Application Acknowledgement

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					                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
PLAN NUMBER:                     APPLICANT:                        AGENT:

2009/1846                        Trustees Of Furness Cricket       Mr M Gadsden
                                 Club                              M & P Gadsden Ltd

WARD/PARISH:                     CASE OFFICER:                     DATE RECEIVED:

Hawcoat                          Leanne Parr                       21/10/2009
                                 01229 876438                      STATUTORY DATE:
                                                                   15/12/2009

LOCATION:

Furness Cricket Club, Oxford Street, Barrow-in-Furness

PROPOSAL:

Erection of new cricket practice facility including cage and netting (resubmission of
2009/1135)

SAVED POLICIES OF THE
FORMER LOCAL PLAN:

POLICY G6

Proposals for the provision of outdoor sports facilities with their related buildings and
structures, or for the replacement of existing facilities, including those facilities whose
location requirements cannot be accommodated within existing built-up areas, will be
permitted provided that;

       a)     The proposal would not result in visual harm to the character and
              appearance of the surroundings, the countryside or the coast;

       b)     Residents‟ living conditions would not be harmed;

       c)     Site access and parking arrangements would not harm the interests of
              traffic flow or road safety;

       d)     The proposal would not result in the loss of the best and most versatile
              agricultural land; and

       e)     The proposal would not harm any site of identified nature conservation
              interest.

SUMMARY OF MAIN ISSUES:

The effect of the use of the development on the amenities of neighbouring residential
properties in terms of noise and disturbance.



                                         Page 1 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
NON MATERIAL CONSIDERATIONS:



REPRESENTATIONS:

The Occupiers of 10, 19, 50–70 (evens) Furness Park Road, 2-12 (evens) Rusland
Avenue, Barrow in Furness all informed.

The Occupier, 8 Rusland Avenue, Barrow in Furness

„This email is to register my objection to the proposed erection of a new cricket practice
facility on Environmental, Health & Safety, Noise Pollution and Outlook concerns.
The existing practice facility is located in a corner of the cricket ground sufficiently remote
from inhabited properties for children to play cricket, football and rugby not to warrant
complaint.

The proposed facility is at a right angle to and yards from Furness Park Road and Rusland
Avenue properties.

Objection 1 Environmental

Between the rear of Rusland Avenue gardens and Furness Cricket ground is an alley with
an opening to the cricket ground at the Furness Park Road end. During the summer
months, this alley is regularly frequented by children and with the proposed facility being
adjacent to the alley, with scores of children congregating, it is a certainty that litter and
use of the alley as a urinal will increase proportionally. This area already has an active and
visible rodent population that will inevitably multiply with the increase in litter and human
waste.

Objection 2 Health & Safety, Noise Pollution

The existing practice facility is used by children for a number of sporting activities with ball
games played external to the facility. With properties being yards from the proposed area,
the instances of property and material damage plus children intruding into gardens to
retrieve balls will increase. The majority if not all gates to the cricket ground and alley are
locked, this will inevitably lead to children climbing over fences/walls causing further
damage and worst case personal harm.

Netting used with practice facilities, over time, degrades due to weather and usage.
Having practiced in cricket nets, it is not uncommon for cricket balls to break this
containment. Being yards from properties, the potential to cause major property damage
and severe personal injury are significantly and unnecessarily increased.

During summer months, gardens are used for entertainment and escapism, having scores
of children screaming and swearing within yards of properties will increase noise to
unacceptable levels causing undue stress to residents. I and other residents are nightshift
workers, it is not unreasonable to expect to sleep uninterrupted with bedroom windows
open without having pandemonium on your doorstep.




                                         Page 2 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
Furness Cricket ground is an unsupervised area and it is not uncommon to hear cricket
being practiced at 06.00hrs in the morning. Tolerable at the current facility, intolerable at
the proposed location.

Objection 3 Outlook

It is not aesthetically pleasing to have an outlook that resembles something from a zoo.
The Health & Safety Executives principle of Risk Management is to mitigate risks to as low
as is reasonably practicable. Moving the cricket practice facility from its current to
proposed position contravenes that principle with the RISK to personnel, assets and the
environment significantly and unnecessarily increased above that considered tolerable.‟

The Occupier, 56 Furness Park Road, Barrow in Furness

„My family and I have resided at the above address for ten years, and in this time I have
supported Furness Cricket Club by watching the cricket games and attending any
functions that are organised in the club house.

When we purchased the property we expected the odd cricket ball to end up in our
garden, although this has never happened yet on a match day. But if the Planning
Application is accepted I think we will be inundated with cricket balls coming over my
garden wall, children climbing on the walls to retrieve the balls, and excess noise levels.

At present I can look out of my bedroom window at the practice nets at the Hawcoat Lane
end of the cricket pitch, at any one time there can be up to twenty five children gathered
round the nets.

Because only two people can bat and two people can bowl, that leaves twenty one
children that have to be entertained. The children understandably get bored, so they then
start to play football and rugby in the vicinity of the nets, or they get the bat and ball out
and practice themselves outside of the practice nets. They can more or less do what they
like because there is never any supervision.

The nets are never supervised, the access gate into the cricket ground is never locked, so
anybody can walk in and use them. During the cricket season people are using the nets as
early as six thirty in the morning, not just one day but five day‟s a week. After making
some enquires about the people who use the nets at six thirty I was told they play for
Lindal not Furness, anybody can walk in off Oxford Street and use the facilities any time
day or night.

I do not know of any other sporting venue in the area that is literally three feet from your
home.

My son who is twenty one years of age is employed by Kimberly Clark; he works a twelve
hour night shift (five thirty, till five thirty). During the cricket season, especially when the
children are off school, how is he supposed to get any sleep during the day ? Because of
the hot and humid conditions you have to sleep with the window open you have no option,
the noise would not be acceptable, he would be lucky if he managed to get three hours
sleep a day.




                                         Page 3 of 25
                           PLANNING COMMITTEE
                             22nd December 2009
Mr M. Mc Parland who lives three doors away from myself, nearer to the proposed nets,
works with my son at Kimberly Clark on the same shift. How can you expect anybody to
undertake a twelve hour nightshift on a regular basis when you are not getting any sleep
through the day, this is totally unacceptable.

Surely this is why we have licensing laws so premises close at a reasonable time and
people can get a good night‟s sleep, refreshed to undertake another day at work. The
same regulations must apply for people in the community working shifts.

In the Planning Application Furness Cricket mention that they have received no complaints
from the two houses in Hawcoat Lane that the nets back onto at present, Mr Brocklebank
and Mr Littlehales. I made a point of going to see Mr Brocklebank and enquired when the
nets are being used does it affect your quality of life ?

His answer was that the language that was used by the young people training in the nets
was totally unacceptable.

May I bring it to the attention of Furness Cricket that Mr Littlehales was a director at BAE,
and Mr Brocklebank owns his own firm, I don‟t think these two people would have been
involved in working a twelve hour day and night shift rota. Maybe that is why no complaints
have been received.

Where the nets are situated at present they are a safe distance from the houses in
Hawcoat Lane and Rusland Avenue. Plus the houses in Hawcoat Lane have a boundary
wall that is 2 metres high, plus an extra 2 metres of shrubbery. These houses also have a
much larger garden than the houses in Furness Park Road.

