Letters June 2018
Floodlights not practical at Greenbank Road
THANK you for your article highlighting the problems residents are facing at Greenbank Road playing field (Hanham and Longwell Green Voice, May 2018).
The installation of floodlights on community grass pitches tends to result in overuse and this leads to pitches that are not fit for purpose. The drainage at Greenbank Road is already poor with many of the current seasons matches already postponed. Is it good practice to to spend thousands of pounds on this project when the level of play can only be restricted by this basic issue?
it is disappointing that AEK-BOCO have reopened negotiations to install floodlights at Greenbank Road playing fields, without taking any of the FA guidelines highlighted two years ago into consideration. Along with many other concerns raised at the time, the basic FA guideline that there should be 'a minimum of 65m from the perimeter of the pitch to the nearest residential building' cannot be adhered to at this site.
The proposed addition of a fenced spectator stand and permanent dugouts will turn this into a mini football stadium, which can never be practical within such a limited public open space. It will restrict community use and could result in further cases of anti-social behaviour.
Parking on local side streets is already a serious issue at weekends, with not all visitors using the car park available, although the club disputes this. With the addition of new homes on adjoining land this can only lead to further traffic problems on the narrow residential roads.
It should be noted that South Gloucestershire Council has just signed a S106 agreement with Bellway Homes Ltd and Square Bay LLP as part of their planning application contributing £142,593.19 'towards provision and/or enhancement of outdoor sports facilities at Greenbank Road Playing Field' also £71,503.19 'towards play area provision for children and young people at Greenbank Road and/or Court Road'. This is a LOT of money to spend on such a restricted site.
South Gloucestershire Council has seriously let down the community and AEK-BOCO without properly preparing guidelines for use of all their community open spaces as promised in 2016. It is obvious that Greenbank Road does not adhere to the criteria recommended by the FA to support the proposed development at this site.