St Albans school’s third bid for sports pitch

A SCHOOL’S proposal for new sports facilities is to go before planners for the third time.

Nicholas Breakspear, in partnership with St Albans City Youth FC, wants permission for an artificial grass multi-use games area (MUGA), as well as a new block to house changing rooms and teaching space.

The second application, for which planning officers had recommended approval, had been due to go before the district council’s planning development committee south meeting at the end of February.

But, due to a technicality uncovered at the 11th hour, it was declared invalid by the head of planning who said relevant landowners had not been notified about the proposal 21 days before it was submitted. It has now resubmitted the same application. The first application was withdrawn in the face of strong opposition from many local residents living near the school in Colney Heath Lane.

Their concerns include additional noise, increases in traffic and light pollution from the floodlighting of the MUGA.

But the school has insisted that the noise would not be above a reasonable level, that “light spillage” would be limited and that all parking needs would be met within the school grounds by utilising an additional area of hard-standing.

The Roman Catholic school, which has sports college status, wants to build the new MUGA because its existing facilities are not meeting its needs.

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The facility would also be open to other clubs and local schools around the area.