Blenheim Road Community Primary School in St Dials, Cwmbran
Blenheim Road Community Primary School in St Dials, Cwmbran Credit: Google Street View.

A SCHOOL yard will be replaced with a floodlit all-weather sports pitch – a plan that prompted fears over noise, light pollution and anti-social behaviour. 

Some residents near Blenheim Road Community Primary in St Dials, Cwmbran had objected to the new pitch, which will be available for community use in the evenings. 

Objections, from five properties, listed in a planning report included noise and light pollution, parking and “the proposal would attract anti-social behaviour” as “currently people climb the fence to use the playground at the weekend and after school hours.” 

But that was dismissed by planning officer Justin Jones who said in a report, while the fear of crime can be considered, the pitch will be managed by the school and would “allow an area for, primarily, youngsters to channel their energy in a safe environment” and it will be behind an additional fence. 

He added: “There is no cognitive evidence that the proposal would create or increase anti-social behaviour and therefore little weight is given to this concern.” 

There will be no loss of greenspace. 

It was also claimed residents hadn’t been provided with enough information including opening times, but Torfaen Borough Council said it met the minimum requirement with notification letters sent to neighbouring properties. 

Mr Jones’ report which approved the application stated the pitch and floodlights would be approximately 50m from the residential properties to the north and 33m from the west and light spill from the floodlights would be within the school grounds. The pitch will be available for use from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday and from 9 to 5pm on Saturday and Sundays and bank holidays. 

It was acknowledged the floodlights will also the new pitch to be used later into the evening than at present and would generate additional noise, through increased use in the winter, but the environmental health department hadn’t objected. 

Parking will be within the school grounds and though there may be a pressure at the end of the school day, from 4pm to 5pm, it is considered the total of 74 parking spaces is sufficient. 

The existing yard will be overlayed with a sand-dressed pitch, which is also described in planning documents as a 3G pitch, and permission has also been given for a three metre high welded mesh fence six, six metre high floodlights with one in each corner and one either side of the halfway line. 

The planning report states the pitch will be: “sand covered over with astroturf to create a 3G pitch”.