Solutions for noisy pitches investigated after residents complain

PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 November 2015

Portfolio holder for sport and leisure Cllr Annie Brewster and Robbie Hazlehurst inspect the new neoprene strips installed in the fencing to reduce the noise from the football pitches

Portfolio holder for sport and leisure Cllr Annie Brewster and Robbie Hazlehurst inspect the new neoprene strips installed in the fencing to reduce the noise from the football pitches

Archant

Determination to avoid scoring an own goal has prompted the district council to target complaints from neighbours of a new multi-million-pound sports complex who are crying foul over noise.

While the quintessentially English summer sounds of leather on willow at cricket grounds do little to cause alarm, the noise of footballs striking fences at the new Cotlandswick Leisure Centre in London Colney is apparently attracting some complaints.

The district council recently opened the doors of its new sports centre, as the authority is aiming to encourage residents to participate in a wide range of activities at the £4.8m complex - one of three state-of-the-art complexes built in this area over the past few years.

But at a full district council meeting, London Colney Cllr Katherine Gardner asked the portfolio holder for sports, Cllr Annie Brewster, what action was being taken about the ‘noise nuisance’ at the pitches.

Cllr Brewster replied that they were constructed in line with planning recommendations and a full noise assessment was completed for the site when planning approval was sought. As soon as complaints were received about noise, officers began examining how improvements could be made.

Cllr Brewster said various measures were being trialled to lessen the problem.

The council’s contractor, 1Life, has been ensuring that pitches furthest from residents are booked first, and the behaviour of players is monitored, with noise levels “challenged where necessary”.

In addition, the company which installed the pitch fencing has now added trial neoprene strips - which offer sound insulation - to all the fencing on pitches seven and eight - the two nearest to homes.

Cllr Brewster said that an independent sound assessment company had tested the improvement works to ensure they reduced the level of noise.

She added: “Once this is confirmed, neoprene strips will be installed to the fencing on all the remaining pitches.

“Additional acoustic dampening solutions are being investigated, such as the planting of Red Cedar trees between [homes] and pitches.”

Last week, Cllr Brewster said: “I am very pleased that there seems to be a dramatic improvement in pitch noise on the two pitches nearest residents, thanks to the trial installation of substantial neoprene strips.

“We have ordered enough material to complete all nine pitches and we hope this can be done shortly. An independent noise test was conducted on October 21, and we await the official report from the company.”

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