Training ground floodlights approved, with conditions

Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club chief executive Martin Perry at the Lancing training ground. Picture: Paul Hazlewood
Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club chief executive Martin Perry at the Lancing training ground. Picture: Paul Hazlewood

EXTRA floodlights have been approved at Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club’s new training development in Lancing.

But residents have been assured there is an overall ‘status quo’, as the club will be allowed to use only two out of three sets of floodlights at any one time.

There are 15 pitches in total on the land, south-west of New Monks Farm, and permission had already been granted for floodlighting on two of them, Adur Council planning committee was told on Monday.

Peter Barnett, principal planning officer, said floodlighting was now sought on a third pitch, the northern-most artificial pitch, reserved for community use.

“Without floodlights, it would be available only in daylight hours,” he said.

Although the committee’s approval means a third pitch will have floodlights, a condition will state only two sets can be on at any one time.

Lancing Parish Council had asked if consideration could be given to lighting the pitches in combinations so as to limit the impact for nearby residents.

The six floodlights on the community pitch will be on 18m-high columns and they could be lit until 10pm.

Mr Barnett said: “They are very directional, so they will direct the light out to the pitch. They could be used for a long time, especially in the winter, but we don’t think that is going to be particularly noticeable to residents.

“They have got acoustic fencing going up to protect residents in the nearest cottage.”

Cllr Ben Stride said he supported the application, as long as the condition of only two at one time was put in place.

The fact it was an addition to a previously-approved plan was raised by Cllr David Donaldson. “I don’t like planning where things are tacked on after permission has been granted,” he said. “It took long enough to get this in place.”

However, Cllr Peter Metcalfe said: “I am very impressed indeed with what Brighton and Hove Albion are doing, particularly with effect to the community and I think this will be a great benefit.”

Sussex County Football Association said in a letter it was delighted a full-size artificial pitch was being provided for community use.

A huge number of clubs had already expressed an interest in using the facility and most sessions would take place in the evening, meaning floodlighting was vital, especially in the winter.