Lord's cricket ground left in the dark
RESIDENTS are thrilled a controversial planning application to install temporary floodlights at Lord s for five years has been rejected. More than 70 letters of protest on behalf of 300 residents were sent to the council claiming the lights would cause a
RESIDENTS are thrilled a controversial planning application to install temporary floodlights at Lord's for five years has been rejected.
More than 70 letters of protest on behalf of 300 residents were sent to the council claiming the lights would cause a massive disruption to their lives and are not suitable in a conservation area.
The historic cricket ground will not be allowed to put up temporary floodlights for five years but they were offered an olive branch by the council - they can install the lights for a limited time next year during the Twenty20 world cup.
Chairman of the St John's Wood society Andrew Mainz said: "We are absolutely delighted with the result.
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"We bitterly opposed everything to do with the application and we are very pleased it has been turned down.
"The lights they would have installed are terrible - a lot of glare and they are very ugly.
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"We thought the decision was wholly appropriate and we are very pleased."
After an experiment with the lights last September scores of residents complained that light poured into their homes causing people to feel ill from the glare.
There were also concerns about the effect the large floodlights - which would be higher than the media centre - would have on the surrounding conservation area and the possible effects on the bat and insect population who would be attracted to the light.
Regent's Park Cllr Gwyneth Hampson said: "I realise that the planning decision was not everything that Lord's were requesting, but the council had to come to a compromise between the residents' very valid concerns and the commercial pressures of the Twenty20 World Cup in 2009.
"It is unfortunate for Lord's that the ground is so heavily residential on three sides of the ground - no other cricket ground in England is surrounded by so much housing.
"But I think five years would never have been acceptable. The residents are very pleased but even more than that they are relieved because there was an experiment last year which was not a very happy event at all.
"Residents are not against cricket or Lord's but this is just not tolerated - too much glare and lights which are too big in a conservation area."
The council's planning committee decided a longer-term more permanent basis for the lights would have a negative effect on the residents and the surrounding area.
Cllr Steve Summers, who chaired the committee, said: "The flood lights would be detrimental to residents if installed for longer than on anything other than a strictly temporary basis in exceptional circumstances."
Lord's is now considering its options because it wants to retain major cricket and floodlights are a large component of hosting one-day and Twenty20 matches.
MCC Secretary and chief executive Keith Bradshaw said: "We are disappointed and surprised by the committee's decision to only grant a six month temporary floodlight permission.
"The five-year temporary option we proposed had been developed following a thorough analysis of floodlighting solutions both here and overseas.
"Importantly, a longer temporary permission would have enabled us to monitor the impact of the floodlighting over a long period of time and so inform a permanent and more sensitive solution.
"Floodlights are now a key component for staging one day and Twenty20 matches and an integral part of MCC's plans to continue to attract top class matches and its overall vision of improving Lord's for future generations of cricketers, members and cricket fans.
"As the home of cricket globally, it is crucial that Lord's continues to host these games.
"We will now take into account the reasons for this decision before considering our next steps.