Basildon Council to consider green belt development by Bowers & Pitsea FC

COUNCIL officers have asked councillors to approve a development at Bowers & Pitsea FC, after seeking assurances that it would not create a noise nuisance.

The club, in Crown Avenue, Pitsea, wants to construct new changing rooms, office space, a café, new turnstiles, toilets, a replacement covered seating area, a match-day hospitality area and a multi-use room.

The football club sits on green belt land, but council officers claimed further development would not be inappropriate as it was of ‘limited scale’.

The club said its current changing facilities dated from the 1970s and were regularly used by more than 400 people, so were in need of replacement.

Basildon Council’s planning committee considered the application in July by deferred their decision, saying they were concerned about potential noise nuisance.

After 24 neighbouring properties which were consulted, the council received four objections.

One complaint was that the existing club house already created ‘noise issues’ which would ‘worsen’ if the development was permitted.

One complainant said that after other recent improvements to the ground, ‘activities have been taking place closer to their home, causing disturbance and inconvenience’.

The activities included ‘youths playing football in the evening’ and ‘erection of a bouncy castle for a fun day’. The complainant said they feared permitting further works would worsen the problem.

Other objections raised included that existing parking problems would be worsened, which could hamper fire engines in an emergency, and that the existing parking problems would hamper construction vehicles.

A new report by civil servants has recommended approval for the application, citing new evidence, including a new ‘noise impact assessment’.

Officers wrote: “This has shown that the proposed development will not generate any significant increase in noise levels, over that currently existing, and will not result in any significant nuisance to adjoining residents to justify refusal on noise grounds.”

Planning officers spoke with their colleagues in environmental health and reported: “They are happy with the form of the assessment carried out and the conclusions reached. They have also requested that a condition be imposed restricting the use of musical instruments by spectators during matches, and that the grass area adjacent to residential properties is not used for parking purposes, to ensure noise issues are minimised on the site.”

The club claimed it would tackle parking problems by providing supporters with information about public transport and encouraging car sharing.

The planning committee will deliberate over the application in a public meeting at the Bas Centre tonight, November 19, at 7pm.


Charles Thomson

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