Green light for new five-a-side pitches at Ashfield's Larwood Park

An application for a new five-a-side football facility has been given the go-ahead at Ashfield’s Larwood Park by council planners.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 1:42 pm

The new facility would see three pitches built at the home of Ashfield Rugby Club, providing revenue and a new sporting facility for residents to enjoy, a report submitted to Ashfield District Council states.

A total of three pitches are set to be built close to the existing sporting facilities on Twickenham Road, Kirkby – two five-a-side pitches sized 30m by 20m – and a larger pitch 30m by 40m, suitable for seven-a-side matches.

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Ashfield District Council's Kirkby headquarters

The application also includes approval for rebound fencing, netting and floodlights – which must be switched off by 10pm, Monday to Friday, and 9pm at weekends – and footpath access to the existing sports pavilion and clubhouse.

“Given the nearest residential property is some distance away behind substantial tree screening, no detrimental effect will be caused to residents by the proposed floodlighting,” a design and access report submitted to the authority states.

A grass bund has also been included in the plans to mitigate any increased noise from the new pitches.

Two letters of objection were received from residents, citing an increase in traffic, problems emergency vehicles would have accessing residential properties and disturbance caused by noise and lighting.

An amended car park layout has also been submitted as part of the application, providing an additional 16 spaces – from 106 to 122.

Initially, it had been planned to build a netball court on the site but this was changed to the five-a-side facility with the backing of Sports England, the Football Foundation and the Rugby Football Union.

The report also states that it has been recognised that Ashfield has a shortage of high-quality 3G playing facilities, and the development would help address the shortfall.

The facility will be available to hire by schools from 9am to 3pm weekdays and there will be ‘pay and play’ options for residents daily.

It will also be available for hire by sports teams and community groups from 5pm to 10pm Monday to Friday, and 3pm to 9pm at the weekend, with prices ranging from £30 to £40 per hour.

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