Wealden planners are giving the go-ahead to a cricket club which wants to extend its pitches.
Heathfield Park Cricket Club in School Hill, Old Heathfield, applied to gain permission for landscaping work to create an extra cricket square in a neighbouring field. The land they want to use is currently designated ‘agricultural’.
Parish councillors fear the scheme might impact adversely on neighbouring properties, a nearby SSSI and conservation area, historic land and a listed building.
They also say parking problems and traffic congestion would be made worse.In their report to the district council, they descibed possible noise pollution, damage to the local environment and loss of mature trees, explaining they are reflecting objections raised by people living nearby.
The grassland site runs from north east to south west with small trees in its centre.
It is next to existing cricket facilities – a pitch with an associated pavilion and store building.
The club wants an extra pitch to provide additional capacity so its various teams can hold home games.
It has recently expanded with the 10-16 youth teams and home games are currently played at Netherfield due to lack of space.
The proposal involves removing some small trees and a ‘cut and fill’ approach to creating a more level area on which to provide the pitch.
Objectors cited significant changes to the park and garden’s inherent character as well as parking problems.
They also felt an ecology report was done at the wrong time, water runoff could damage the SSSI and the proposal would harm the conservation area.
Planners say the changes associated with the works would not be sufficiently harmful to the character of the AONB, Old Heathfield Conservation Area or Heathfield Park Historic Park and Garden to warrant withholding consent.
They feel the parking situation is not unusual for rural cricket facilities and the proposal ‘provides an enhanced sporting facility that would allow for increased teams to be supported by this established club.’
There will be 53 parking spaces on a concrete hardstanding area and it was suggested the club could possibly provide temporary roadway parking during bad weather which would prevent vehicles being parked in adjacent roads during matches, an issue of concern to local residents.
Concluding their report, planners say ‘the the level of intrusion to the established amenities of local residents is not identified as a level to warrant refusal.’