A Nether Alderley reverend has raised concerns over plans to build a football pitch near his church — over fears of ‘loud swearing’ and ‘the noise of football’.
Alderley Park Ltd is seeking permission to construct a full-size pitch and single-storey pavilion — which would ‘incorporate changing, toilet and shower facilities, storage areas, substation and plant, kitchen area and a 40 sqm education room which would be available to the community’.
However, Rev Jon Hale, from St Mary’s Church, Nether Alderley and St Catherine’s Church, Birtles, has raised a variety of concerns over the plans.
In his letter of objection, the reverend writes: “The proposal will have an adverse impact on local amenity due to the noise of football impacting on St Mary’s Church, churchyard and burial ground, and on nearby residential properties, and this has not been addressed in the planning application.
“From my experience of parish ministry elsewhere, the noise of football, and of football training, carries, and can be disturbing and distressing to people who live within its sound or who otherwise regularly resort to the area.
“These are sounds of whistle-blowing, crowd shouting, and individual people shouting, often in a state of heightened emotion which can cause loud swearing.
“Despite the presence of trees and vegetation, the sounds from the proposed football pitch would carry, and particularly so in the winter — which is the football season — when the trees have shed their leaves.”
Rev Hale also expressed fears that the development represented an intrusion into the green belt.
On this point, in the application’s supporting statement, agent Avison Young writes: “The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) provides the relevant and most up to date Green Belt policy against which the proposals should be assessed.
“The NPPF states that Local Planning Authoritiess should regard the construction of new buildings as inappropriate in the Green Belt.
“The exceptions to this are set out at paragraph 145 of the NPPF and include: ‘ii. provision of appropriate facilities for outdoor sport, outdoor recreation and for cemeteries, as long as it preserves the openness of the Green Belt and does not conflict with the purposes of including land within it’.
“The proposed development falls clearly within this exception as it will provide outdoor sports facilities that are a requirement of the adopted Alderley Park Framework.”
Residents can view the plans and make comments until 25th March by visiting CEC’s planning portal using reference number ’21/0630M’.