The houses in Furness Park Road have a boundary wall of only 1.6 metres in height.

My question is why can‟t the existing area, where the Practice Net‟s are at present be
upgraded to the proposed specifications? If there is trouble with the drainage surely this
can be rectified, it was only a matter of years ago Holker Old Boy‟s football pitch had
drainage installed; now they have no more trouble. We are only talking about a small area
compared to a football pitch. We have the technology to build an underground tunnel from
Dover to Calais; surely we can rectify drainage to two cricket practice nets.

The summers we get in England are very short compared to the very long, long winters. In
the summer my wife and I and our son‟s look forward to sitting in the garden and relaxing
after work, this would not happen if this application was granted. The gardens in Furness
Park Road are not very long so you do not have an option to move further away from the
boundary wall, we have to sit six feet away.

I am not against children and adults being outside in the fresh air enjoying sport, it must
be encouraged, I have two son‟s who play football, rugby and mountain biking, I also cycle
myself, but all these great outdoor pursuits must not interfere with another person‟s
Quality of Life. And most certainly not interfere with a person‟s right to come home from
work after a twelve hour shift and be able to sleep the required amount of time so you are
refreshed to undertake another shift at work. Especially when you realise the individual is
working with very heavy moving machinery, you must be fully alert and aware the full
twelve hours.


                                       Page 4 of 25
                             PLANNING COMMITTEE
                               22nd December 2009
My objection to the application is on the grounds of safety, I would not feel safe sitting in
my garden when the practice nets are being used, not from the people in the nets but the
people that gather outside the nets practicising. My wife and I would be very concerned if
my son had to undertake a twelve hour nightshift having had only a few hours sleep. I am
quite confident not only I, but my family‟s Quality of Life would be drastically affected.

I do not want to stop Furness Cricket looking after youngsters and encouraging them to
play cricket, I just want a little bit of consideration for the people who live in the vicinity of
the proposed development, they where never consulted about the proposal as they state
in their application.

The people who live at 58 Furness Park Road are presently working overseas, returning in
the very near future. I have been in touch informing them of the proposed Planning
Application. After viewing the proposed documents on the Barrow Borough Council
website they have asked me to log an objection on their behalf, as they have four small
boys ranging from one year to seven years who regularly play in the garden. Their concern
is for their safety when the nets are in use.‟

The Occupiers, 62 Furness Park Road, Barrow in Furness

“I would like to object mainly on the grounds to this facility having the potential to cause
high level and consistent noise, which will disrupt my children‟s sleep and my family‟s
quality of life.

My family and I have resided at the above address for six years, and in this time I have
been a member and supported Furness Cricket Club (FCC). I, my wife and son are
currently members of the cricket club. Also my eldest son has played cricket for Furness
for five years and therefore would benefit from practise facilities, as would all cricket
members. However, I have great concerns about the area in which the planned project will
be placed.

Firstly, I am very concerned and upset because on the plans, it shows these „monster‟
nets right outside my garden. I cannot understand how the committee can be so
thoughtless as to consider erecting nets in the most populated resident area. I ask a
question, has any person involved in this project put their self in my position? Would they
accept these plans?

Most importantly, I have three young children who sleep in the back bedroom of our house
so if this plan is undertaken, I feel they could no longer sleep there because of the noise
which would be created. Most parents will understand how difficult it is to settle their
children to sleep when constant noise is coming from outside. The noise will be
continuous as FCC has already stated in their application they cannot guarantee when
they will not use the nets. This is an appalling attitude and proves to me there will be
absolutely no control or restriction towards the use of these nets. Presently there is
disruptive behaviour displayed at the existing nets and in which the local neighbourhood
has discussed at a recent meeting. However, this is quite tolerable as the net is placed at
the far end of the ground and does not affect us that we need to involve the police.
Nevertheless, I strongly believe there will be great problems if the nets are placed in such
a close proximity to our house.




                                          Page 5 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
Both I and my wife have jobs that carry a lot of responsibility and during our time off we
had planned on relaxing with our children in our garden, but again with the noise and
commotion outside my garden, I will not be able to relax. My job includes working 12 hour
shifts and involves making critical decisions, so it is of the uppermost importance I gain
regular uninterrupted sleep. My life and my family‟s quality of life will be greatly affected
and at the moment we are having sleepless nights just worrying about what might happen!

As our house is towards the top end of the ground, our garden is much smaller than other
gardens on Furness Park, so if you look out of my children‟s bedroom window, it will feel
like our privacy is being infringed. I will look out of my kitchen window and see netting, who
really wants to see that? From my kitchen window it measure 6 meters to our garden wall,
our garden lawn level, also stands above the cricket ground level. If I stand up in our
garden there will be no privacy, as the people in the net will look into my garden. With all
the good will in the world, if you are practising in these nets, the noise level will not be
controllable. As a keen sportsman I know that when you are with colleagues you will
create high levels of noise when practising. This will include conversations, the bat against
the ball and the bowling machine. FCC stated in their application, that the noise of the bat
hitting the ball will be no different than what presently occurs on training and match days.
Well actually it will be very much noisier as this net is in a much closer proximity to our
house and obviously if a bowling machine is used at a much higher speed it will cause a
louder noise. In addition to this, I‟m positive the proposed nets will cause loitering (as it
presently does so). There can be up to 15 children around the nets at one time and they
will inevitably remain playing in the area at unsuitable times of the day. The access gate
into the cricket ground is never locked, so anybody can walk in and use them. Is this
common for a sporting club which contains such a large high tech facility like the proposed
nets? Furthermore on this subject matter, I strongly believe we will feel extremely
intimidated by a ball being bowled towards the direction of our house (a very short
distance from our boundary wall), albeit a manually bowled or mechanically bowled ball.
Although obviously the nets are there to stop the ball, I will be extremely frightened to see
a ball being fired against the back of the net. Because our inner garden wall is only
approximately 1m 30cm high, it is inevitable that we will see the ball hitting the back of the
net at great force. I cannot begin to imagine the impact from a bowled ball so close to our
house. The bowling machine can be adjusted to angle at various positions.

I thoroughly understand that you do not consider other locations during this type of
application. However, during your visit to the site could you please reflect on, why the
existing area cannot be used where the practice nets are at present. Can this area be
upgraded to the proposed specifications? If there is trouble with the drainage surely this
can be rectified. We are only talking about a small area. As stated earlier, I am not against
the development of Furness Cricket Club‟s sporting facilities. Although, I strongly believe it
would be much more suited in the present area or towards the Oxford Road direction. I
pose an important question, “Have the people involved in this project understood the
detrimental impact this plan will have on the residents surrounding the proposed area?” It
would be fair to say they haven‟t, as during their first attempt at applying for planning
permission, we hadn‟t even been consulted as residents on their plans.

Finally on the environmental side, there are bats that live in our eves and with the nets
being erected in the proposed area, this would hinder their flight pattern and possibly be a
hazard to their general well being.



                                        Page 6 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
Please ensure this planning application does not go ahead as it will deeply distress our
family”.

