Protest group to fight on after pitch defeat

Date published: 20 December 2012

RESIDENTS who battled Crompton House school’s £1million sports pitch plans have been devastated by a planning go-ahead for the scheme.

Protesters who packed last night’s Oldham Council planning committee meeting were bitterly disappointed by the decision - despite changes including a 9pm closure on weekdays instead of the intended 10pm.

Opponents of the scheme, which they say will have a major impact on their nearby homes, declared the war was “not over yet.” High Crompton residents’ group is discussing its next move,

Neil Wheelton, head of PE at the school, said the plan was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have community-use facilities at the school.

“This would be a fantastic facility for years to come,” he explained. “Both the existing shale and rugby pitches are beyond redemption. We’re going to bring £450,000 into the scheme, Heyside Juniors have given £55,000 and there is £500,000 from the Football Foundation.

“When finished it would be a legacy for the borough. It will not be a cash cow.”

Cameron Mitchell, who spoke for protesters, said members didn’t object in principle to the idea of a new sports pitch - but the long opening hours and noise and light pollution would cause major problems for those living around the site.

Councillors John Dillon and John Hudson also spoke against the project on parking and impact grounds.

The school will use the pitches for 49 hours a week, outsiders for 29 hours.

Twenty-two residents objected by letter about light pollution, noise, drainage, parking and privacy.

The group says it hopes to meet with the school to discuss the conditions again.

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