Plans for all-weather sports pitch at Richmond School recommended for approval

The new pitch would be build on the school playing fields.

A controversial scheme to create an all-weather sports pitch with a grandstand and floodlighting at Richmond School is set to be decided.

Dozens of both letters of support and objections have been lodged with Richmondshire District Council over the scheme.

A report to the authority’s planning committee states the artificial grass pitch would contribute to the improvement of sporting and recreational facilities at the school and provide for increased usage in comparison to the existing grassed football pitch.

It states the pitch would also be used by local junior and youth football clubs “to gain the maximum football developmental outcomes”.

The plan has been backed by 32 letters of support, including petitions with a total of 138 names.

Recommending the scheme for approval, an officer’s report to the meeting states: “There is a recognised and justified need for improved sporting facilities providing full-sized all-weather pitches within the district.

“The proposal is brought forward by Richmond School to improve its existing facilities and provide high quality facilities for the Richmond Town Football Club, the pupils of Richmond School and other community organisations.”

However, the authority has received 37 letters of objection over the plan to transform the playing field on the south side of Richmond School and to the east of houses at The Crescent and The Avenue.

Richmond Town Council has supported some residents’concerns that the floodlights and acoustic fence are “obtrusive and not in line with the green field settings”.

The town council has said the floodlights would also have a detrimental effect on the residents of The Crescent in particular, but at 17m high the lights would be seen for miles to the south and west.