The Occupiers, 62 Furness Park Road, Barrow in Furness

“As with our previous objection to the previous planning application we still object to this
facility on the grounds of the planned height of the nets and the impact it will have on our
view”.

The Occupier, 6 Rusland Avenue, Barrow in Furness

“This is in reference to your letter dated 27 October 2009 and the above planning
application.
Before listing my objections to the application, the Design and Access Statement by the
FCC and the Bingham Ground Services design and contract documents were read
through. Some of the points in the FCC document have been very selective to enhance
their selected site to the downgrading of others. Some statements are contradictory.

My objections are as follows:

To decrease the intrusion of the practice pitch onto the cricket field the facility has been
placed as close to the north and west walls as possible. This means the batting positions
are within a few metres of residential properties. Mention has been made of the noise of
the ball on bat in one supporter's letter and how volume of such has not increased with
time but it certainly has with distance and within a few metres is very disturbing. With no
intervals as in a match the sound could be non-stop using 2 pitches and the bowling
machine on one of them. Privacy is also compromised due to the loading height of the
bowling machine. Combined with this noise there will be the vocal noises of the attending
crowd, shouting of advice and various other comments, ribald or otherwise, are bound to
occur as this seems to be the norm with any sport and cricket is no exception.

One item of concern is the timescales of availability for use of the facility. The club
seemed very negative on this outside the Tuesday and Thursday time slots.

Another objection concerns the exit of balls from the facility. As with Health and Safety
assessment the impossible is to be considered with the obvious. With the net so close to
the two possibilities exist and these are exit from the nets (pitch no 2) without striking the
support and striking the support and travelling at an angle into the gardens.

Health and Safety concerns are also voiced over the possible use of the ball throwing
machine so close to residential areas.

Of all the siting options the one decided upon impinges on the largest number of
residences of all. The quality of life for the large number of residents, during the time of
year when they wish to make use of what facilities they have for their family and friends,
must be worth some consideration.

If I am available at the meeting's designated time I wish to attend”.




                                         Page 7 of 25
                             PLANNING COMMITTEE
                               22nd December 2009
The Occupier, 4 Rusland Avenue, Barrow in Furness

“We would like to object to this on following grounds:

   1. Loss of privacy to room through distance.
   2. Visual amenity
   3. Noise and disturbance resulting from use.

With the old nets being 200m away from us at present we do not have a problem with the
activity that goes on in that secluded area and we have a good relationship with the club
but if the club were given permission to relocate the nets we would have all the activity
outside our gardens. As I know from watching them on training nights and all hours of the
day and night when they are in use. Also, they will attract young adults drinking and
cause distress to the residents like when someone burnt the Scout hut down that was
behind the nets where they are now being a focal point. The size of the nets being a
visual intrusion from my windows, it would be like something from a zoo.

The noise from the bowling machine with a noise that is very repetitive plus ball on bat that
will become intolerable coupled with the shouting and swearing that goes on from them in
nets and around them.

The loss of privacy it will cause with persons retrieving balls from gardens, damage to
plants and fences, persons operating the bowling machine with him positioned to intrude
on our privacy. We hope the planning committee do not grant consent for the relocation
of the nets and we will support in an alternative location”.

The Occupier, 2 Rusland Avenue, Barrow in Furness

“We are now aware that a further planning application has been submitted for practice
nets at Furness Cricket Club. Further to my previous letter on this subject, I will reiterate
my objections to this application in line with material considerations outlined by the
Borough Council.

The position of the nets in the north west corner of the ground could as stated in the clubs
application be more intrusive to properties in Furness Park Road and Rusland Avenue. It
also states that the original position of the nets was in the west corner over 30 years ago.
I ask the question were they moved to the east side of the ground because of residents
complaints/objections about intrusion into their properties and privacy.

The planned net facility is huge, standing approximately 4 metres high, dwarfing house
boundary walls at 2 metres high and now with lockable gates at the open end will make it
more of a permanent structure. Hence the hordes of unsupervised children and young
adults that will abuse the facility and cause distress to the local residents if the facility is
positioned in the location recommended by the club.

The summer months especially are bedlam, even when professional coaching is taking
place, the variety of sports being played make it more like a children‟s recreation
playground than a cricket club with balls flying all over the place into gardens and even
onto the square and wicket.



                                         Page 8 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
Apart from supervised school parties the rest are left unsupervised with no one from the
club in evidence, leaving children to do as they please. Recovery of balls from gardens
results in children climbing over garden walls damaging them in the process as well as
smashing plants, bushes and trees, accompanied by all the usual foul mouthed profanities
and insults. Originally we were told by the club children should go round to residents front
doors to ask if they could look for the balls. We have had 2 calls in 30 years.

I object also to the location of the facility in the North West corner, because of the density
of the dwellings in that area which can be clearly seen from the plans, whilst on the east
side of the ground there is an area of open land with only 2 dwellings with long back
gardens with a wall and very high hedge, which would completely hide the facility and
dampen the noise. There would also be no encroachment onto the playing area. May I
also suggest that with professional assistance the ground conditions could be overcome
without too much of a problem”.

The Occupier, 60 Furness Park Road, Barrow in Furness

“Thank you for notifying me of the resubmission of the planning application for practice
nets at Furness Cricket Club. My letter in August set out my objections to this proposal
and those objections are still valid. I ask that you please reproduce that letter and
supporting photographs on your report when dealing with the proposal.

In addition to the points made in that letter, I would also like to make the following
comments:

The only significant reason given for not using the location behind Hawcoat Lane, as
shown on plan No 9103/05, relates to some perceived knowledge about th e sub-soil
conditions. To be blunt; this is bunkum!

I doubt that there is any knowledge of the comparative sub-soil conditions across the
whole of the site. I do know from my residence in this address for over 20 years that
after heavy rain the area of the site at the rear of my house becomes a quagmire, as
you saw on your visit. To suggest that one area is preferable to another because of
the presence of underlying clay is nonsense! If they genuinely have detailed ground
condition information, based on intrusive investigations over the competing sites, let
them produce it! Otherwise pay no heed to this drivel.

They are now proposing gates at the open end of the nets. With respect, the only
thing that this will achieve will be easy access for youths to climb onto the roof
supports and associated netting. The club infers that it will provide security and control
of the net's usage. The club has never effectively controlled the use of the site and
these gates are a palliative, suggesting controls when none will be present.

The club suggests that nets were at the rear of properties in Furness Park Road some
forty years ago! What possible relevance does this have?! I doubt that you will be
giving in your report extra credence to their proposal because of this h istorical
baggage. It just shows the absence of any real justification for moving the nets from
their current location.




                                        Page 9 of 25
                          PLANNING COMMITTEE
                            22nd December 2009
My husband and I are members of the club and have always wanted to see it succeed
in its sporting efforts. I must repeat that we have no objections to the principle of new
nets at the cricket ground. We do not believe, however, that the proposed site for the
new nets is the only site that would draw down the grants on offer, as suggested in
David Olliver's letter to you. If they have a refusal from the England and Wales Cricket
Board to grant aid for nets at the Hawcoat Lane end of the grounds, let the club
produce it!

