Neighbours criticise plans to put in floodlights around basketball courts at The Racecourse in Northampton

Nearby homeowners say plans will increase anti-social behaviour

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 1:23 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th March 2021, 1:28 pm
Homeowners in Colywn Road have raised concerns about the plans for the floodlights. Picture: Google Maps
Homeowners in Colywn Road have raised concerns about the plans for the floodlights. Picture: Google Maps

A plan to build 10 floodlights at a basketball court which borders the rear gardens of houses in Northampton is set to be discussed by councillors.

Northampton Borough Council has submitted a planning application for the near 10 metre tall lights to be installed on lampposts on the court at The Racecourse.

Members of the borough’s planning committee will meet on Tuesday (March 16) to discuss the plan which is recommended for approval subject to conditions.

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A report to the committee states there is a proposed condition the lampposts for the floodlights are painted black to match the appearance of the existing lampposts within the park.

The site is within the Kingsley Conservation Area and to the west of the Grade II listed Racecourse Pavilion.

An assessment concluded that the proposed floodlight columns will not harm the setting of the pavilion or the character or appearance of the conservation area.

The closest houses are in Colwyn Road which have large rear gardens in excess of 24 metres bordering The Racecourse and the application site.

A lighting test was carried out and the report states it is not considered the floodlights would be unduly intrusive upon houses to the south.

The report states the council is proposing to turn off the lights automatically at 9pm and the lights will only be is use between 8am and 9pm.

However six objections from four addresses were received by the council on the following grounds: increase in anti-social behaviour; the previous focus group undertaken by the council has not reported back; is there not sufficient daylight during the year; why not invest in the tennis court area instead; increased usage at night will results in increased litter; no public toilets; no prior engagement with residents to discuss the proposition; increase in noise – ball and music; disturbance to residential properties; objection to location and request for it to be relocated away from homes; burglaries in gardens; damage to garden wall; why encourage people to play during the dark hours.

The report’s conclusion states: ‘The proposal would support and enhance the ongoing use of an existing sports facility and would not result in unacceptable harm to residential amenity or the setting of heritage assets.

‘As such, as part of a balanced assessment, it is considered the application is acceptable and it is recommended that planning permission be granted subject to conditions.’