Two-pronged campaign for floodlit 3G football pitch in Harpenden

Roundwood Park school

Roundwood Park school - Credit: Archant

A secondary school and a football club are joining forces to make a fresh bid to build a full size 3G floodlit pitch which will be available to the community as well.

Roundwood Park School is applying for planning permission to build the pitch which is expected to be backed by Harpenden Colts at a meeting on June 1 and would be used by the club.

The school is also hoping it will address the inability of its 1,250 students to use their playing field throughout the year.

Ten years ago the school applied for planning permission for an all-weather playing surface which generated many objections and was turned down primarily due to perceived noise and light pollution issues,.

The new pitch will be in a different loction and with technological advances in directional floodlighting and the removal of the requirement for the pitch to be dual use - hard and soft ball - the school is hoping concerns have been addressed.

To get the ball rolling, Roundwood Park and the Colts approached the FA for potential financial support. They then conducted extensive exploratory surveying to determine the feasibility of the project, addressing noise, light and traffic issues as well as topography.

The school and the club now intend to embark on an extensive fundraising campaign to raise the balance of funding - likely to be in the region of £150,000 - which they anticipate will take up to two years.

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As well as seeking support from local councillors, businesses and other sporting organisations they will also be enlisting the help of the parents and young people of both Roundwood Park and Colts.

Bridging financing is expected to be in place within the next six months so construction could begin as early as Christmas with a proposed opening date of summer 2016.

Roundwood headteacher Alan Henshall said: “This is a very exciting proposition. The students of Roundwood Park School deserve the very best and this will give us a fantastic facility to be enjoyed, not just by our students but by the whole community.

And Ian Holden, chair of Harpenden Colts, added: “Harpenden Colts were delighted to be approached by the Herts FA about the potential for a 3G facility in our area.

“Members of senior school age currently have to travel as far afield as Luton and Welwyn to train, putting a great strain on coaches and parents alike.”

He added: “We feel that this is a great opportunity to be involved in a facility that will benefit a broad spectrum of the local community.”

A public meeting for local residents and the wider community will be held at Roundwood Park School on the evening of Wednesday, June 3.