Please do not grant consent for the relocation of these nets behind the properties in
Furness Park Road. The proposal shown in 9103/05, or one similar to it, is the more
effective proposal, meeting both the club's and the resident's needs.

Finally, my husband and I would like to express our wish to attend the Planning
Meeting which we believe is being held on the 22nd December 2009. I look forward to
confirmation of a firm date and time when they become available

Previous Letter

Thank you for notifying me of the above application for cricket nets to be located
immediately to the rear of my house. I would be obliged if you would consider the
following comments and bring them to the attention of the Planning Committee
members when they consider the planning application. I would ask that the members
visit the site and view the impact on my amenities before deciding on the mer its of the
nets in the proposed location and of the alternatives available. I would wish to attend
the meeting of the Planning Committee when this item is on the agenda. Would you
please notify me when that meeting is due to take place?

We have always supported the cricket club in all their endeavours to improve the
quality of the pitch and the facilities for members. We have had no real problems with
the existing practice nets nor with their usage, even though they have been in use
from very early in the morning (6.30am!) until late in the evening (10.30!). This usage
is not supervised by the club's officials. Groups of children play at the nets all day,
especially during the school holidays. The children get the bowling machine out from
the score box and use it to fire balls all over the playing pitch. This machine can fire
cricket balls at speeds up to 100mph.

The existing nets are located well away from the houses and the houses that are
closest to them, those on Hawcoat Lane, have the benefit of long back gardens,
substantial fencing -and vegetation. Replacement of these nets by newones meeting
the current requirements of the cricket body would not raise any objections from me if
they were located in this current position.

The club's agent has stated in the application that the only problem to locating them in
their existing position is because the land is lowest in this corner of the site and there
could be potential problems with drainage. I find it hard to understand how this can be
true. The corner where the nets are currently is one of the high spots of the cricket
grounds. You will see that this is so when you inspect the application site. Even if it
were true, it should not form such an insuperable problem. The new practice area will
have a properly constructed artificial surface on an engineered base. Such a
construction, could be designed with the ground levels in mind so that it would drain
naturally and not present the problems envisaged. I am sure that if a cross section

                                      Page 10 of 25
                          PLANNING COMMITTEE
                            22nd December 2009
was prepared showing the existing levels of the ground and the levels of the practice
nets, it would prove my point.

The nets could be kept in their current location and aligned parallel to Hawcoat Lane,
or moved to the west of the score box on the site partially occupied by the compost
facility, and orientated to run alongside the former scout ground. The compost facility
appears to be no longer in use as the grass cuttings are put onto the scout grounds.

The club appears to have just opted for the easiest solution for themselves and
ignored the impacts that their current proposals would have upon their neighbours.

The proposed nets are only 10 metres away from the rear wall of my house. My back
garden will be dominated by the bulk of the nets abutting my fence. My garden be nch
is less than 2 metres from the nets. This is where I sit when supervising my six grand -
children, when they play in the garden. The players practising at the nets with their
shouts, cries and expletives will be within a few feet of me and my-grand-children
when we should be enjoying some peace in my garden. A structure of this size would
never be allowed in a domestic garden if it had such an appalling impact, intruding as
it would on the amenities of its neighbour.

The clubs application statement says how difficult it is to control the times that
members would use the nets. It would appear that over the 38 years that the nets
have been in their current position, no attempt has been made by the club to limit the
time, frequency or numbers using this facility. I have no doubt that similar lack of
control will happen in the future, irrespective of any promises made by the club, or
planning conditions that might be impose on any consent. I enclose photographs
which I took at 21:08hrs on Tuesday 2nd June 2009, another taken at 06:32hrs on
Tuesday 23rd June 2009, another taken at 21:07hrs on Tuesday 7th July 2009 and
another taken at 07:04hrs on Sunday 2nd August 2009 showing players at the existing
nets. In their current position I can accept such times of usage, but if they were
relocated so close to our home, this would be intolerable!

I do not know whether any assessment has been made of the noise generated just by
the wind blowing through the netting. Again, if the netting was sited away from housing
it would not create the problems of one sited on your doorstep!

I would hope that you will thoroughly probe the applicant and their agent to see
whether a better scheme with the nets in their present position isn't available. I would
hate to think that the current proposal was based on some throw-away remark of `why
not stick it down there' rather than a properly considered proposal, giving fair and
reasonable consideration to the amenities of their neighbouring residents.

Thank you for attention and I hope that you will consider my comments and concerns.”

The Occupier, 35 Thorncliffe Road, Barrow in Furness

“I would like to add my support to the residents of Furness Park Road and Rusland
Avenue who are opposed to the construction of practice nets at the North West comer
of the Furness Cricket club ground. The residents all moved into their homes in the full
knowledge that the cricket club was in close proximity and have always taken a relaxed
attitude toward the activities at the club. Indeed many of the residents are actually
members of the club. The residents do not seek to stop the construction of new nets at

                                     Page 11 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
the club Per Se but do object to this proposal far them to be sited so close to their
houses.

The residents accept that a cricket ground will bring with it same noise and disturbance
but whilst this may be at an acceptable level now there is no doubt that the proposed
positioning of the practice nets will increase the noise and disturbance to such a level as
to have an adverse effect on the residents lives. The practise nets will not only
accommodate the people actually using the nets but will act as a focal point for all other
people practising and this will cause an increase in noise, disturbance and lack of
privacy for the residents.

For many people the sporadic sound of a cricket ball an bat can be judged to be the
quintessential sound of an English summer but with practice nets, and especially with an
automated bowling system, this sound can become very repetitive (more like the crack
of a gun) and coupled with the noise of the bowling machine will intensify the noise to
such a level as to be intolerable. Consideration must also be given to the person
operating the bowling machine who may possibly be positioned at a height of up to 8ft
and this will also act as a further intrusion into the residents' privacy.

`Noise is a deciding factor in many planning applications' and `Government Planning
policy Guidance 24; which deals with noise from recreational and sporting activities
requires that the enjoyment of the participants should be balanced against the nuisance
to other people' and that `it is equally important that new development involving noisy
activities should, if possible, be sited away from noise-sensitive land uses.

As for visual intrusion, in my opinion the sheer size of the nets and their proximity to the
houses cannot fail to cause a visual disturbance. The majority of the garden walls are
relatively law and therefore the facility will be visually intrusive from many homes
(downstairs and upstairs as well as from gardens).

The residents do not wish to stand in the way of progress at the club and the promotion
of sport but they merely wish to ensure they have quiet enjoyment of their homes and
gardens. They will give their full support to the new cricket practice facility if located in
an alternative location.

I hope common sense will prevail in your decision making and that in the future this
matter can resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned parties”.

The Occupier, 58 Furness Park Road, Barrow in Furness

“My partner and I live at 58 Furness Park Rd and would like to object to the above
planning application to relocate the cricket nets at Furness Cricket ground. We moved to
the property in August of this year due to the fact that the property had a very safe, secure
and private back garden for our two children, a fact that would be compromised if the
proposed planning application is granted.

There are several issues which I believe are reasons for planning permission not to be
granted they are; noise and disturbance, privacy and visual intrusion.




