Northamptonshire County Cricket Club has been given permission to use its floodlights for pop concerts, despite admitting it did not consult residents on the plans.
The Wantage Road club applied to Northampton Borough Council for permission to use the lights twice a year for concerts, a request which was granted at a meeting of the council’s planning committee on Tuesday.
The club has also been allowed to extend the time it is allowed to use the floodlights at late-night matches, so television interviews can be carried out on the pitch after games. They will be left on until 10.30pm a maximum of six times a year.
A total of 47 residents objected to the plans, and also claimed the club had “consistently and persistently breached” its current conditions, which the club refuted.
Duncan Chalwick, speaking on behalf of Wellingborough Road residents, said: “The lights have severely damaged quality of life since they were erected three years ago.
“This is about drawing a line, and saying enough is enough. It is time to take a stand. The cricket club’s ambitions are laudible but the balance has tipped towards giving them everything they want.”
Defending the club, David Smith, said: “I have been chief executive of the club for two summers and at no point has anyone contacted us about any breaches.”
Speaking about the late-night matches, Mr Smith added: “This is purely for Sky games. It will have no impact on people leaving and will align us to the other 18 first class counties.”
Regarding concerts, he said: “The club would like to have the opportunity to have two concerts per summer.
“We are a not-for-profit business; money is re-invested in spectator facilities.”
But Mr Smith said the club had not consulted residents on the matter.
Chairman of the planning committee, Councillor Penny Flavell (Con, Rushmills), said: “I hope in future you will liase with residents.”