Artificial system

A group of residents are fighting Ossett Academy’s plan to build a lit artificial football pitch in a ‘precious’ park

More than 70 objections have now been filed against Ossett Academy’s plans to build the artificial turf pitch, change the clubhouse and parking spaces on the grounds of Green Park, Ossett.

The school’s chief executive said the facility was “much needed” due to a “deficit of high-quality sports facilities” in this part of town.

Ossett Academy requested the construction of an artificial turf pitch and a clubhouse with 76 parking spaces on the grounds of Green Park. Design by Steve Wells Associates.

They claim the new facility would result in a loss of valuable green space for the community.

They are also concerned about light pollution and increased traffic in the area.

An objection, submitted to the local authority by LRJ Planning Ltd, states: “My clients all use this space on a regular basis for recreation, leisure and walking.

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Ossett Academy requested the construction of an artificial turf pitch and a clubhouse with 76 parking spaces on the grounds of Green Park.

“Indeed, during the pandemic, the presence of this green and public space illustrated the importance of having such a space.

“Green Park is defined in the Leisure, Leisure and Open Space Plan (2017) as a significant park and area of ​​open green space which provides important recreational amenities and assets, particularly to local communities that adjoin them.”

The document adds: “The proposal is clearly intended for private commercial use without significant wider public benefits.

“Overall, the plaintiff has provided no compelling evidence to justify the loss of significant public green space well used by the local community.

“The proposal fails to achieve the overarching goal of sustainable development and will result in an unacceptable loss of important and valuable public green space.

“The proposal is contrary to local and national planning policies and does not include sustainable development. It is respectfully requested that the planning application be denied.

Another objection states: “The loss of this beautiful large open green space for the community of Ossett would be devastating.

“The fields are constantly used at all times of the day. I see people playing soccer with their kids, exercising, golfing, flying kites, building snowmen, playing rounders, doing group exercises, walking their dogs in groups, sunbathing, picnicking, the list can go on and on.

“It is such an important green space for the health and well-being of many Ossett residents. How devastating that this is closed and only available to a minority who will pay for the privilege.

Sixteen letters were submitted in support of the application, saying it will be good for grassroots sport in the region and provide a safe environment for young people to play.

Alan Warboys, Chief Executive of Accord Multi Academy Trust, said: “It has been identified for some time that there is a deficit of high quality sports facilities on this side of town, and in particular the strategy of Local Authority Playground identifies a need for synthetic floodlit facilities for playing football all year round.

“Ossett Academy and Accord Multi Academy Trust have worked together with the local authority, in consultation with the County FA and the Football Foundation to explore the possibility of providing much needed high quality sports facilities which would be accessible to young people as part of their education within the city, but also to the whole community throughout the year.

“This is an exciting project that will potentially attract a significant amount of sponsorship funds to develop sports facilities and increase quality and participation rates within the community.”