                                       Page 12 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
We have, as previously stated, two sons, aged 3 years and 4 weeks. My eldest child's
bedroom is at the back of the house which overlooks the cricket ground, he currently goes
to bed at 7pm, if the net is relocated t the proposed place it will be around 30ft away from
my son's window. The practises which take place in summer often last until 10pm and
involve a large number of people, the ball machine, bats hitting balls and the general
conversation will all cause my son to be kept awake. The constant noise that will be taking
place around 30ft from my living room, kitchen and utility area will effect our lives greatly
with such a young family.

I am also concerned about our privacy being compromised. Our back garden wall is 4ft
high and anyone waiting to practice in the nets will be stood against this wall, they ill be
able to see directly into my living room, which has French doors into the garden, my
kitchen and utility area. We will have absolutely no privacy in our garden what so ever and
this concerns me greatly. I will not be able to relax if my children are playing as I will feel
as though we have to be aware of any balls coming over the wall, any conversations that I
do not feel are suitable for childrens ears or a stranger coming into the garden to retrieve
their ball. My partner is a PE teacher at a local secondary school so clearly we are not
against people participating in sport, but we do not want it practically in our garden,
especially as many of the people playing will be my partners students or ex students.

The nets will also look unsightly and be directly in the eye line of many of the residents. A
reason we moved into the property was because it felt so open and not too hemmed in by
anything else to the rear of the property, this will not remain the case if planning
permission is granted.

I am also unclear as to why the nets cannot remain in their current location. I believe
drainage has been cited as the reason the nets have to move, has drainage not been an
issue for the last 30 years? The nets in their current location do not cause anyone to have
issues as they have much longer gardens and it is a far less densely populated corner of
the cricket ground which is why the nets have been there for 30 years.

On a general note I have massive safety concerns for my children. Although the nets are
to correct safety standards, there will be many people waiting to use the nets who will be
practising between themselves with no nets around the balls, I do not even want to
imagine the damage a cricket ball could do to a baby lying in it's pram in a back garden.

I hope the planning committee come and visit the site so they can grasp just how close the
nets and players will be to many peoples homes, property, children and pets and turn the
application down. The relationship between the cricket club and surrounding community
has always been very amicable and friendly, I hope this can remain the case.‟

The Occupiers, 52 Furness Park Road, Barrow in Furness

‘We as a family are opposed to the above planning application for a number of reasons.

We have been residing at Furness Park Road for nineteen years and have been members of the
Club for the same. We have played an active part in many aspects of the club, including being a
committee member for several years and both sons playing for different aged groups over the last
ten years.



                                        Page 13 of 25
                              PLANNING COMMITTEE
                                22nd December 2009
We have enjoyed many happy times watching and participating in the game and are all for junior
development within the club.

The main reasons we are objecting are because the new proposed training facilities will be too
near the residences on Furness Park Road/Rusland Avenue and will create much noise and
disturbances of balls coming over the walls and children climbing over, or in the case of our house
entering the garden through our access gate. The nets at the moment are in a safe distance from
the houses on Hawcoat Lane, and we cannot see any reason why they cannot be modified where
they are.

On game days the teams always knock up outside our house and we have always allowed the
players to come into the garden to retrieve the ball. We do not have a problem with this on
game days, but when you have thirty or more unsupervised children it could be potentially
chaotic. As training sessions are usually after tea, this will be at a time when most people will be
coming home from work wanting to sit out or do some gardening without being disturbed.

Our main concern is that after training sessions, children and adults will carry on training at all
hours, throughout the day and night as the gate to the Cricket ground is always open and anyone
can enter the ground and use the training nets whenever they feel like it, even at 6.30 in the
morning, which is happening now!

There are lots of young children that live in these houses and the parents are going to be in fear
of letting their younger children play outside in their own gardens, let alone sitting out relaxing
and enjoying the sun.’

Residents Petition – objecting to the application and signed by occupiers of:
2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 14, Rusland Avenue, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, Furness Park
Road, Barrow-in-Furness

“We would like to point out that, as residents in the immediate vicinity of Furness Cricket
Club, we have always been supportive of the Club and its members and are aware of the
importance of the Club and its membership to the local community. All local residents
moved into their homes with full knowledge that the Cricket Club was in close proximity
and have, in the main, taken a relaxed attitude to activities at the Club. This is
notwithstanding the fact that local residents have been disturbed by late night revelry from
the Club House and also when, during summer holidays, children play on the pitch from
early morning until after dark. However, these activities have been accepted, generally
without complaint.

Mr Olliver has carefully explained the reasoning behind the application for the new cricket
practice facility. We wish the Club to be made aware that the objections being made are
not intended to be objections to the erection of the new cricket practice facility itself. This
is not and has never been the case. The objection is with regard to the positioning of the
new practice facility. As previously outlined in the many letters of objections, the proposed
site of the practice facility will cause great distress to local residents and also, inevitably,
interfere with their quiet enjoyment of their homes. It is not intended to repeat all of the
objections raised as the many letters of objections make the nature of the objections
perfectly clear.

Mr Olliver in his letter of support accepts that the net area, when not in use, will attract
children to play in it. It is not just children but young adults who will abuse the facility and
                                          Page 14 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
cause further distress to local residents, if the facility is positioned in the location
recommended by the Club. Local residents already experience disturbance as a result of
children playing within the cricket ground but, in a community spirit, this is accepted and
only rarely are complaints made directly to the Club about such disturbance. However, if a
fixed practice facility is installed, then the noise and disturbance would inevitably increase
and would be intolerable for local residents. No amount of preventative measures will stop
children and young adults abusing the facility. There will, of course, be no supervision
outside set practice times.

It has never been the intention of the local residents to stand in the way of the Club and its
support of the local community, it is purely and simply the positioning of the nets that is
causing great concern and it would seem that, if the nets could be positioned in an
alternative location, a great deal of distress would be avoided. Local residents have not
been provided with full details of the survey(s) which indicates that the only feasible
location for the new facility would be in the location proposed by the Club.

If the Planning Committee do reject the Club's application, then it is highly unlikely that the
Club will ensure that measures are taken to position the facility in an alternative location.
This being the case, it appears unrealistic to suggest that, if the application is rejected, this
will mean an end to Furness Cricket Club, as suggested by Mr Olliver.

As with the comments on Mr Olliver's letter of support, the residents are not intending to
stand in the way of the development of the Club or its contribution to the local community.
As mentioned above, residents have, in the main, accepted some level of disturbance,
particularly in the summer months when children and young adults attend the cricket
ground for both set cricket practice and also to use it for their own recreational purposes.

Mr Dunn points out that he has never known any complaints or problems arising from
the playing of cricket on the ground for either practice or a match. This is absolutely
correct. It is the activities outside match and practice times that concerns local
residents. The problem will only increase with the erection of a new cricket practice
facility and will inevitably attract more attention and therefore cause greater nuisance
than the current facility. It is inaccurate to suggest that many of the objectors would be
unable to hear any noise from the cricket ground practice facility; as mentioned above,
the residents already experience some amount of disturbance but, in keeping with
their support of the Club, formal complaints are not often made. With regard to the
visual element of the facility, the sheer size of the nets and their proximity to the gardens
of many of the residents can not fail to cause visual disturbance. The majority of back
garden walls abutting the cricket ground are relatively low and therefore the facility will
be intrusive from homes and back gardens, not only from upstairs windows as
suggested by Mr Dunn.

