active.
“[The sports area] could be beneficial to younger adults with disabilities and learning difficulties.
“I don’t say this as a carte blanche for the school to do whatever they want, but I do think there is a bit of scaremongering going on.”
The planning application also states that the floodlights have been designed to reduce light pollution nuisance to nearby residents in terms of creating unnecessary levels of lighting or light spill.
Cllr Damian White, leader of Havering Council, said: “The planning application is being considered by Havering Council officers and no recommendation has yet been made.
“We are aware of concerns from nearby residents and all comments received in writing will be taken into account.”
The planning application is due to be decided on by January 25.