Sunday, 19 September 2021
THE Oratory Preparatory School in Goring Heath has been granted planning permission for an artificial sports pitch.
The facility, which will measure about 90m by 60m, will be built in place of a grass hockey pitch to the north of the main school building.
It could be used as a full-sized pitch but will also be marked out for two smaller seven-a-side pitches.
The school says the pitch is needed because of a growing expectation that hockey should be played on artificial grass and it could be used for other sports such as football when the weather is too wet to use grass pitches.
The school has not sought permission for flood lighting but might do so in future.
The Ramblers’ Association objected to the development, saying it would result in a slight diversion of a public footpath across the land.
A neighbour opposed the scheme on the grounds of noise and the possibility of light pollution in future.
Two other residents said they were not against the idea but they would oppose any attempt to install lighting. This view was also expressed by Goring Heath Parish Council.
South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning officers recommended approval, saying they accepted the school’s argument that the pitch would fit “discreetly” into the playing fields and not cause bothersome noise as it would be more than 100m from the nearest house.
They said that because the pitch would only be used by the school, there would be no increase in traffic on surrounding roads.
However, they agreed that lighting was likely to be deemed unacceptable because of the impact on the surrounding countryside.
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