School gets new hockey pitch in spite of protests

Broughton Business and Enterprsie College
Broughton Business and Enterprsie College

Plans to build an artificial hockey pitch at Broughton Business and Enterprise College have been approved by Preston Council – despite a raft of objections.

The specialist college has received almost £500,000 in funding for the pitch which will primarily provide a hockey facility for children and residents.

Currently the surface is hard, but it will be replaced by an artificial grass pitch with surrounding ball-stop fencing and illuminated by floodlights. Preston Council’s planning committee first heard of the proposed plans on August 4, but deferred the meeting after councillors were unable to make a decision due to a lack of consultation with residents and clear enough plans.

But on Monday, the committee passed an amended application by the college after concerns with the previous plans were expressed by residents in the surrounding area.

The council received 69 objections from residents mainly concerned by the nature and extent of usage, traffic generation and the removal of protected trees, due to the school being home to veteran oaks.

It was suggested by the opposed that the pitch be situated elsewhere in the grounds, on the grass playing field, which would eliminate the need to remove trees and solve other expressed concerns.

However, the college’s headteacher Chris Morris disputed the suggestion due to the loss of funding involved in the re-siting of the pitch

Mr Morris said: “There are several reasons why we don’t want to move the pitch, as we will lose £275,000 worth of funding and it would cost us an additional £150,000 to £200,000 plus we don’t want to put our grass pitch out of action.

“We will do all we can to comply with the tree protection measures.”