Mr Dunn is also asked to expand on his comment that the consequence of preventing
progress at the Cricket Club could provide greater problems for the householders in the
future. He will of course be aware that, in the event that local residents were persistently
troubled by activities at the Club, they could seek a remedy in nuisance and/or apply for
an injunction to prevent such activities.

Once again, the residents would reiterate that it is not their intention to stand in the way of
progress at the Club but they merely wish to ensure that they have quiet enjoyment in their
homes. They will give their full support to the new cricket practice facility if sited in an
alternative location.

                                         Page 15 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
Barrow Borough Sports Council

Thank you for forwarding your proposal for new Cricket Nets at Furness Cricket Club.

The relatively poor practice facilities for sport is a major issue in the area. This proposal to
build a state of the art, ECB approved Practice Net will assist in terms of both increased
participation and skills.

Barrow Sports Council welcomes the proposal as this supports several aims of the Barrow
Sports and Physical Activity Strategy, including;

Strategic Aim 1
To increase levels of participation in sport and physical activity within the Borough
especially amongst young people

Strategic Aim 4
To develop and improve local facilities and ensure they are 'Fit for Purpose'

Strategic Aim 5
To create pathways for excellence in performance

Strategic Aim 8
To Support and develop local sports clubs and leagues

We understand that provision of this type also supports the Aims of the Barrow Local Plan
(2002), specifically 8.6.1;

The aims with regard to the Leisure section are to provide for the sporting and recreational
needs of the residents of the Borough an in particular to;

Provide for enhanced leisure activities to take place within built up areas in locations that
are accessible by public transport Barrow Sports Council welcomes the continued
contribution of Furness Cricket Club to the local sporting community and if there is
anything we can do to assist in furthering this proposal, please advise.

Furness Cricket Club – 1st Team Captain

“I am writing in support of F.C.C7s planning application with regard to the installation of a
new cricket net practice facility.

Furness Cricket Club is a family orientated club providing sporting facilities and
recreational opportunities for junior and senior club members and also local Primary and
Secondary schools. We aim to maintain our facilities to a high standard of repair, ensuring
they meet latest England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) specifications and importantly
confirm to latest safety standards. Our present net practice area was erected in the
197O‟s, with its condition now having deteriorated to a level not fit for effective practice
and indeed does not conform to latest ECB technical and safety standards. Through our
various ECB affiliations we are eligible to apply for ECB grant aid to assist in upgrade and
renewal of the facilities and as such we have obtained three quotations from ECB
approved suppliers.


                                        Page 16 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
Having detailed ground surveys by all the quoting suppliers we have been advised that we
can not feasibly upgrade our practice area in its current location to ECB latest criteria
without having a significant and detrimental impact on the main playing area for junior and
senior matches and without obstructing the view of the newly refurbished score board. On
exploring all other possible ground positions the location outlined in our planning
application is deemed to be the only place which can satisfy all ECB technical and safety
specifications for grant aid applications. Without ECB grant aid we will certainly not be
able to afford to renew our net facility and we will seriously have to consider condemning
the current area for junior and senior practice. This would be a major blow to the junior
section of our club and I would suggest would likely affect the number of participating
children and also hamper the development of those retained by our club.

I hope on consideration of our application you can appreciate F.C.C's position where the
facility relocation is our only option to secure grant funding and without this our facilities
cannot be renewed, which will only be to the detriment of the local community and club
members”.

Furness Cricket Club – President

“I write in support of my club's application for planning permission since I believe I am one
of only a few people who have any detailed background knowledge of the club. My
knowledge of the club and ground enables me to make comment on some of the
objectors' comments.

I was born in Furness Park Road where I lived for approx 25 years with my parents and
two brothers and all of us spent many hours on the cricket ground during the summer
months enjoying with many others the facilities available. At the time I left Furness Park
Road I was club captain and ever since that time I have been involved as a committee
member, secretary, chairman and now president. I have always during this latter period of
45 years lived in the Hawcoat area which enabled me to play an active part in the club's
development with intimate knowledge of its
operation.

Detailed information has been provided to you with the application and also in our
chairman's letter so I have no intention of repeating this but would confirm my support to
everything which has been said. Our Government for many years have stated that Sport
makes such a positive contribution to the quality of life to millions of young people but it is
vitally important that they receive proper facilities and supervision to make the Sport safe
and enjoyable and a rewarding experience. Our club endorses these sentiments and the
application has been made to provide modern
facilities etc.

I understand the objectors main concerns are noise and visual. In all my 60 plus years at
the club, with respect, I have never known any complaint or problem arise from the playing
of cricket on the ground either for practice or a match.

Why the objectors feel there should suddenly be an unacceptable level of noise because
of the new facilities is hard to understand. With respect to numerous of the addresses of
the objectors I am confident that they could not possibly hear any noise from the cricket
ground practice facilities. As far as the visual element of the objections is concerned,
again I have to say that the new facilities will not be seen from several of the addresses of
the objectors. As regards the rest, the cricket netting and posts will be green in colour

                                        Page 17 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
which will blend in with the green grass of the cricket field and as such cannot be
considered to be a material concern and will only be visible to most of the houses from
upstairs windows.

Over the many years I have been involved the practice area and facilities have been in
many different positions on the ground and in recent years a mobile caged net was stored
in the top west corner of the ground during the summer months. The new facility has been
carefully planned following site surveys by three separate specialist companies and each
one has identified the proposed site as being most suitable in view of the gradient of the
ground etc. This is an expensive facility which will cost in the region of £25,000 and the
club will only be able to proceed with this if a substantial grant is made available by the
England and Wales Cricket Board and this will only be granted if the proposal meets with
their requirements. It would indeed be regrettable if this modern facility were to be denied
to the club because of the problems raised by the objectors which are in essence
supposition only as they have no actual evidence that there will be an unacceptable level
of noise and a visual problem. Indeed the consequence of preventing progress at the
cricket club could provide greater problems for the householders in the future.

I trust the Planning Committee will understand that this application has received a great
deal of professional and specialist advice before its submission and will feel able to
recognise that any detriment to householders will be at the most minimal and that
approval of the plans can allow the club to continue to progress with its sporting objectives
which have not changed during its existence of over 100 years”.

Furness Cricket Club – Chairman

“I am writing in support of the above mentioned application regarding a new cricket net
facility. Furness Cricket Club is presently the most successful cricket club in the Barrow
and South Lakes area. We are an ECB affiliated Focus Club, which has also achieved
ECBI Sport England Club mark accreditation. This means that we had to fulfil many tasks
and obligations to show that we have proved that we have completed all processes
relating to Child Protection and Welfare matters and are child friendly. We are also
one of two clubs in the area involved in the Cricket Federation's Chance to Shine initiative,
the slogan of which is "from the Playground to the Test Arena". The result of being in this
scheme has allowed the ECB Cumbria Cricket Board to employ a full time District Cricket
Development Officer in Barrow who works mainly in Primary schools.

