Denton high school pitches in for new facility

A DENTON high school is attempting to gain permission to have a floodlit artificial football pitch installed at its site.

And St Thomas More RC College is ready to work with people living near its Town Lane base, with extra measures to combat noise and light coming from it.

The establishment has applied to Tameside Council to put in the full size pitch, along with perimeter fencing, acoustic fencing, hardstanding areas, storage container, floodlights, an access path and site won topsoil bunding.

It would be divided into smaller areas and training zones, with the hope it can be used from 8am until 10pm Monday-Friday and from 9am until 9pm on Saturday and Sunday.

St Thomas More, Denton

But documents supporting the application state: “The applicant wishes to accommodate hours of use in order to maximise developmental outcomes.”

As well as benefitting the school, the pitch will be used by clubs and the local community.

If approved, it would be surrounded by four-and-a-half metre high steel open mesh fencing and on two sides, six-foot-high acoustic fencing will sit on top of a two-metre-high bund.

It would have six floodlights around it, but its system has been designed to allow each half of the pitch to be individually programmed.

Because of the homes in the area, measures would also be put in place to ‘mitigate spillage of lighting.’

A statement added: “‘Observers’ have been placed on four residential properties spaced along the southeast row of the closest residential buildings, due to their proximity to the proposed floodlights.

“For each of the houses, two observers have been placed at the closest part of building.

“The observers have been set to 1.8m and 3.6m high by the building to replicate the height of the average person standing up on the ground floor and the first floor.”

However, it adds: “The proposed lighting design would meet the pre-curfew and post curfew thresholds.”

Thomas More believes installing the new pitch would help the area around it.

It says it would, ‘contribute to the improvement of sporting and recreational facilities at St Thomas More RC College.

‘It will provide increased usage in comparison to the existing grassed playing field, for benefit of the school, local football clubs, partner organisations and other sports clubs in the surrounding area, via pre-arranged and structured access.”

Concerns of a football pitch bringing extra parking problems have also been eased with the claim: “The proposed future use of the site will result in a negligible impact on the local highway network and local transport network and will not lead to car parking stress on local roads due to suitable onsite provision of spaces.”

And Thomas More detailed how extra measures will be put in place to try and stop noise becoming an issue.

It added: “Additional measures to be implemented as part of the proposed development to reduce the noise impact.

“Neoprene washers will be fitted to fence panel fixings to reduce panel rattle and vibration from ball impacting on the perimeter fencing, which will reduce noise emission created from use.

“Unlike a small ball-court, all playing lines are to be permanently marked three metres minimum away from the pitch perimeter to mitigate balls impacting on to the fenced enclosure.

“To manage noise generated by use of the facility, it will introduce a noise management plan with procedures to minimise any potential noise impact from users of the facility.

“The plan is considered to be a live document, which may be revised in order to create an acceptable balance between the requirements for a successful sports facility and the protection of local residents’ amenity.”

Tameside Council’s Speaker’s Panel (Planning) committee will decide whether to grant or refuse planning permission.

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