Error halts plans for floodlit pitch
Reporter: Lucy Kenderdine
Date online: 27 June 2014
ERRORS on an application form have led to the withdrawal of a controversial plan to convert a sports pitch into a floodlit 4G ground at a Chadderton primary school.
Yew Tree Community School, Alcester Street, wanted to convert its current sports pitch into a state-of-the-art facility that could be rented out after school hours, possibly until 10pm.
The application originally suggested four pitches - which would cover almost all the available land - would be built on the playing fields, though the school only aimed to resurface the current pitch.
Though the plans were lodged in November, residents claim they were informed only recently - and have been quick to express their anger.
William Singleton, who lives on Alcester Street with his wife Diane, said: “We have already suffered six months of building works for the new extension to the school and now shocked these other plans have been put forward. What about provision for parking? What about the increase of traffic? What about anti-social behaviour? We haven’t received anything about the plans and Oldham Council seems to be riding roughshod over residents.”
Marilyn Camus (59), who lives in Gordon Avenue, said “I don’t mind children from the school using it but I am worried about it being rented out until 10pm to grown men in football leagues. It will take away our privacy.”
Residents have mounted a petition against the proposals and have contacted Michael Meacher MP for his support.
Residents were dismayed when they believed four pitches were due to be developed. But school head Rais Bhatti admitted: “The school has not submitted an application for four pitches; it seems an error has been made on the online documents. We have only applied to convert our current pitch, which is already fenced off. We’re eager to ease the fears of local residents.”
He said the school removed the application once the mistake came to light.
“We can understand why local residents have been concerned,” he said. “To have four pitches on the site would have been chaos. The school would never make plans for that.”
A corrected application is expected to be resubmitted later.
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