We run four junior teams, three senior teams and are looking to resurrect a Women's
team. We continually look to improve our facilities. Sometimes renewal is because of wear
and tear and sometimes because of new regulations facilities are deemed unsafe.
Last year, for example, we improved our score box, which has been sited in the same
position for over seventy years, by putting an electronic scoreboard on the face of the box.

For several years we have realised that our present net area was coming to the end of its
life, having been erected in 1976. It was also becoming unsafe. Through being a Focus
Club, having Clubmark accreditation and being involved in Chance to Shine we are
in a position to approach our governing body, the England and Wales Cricket Board
(ECB), for grant aid to assist us to have a state of the art practice area. In order to satisfy
ECB requirements we have to obtain three quotations from ECB approved suppliers and
conform to rigorous ECB instructions.



                                        Page 18 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
Having explored all possible positions on the ground the position in our planning
application is deemed the only position that satisfies their requirements and allows us to
apply for grant aid. Without the aid we will not be able to afford to renew our net facility to
their requirements.

The proposed net facility will be available for use mainly on a Tuesday and Thursday
evening from between 4.30pm and 8.30pm, in the summer months, weather permitting,
and during the day, on a few occasions.

Whilst the nets are being used there will be strict supervision at all times to comply with
safety and other matters.

We appreciate when a net area is not in use it can attract children to play in it and children
can be noisy. It is our intention to have a system whereby the open end can be locked
when the nets are not in supervised use.

This is for two reasons.
1) To keep children out of the nets and causing damage and
2) to keep children out of the nets to greatly reduce the possibility of unwanted noise.
Due to our present status we are allowed to employ an overseas professional / coach who
is of great benefit to the club, especially our junior section, which is the grassroots of
cricket. We have always been a club that has encouraged young people, both boys and
girls, to participate in cricket, and have been very successful over the years.

If this facility is denied and we are unable to keep our facilities up to ECB standards we
may lose our accreditations over time which would then take us out of any grant aid
programmes which in time would mean cricket as we have known it for many years at this
club could cease.

We have been a cricket club since 1892 and always attempted to work and exist in
harmony with our neighbours and over many years have had very few complaints.
Our ground is also used by local Primary and Secondary schools and we are a very
important part of the community and fill a very large gap with a facility that the local
authority does not have. The club is a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC)
It is essential that our nets application is successful and agreed in order for us to give
children the safe environment to learn and practice the game of cricket for many future
years”.

Cumbria Cricket Board

“Cumbria Cricket Board fully endorse Furness CC's Net Facility project for the below
reasons:

FCC is an ECB identified Focus Club, and as such is a fantastic resource for the local
community to use. The Club is an accredited Club Mark Club with qualified Coaches, Club
Welfare Officer, junior age group team managers, and most importantly a Club
Development Plan which highlights priority programmes such as the net facility, so the
Club can continue to offer high quality coaching sessions for the local community to have
access to.

Club is part of the Chance to Shine programme. This means that the Club has been
providing coaches to deliver sessions in schools during and after curricular time. Doing

                                        Page 19 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
this also gives the young people the opportunity to join a Club that is a safe environment
and delivers high quality coaching. To be selected to deliver this programme the Club has
to be fit for purpose-be a Focus Club and have attained Club Mark status.

With the Clubs excellent Club School partnerships results in more young people becoming
members of the Junior section. Without the new net facility the Club will not be able to
deliver the high quality sessions due to lack of a suitable facility.

To conclude the ECB has invested in FCC as it is a quality Club. The Club wants to
provide excellence for its local community of which the new Net Facility will help them to
deliver”.

Applicant‟s Supporting Statement – dated 7th December 2009

We refer to your letter dated 27 th November 2009 regarding the proposed cricket
practice facility at Furness Cricket Club, Oxford Street, Barrow-in-Furness.
Please find enclosed our response and photographic log regarding the issues raised in
your letter. We hope you will reconsider your stance of not supporting the application. If
you feel you still cannot support our application, would you please issue this recent
correspondence directly to the members.

On a more positive note, the club has received good news on the grant application.
Subject to planning permission, the club will receive 75% of the minimum £25,000
required to provide a net facility of the highest national standards. This will greatly
benefit the local community, particularly in recruiting new young players to cricket. It will
be lost however if it is not spent by the end of March”.

Report and photographs attached at appendix A.

CONSULTATIONS:

Environmental Health

“I am concerned about noise from the cricket practice area affecting nearby residential
properties.




                                       Page 20 of 25
                              PLANNING COMMITTEE
                                22nd December 2009
The proposed location is adjacent to neighbouring properties in Furness Park Road and
Rusland Avenue, whose gardens are within a few metres of the batting area. Noise from
this activity is described in recent cases as sounding like a 'rifle-shot'. Initially I considered
a restriction in the hours of use and times of day, week and year, however recent planning
appeal cases have rejected time restrictions as they are not sufficient to protect local
residents from noise. I would recommend that the new practice area is located as close to
the existing facility (proposed alternative locations 1 or 2.) and that the facility be kept
locked to prevent unauthorised use.”

OFFICERS REPORT:

Introduction

The application site is Furness Cricket Club, a 1.5 hectare site located at the junction of
Oxford Street and Furness Park Avenue. The ground lies in a predominantly residential
area, with residential gardens along Furness Park Road, Rusland Avenue and Hawcoat
Lane backing onto the ground.

The application is for the erection of a cricket practice cage and netting. The application is
a resubmission of 2009/1135 which was withdrawn to allow the club to investigate
alternative positions for the facility.

The existing practice nets are located to the north of the site, along the site boundary with
Hawcoat Lane. They have been in place for approximately 30 years and are outdated and
worn and do not meet current ECB standards.

The proposal will use ECB grant funding to provide a new practice facility in the western
corner of the site. The facility comprises an aggregate base, on top of which will be an
artificial turf area measuring 8.32 metres x 26.1 metres. The cage and net surround will
measure 7.3 metres x 18.2 metres and will have a height of 3.7 metres. The net will be
given a green colour to help it blend in with its surroundings.

Policy

Planning Policy Guidance Note 17 Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation
emphasises the importance of sport and provides encouragement for the enhancement of
existing facilities.

At the local level, saved policy G6 is the most relevant to the application. This has been
copied above for your reference. The supporting text within the leisure section of the local
plan states the following:


         “The aims with regard to the leisure section are to provide for the sporting and
         recreational needs of the residents of the Borough in particular to: provide for
         enhanced leisure activities to take place within the built up areas in locations that
         are accessible by public transport.”




                                          Page 21 of 25
                            PLANNING COMMITTEE
                              22nd December 2009
Barrow Sports and Physical Activity Strategy, aims 1,4,5 and 8 states as follows:

       1: To increase levels of participation in sport and physical activity within the
       Borough especially amongst young people;

       4: To develop and improve local facilities and ensure they are “fit for purpose”;

       5: To create pathways for excellence in performance;

       8: To support and develop local sports clubs and leagues.

It should be noted that this is a non statutory document for planning purposes.

Representations

The application has continued to be contentious. Representations received, both in favour
of the development and against, are copied above for your reference. This includes
several letters of objection, a residents petition with 34 signatures together with letters of
support from Barrow Borough Sports Council and the Cumbria Cricket Board.

