Residents fear 3G pitch plan is taking away their human rights

Resident meeting at Cratree pub Lancing to oppose 3G pitch SUS-160202-123529001
Resident meeting at Cratree pub Lancing to oppose 3G pitch SUS-160202-123529001

LANCING residents packed out a local pub last week to oppose plans to build a 3G pitch that is ‘chasing people out of their homes’.

More than 100 people attended the emergency resident meeting at the Crabtree Inn in Crabtree Lane on Thursday (January 28).

The £700,000 all-weather sports pitch has been proposed to be built on the grounds of the Sir Robert Woodard Academy, in Upperboundstone Lane, but residents living close to the site said it is ‘taking away their human rights’.

Retired couple, Roger and Marion Perry, moved to Upperboundstone Lane more than three years ago.

Marion said: “When we moved here we were told nothing would happen there, that it was just kids running up and down the field.”

Roger said: “Now they’re going to turn it into a commercial venture outside my window.”

The couple, both in their 70s, sent out flyers and rallied together residents from Cokeham Road, Abbey Road, Berriedale Drive and Upper Brighton Road, Hamilton Road, among others.

Marion said: “We just expected a few people to turn up, but it was so packed it led outside the door and windows – some people couldn’t get in at all and they had to leave.”

The residents formed a committee including two members from each road directly affected by the plan.

To help look at the finer details of the plan, an application consultant, Dowsett Mayhew from Brighton, has been contracted to build a case.

On the night, residents raised a number of issues including light pollution, noise, drainage, views and traffic.

Marion told the Herald: “We have got residential roads surrounding three sides of the pitch and then the A27.

“We’re objecting because it’s right in front of our large window. I feel it’s against our human rights. We have the right to live peacefully in our homes and they are taking that away from us.”

Marion said she has been led to believe by councillors that it is a ‘done deal’ and there is now little residents can do.

“Surely we have rights to be heard as citizens – we have serious objections,” she added.

The Perrys said the 3G pitch could also have adverse affects on their health and that of their neighbours.

Young mum, Hollie Griffiths, of Berriedale Drive suffers from an illness that can keep her housebound at times.

She said: “My husband is the sole breadwinner and we have put everything into our home. I have periods where I can’t leave the house and I’ll be stuck with that.”

The 32-year-old is also concerned about the impact it will have on the A27.

She said: “Road users will be dazzled by the lights and there will be increased traffic leading to the pitch.”

Adrienne Mason has lived in her home on Upperboundstone Lane for 16 years and said she can see the flood lights and hear noise from the Sussex County FA pitch on Culver Road.

“I can hear them playing and swearing from my garden, so what will it be like right beside my home?”

The pitch will be funded by Section 106 money from the Brighton and Hove Albion training ground in Mash Barn Lane.

But Hollie said the legal payments should go towards residents, not to profit a school.

She said: “Why has money been given to the school for them to use to make profit with when it should be used for the public?”

The deadline for the planning committee to accept letters of support and objection has been extended to February 8.

MP Tim Loughton tweeted he was pleased to announce that the Adur planning department have extended the consultation by a fortnight before going to the planning committee on March 4.

Mr Loughton is to hold a public meeting this Saturday (February 6) at Sompting United Reformed Church, Cokeham Road, Sompting, at 2pm.

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