Appeal decisions

Whilst each application is determined on its own merits, inspectors decisions elsewhere
are a material consideration. I have found applications for cricket practise nets which have
raised similar issues. A summary of these cases is below for your reference.

Appeal ref APP/E2734/A/04/1171106: Knaresborough Cricket Club: Appeal allowed May
2005

Similar style facility to that proposed in this application. The nets were however some 19-
20 metres from the rear face of the nearest residential properties which had private, well
enclosed back gardens. The inspector noted that the positioning of the nets would lead to
a greater concentration of activity closer to these properties however this was deemed to
be acceptable as the use was likely to be seasonal, intermittent, light and weather-
dependent. The Inspector also felt that the open framework would not be a dominant or
over-bearing feature.

Appeal ref: APP/W/3710/A/05/1190923: Attleborough Cricket Club: Appeal dismissed
January 2006

Similar style practice facility to that proposed. In the case of the appeal the nets would be
adjoining the back gardens of residential properties. The Inspector noted the small size of
the rear gardens and stated:


        “To my mind groups of players gathered around the nets are likely to generate a
       level of noise and disturbance in the evenings and at weekends which would
       diminish the amenity of those living in nearby properties”.




                                        Page 22 of 25
                              PLANNING COMMITTEE
                                22nd December 2009
Appeal ref: APP/X0415/A/07/2045909: The Lee Cricket Club, Great Missenden: Appeal
dismissed following hearing and enforcement notice upheld January 2008 – decision letter
attached as appendix B

Similar style facility to that proposed. The end of the nets was 3 metres from the nearest
garden boundary (substantial hedge) and 15 metres from the residential property itself.
The Inspector noted that

          “the combination of the very close proximity of the nets and their fairly regular
         usage would result in an unreasonable level of noise and disturbance for the
         occupants of that dwelling. The disturbance would be experienced in the rear
         garden and terrace especially, but also in the house if windows were open.”

The Inspector also discussed the lack of evidence provided by the council to justify their
claims that the use would be unacceptable in terms of noise. On this point he stated:

         “The consequence of this additional activity is the clearly audible and repeated
         noise of bat on ball, and also of the noise from the voices of persons using,
         coaching or watching the net practise activities. There have been no attempts by
         the council to objectively measure these sources of noise, but given the nature of
         the activity I can readily appreciate that it does not readily lend itself to
         measurement by instrument in the way, say, that noise from roads, aircraft and
         industrial machinery is monitored. Furthermore, it is unlikely that an accurate
         picture of noise generally created by the voices of persons participating in or
         watching cricket practice would be obtained in he somewhat artificial environment
         of noise measurement.”

Issues

There is no doubt that the development would represent a valuable community facility and
the provision of the nets is important for the continued growth of the club. The question is
whether the proposed location is the most suitable for the nets. The facility, once erected,
will be one of the most heavily used parts of the ground whereas the location chosen is
perhaps the most sensitive. This corner of the ground is the most densely populated in
terms of housing. The houses along Rusland Avenue and Furness Park Road also have
relatively short gardens (approximately 8 metres in length) with the proposed facility
shown to be located immediately adjacent to their boundary walls.

Noise and disturbance

I believe the main issue is the impact on the amenities of nearby residents in terms of
noise and disturbance.

One could argue that the sound of cricket practice is already established on the ground
and therefore the sounds and activities associated with this are a feature of the area.
However the existing practice facility is some distance away from properties along Furness
Park Road and Rusland Avenue. The proposal will result in one of the most intensively
used features of the ground being moved to within 3 metres of the nearest residential
garden.

The facility will be most heavily used on match days and when coaching and practice
sessions are being held. As the sport is weather-dependent it is at these times, in the

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                             PLANNING COMMITTEE
                               22nd December 2009
evenings and at weekends during the warmer months, when residents will be making full
use of their gardens or have rear windows open. Noise from the ball hitting the bat and in
particular noise from people using the facility or watching or supervising, is therefore likely
to reduce the amenity of those living in nearby properties.

Also as the club is accessible throughout the day all year round, the nets could also be
used at more unsociable times of the day leading to additional disturbance. Residents
have advised me that this is often the case, with people practising during the early hours
of the morning. In order to overcome such issues, the applicant has suggested the nets
could be locked when not in use. I have considered whether a condition could be attached
in line with this, however I do not feel this could be easily monitored or enforced and even
restricted hours of use would not ameliorate the harm caused.

Visual Impact

There is no “right to a view” which planning authorities should seek to safeguard for the
continuing benefit of an existing landowner, except where the view from a particular
location is a valued public asset. In this case, the nets will only be glimpsed between
existing properties and I do not feel therefore that there will be a significant impact upon
the street-scene.

If a development were felt to have an overbearing impact on a private property than this
would however be justification for refusal. The nets will be visible above rear boundary
walls of properties along Furness Park Road and Ruskin Avenue. Given that the cage is
an open structure and the netting will be coloured green to match the playing surface I do
not feel that the facility will be particularly intrusive to warrant refusal on these grounds.

Health and Safety

At present, balls can encroach onto neighbouring land during matches and practice as
boundaries are relatively low. I do not feel the proposed facility will significantly increase
this risk. The type of netting used for practice facilities is a substantial material and balls
will be bowled at low angles in order for the batsman to try and hit them.

An inspector dealing with a similar appeal (Tonbridge and Malling 19/9/86) noted that
objections had been received regarding balls being hit into neighbours land and the repeat
disturbance from cricketers retrieving such balls. The Inspector concluded however that
these matters did not justify refusal of the proposed development.

Alternative locations

Alternative locations have been investigated and dismissed for various reasons, the
details of which can be found in appendix…. Some of the reasons given such as view of
the scoreboard are more easily dealt with than others such as drainage. However as the
site is surrounded by residential properties on all sides, I would advise the club to discuss
alternative locations further with the Planning Authority prior to submitting a new
application, should this one be refused.




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                           PLANNING COMMITTEE
                             22nd December 2009
Further issues

The applicant has the option of erecting a temporary practice facility. Such a facility is
unlikely to require planning permission if the nets/cage were set on wheels rather than
being physically attached to the ground. The nets/cage would also have to be stored
inside when not in use as Inspectors have decided in the past that a structure which was
in place for even the shortest time, 3 months, would be a permanent development
requiring planning permission. Whether a structure is classed as operational development
or not is dependent upon the details of each case and the applicant would need to submit
details to confirm whether or not consent was required.

Conclusions

Whilst I appreciate the benefits the proposed development would bring, the provision of
the nets should not be at the expense of amenities of local residents. I have considered
whether a conditional consent would be appropriate however I do not feel this would
overcome the issue of noise and disturbance which would be difficult to control given that
the site is accessible throughout the day. I therefore feel I have no option but to
recommend refusal of the application.

RECOMMENDATION:

I recommend that the application be REFUSED for the following reason:

The use of the development will have a detrimental effect on the amenities of
neighbouring residential properties by reason of noise and disturbance. Approval of the
application would be contrary to saved policy G6 of the former Local Plan Review.




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