05/00352/FUL INSTALLATION OF FLOODLIGHTING TO COURTS 1 AND 5,
ENDON TENNIS CLUB, STATION ROAD, ENDON FOR ENDON
Parish: Endon and Stanley Registration: 18/03/05
Case Officer: Mr. S.L. Williams Grid Reference: 9268 5329
The submission is a “second attempt” application to install floodlighting for two of the six
outdoor tennis courts. No details of the floodlighting have been supplied with the
current application. The applicant’s submission is lodged on the basis of the
Committee’s advice included on the previous decision which stated:
“In determining the planning application the Planning Applications Committee
indicated that a proposal for reduced use of the floodlights may be more
favourably received. You are advised to liaise with the local community and
the Development Control Officers before submitting a revised application.”
The arrangement of floodlighting for the previous scheme was for the erection of
12 lighting columns up to 7m above ground level which will floodlight a red ash court
nearest to the site entrance as well as the middle court on the north-east side which
have an all-weather playing surface.
The intended operating hours stated on the submitted application forms for Courts 1
and 5 are stated as:
In winter, for three weekday evenings (Monday to Wednesday) until 9.00 p.m. and
3.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday). During British Summer Time, up to
10.00 p.m. (Monday to Friday) – notably to complete matches but no lighting on
Saturday and Sunday.
The applicant’s agent has included a supporting letter which begins with comments on
the long established nature of the club which pre-dates the surrounding housing. Prior
to 2000 it was explained to two Leek Road households that Courts 1 and 2 were to be
considered for floodlights. No adverse comments were raised until a formal planning
application was made when “a torrent of objections” followed. The subsequent
application to floodlight Courts 1 and 5 incorporated full background details of the
applicant’s neighbour participation but (the report) had nothing good to say about the
club. No noise and disturbance has been demonstrated by Council officers nor
nuisance objections lodged with Environmental Health Services for the planning
submissions since 2000. The results of the survey undertaken for the previous
submission demonstrate that 84% of surrounding residences are not disturbed, indoors,
by play on Court 5 during winter. Further comments on the worthiness of other
neighbour comments are also included. There was an open evening three years ago
with invitations to every neighbour where only one neighbour attended. The letter
concludes by restating the proposal hours/periods for floodlighting.
There has been little change at the club premises since the last site visit by Committee.
Endon Tennis Club has six outdoor tennis courts with either red ash surfacing or all
weather surfaces on the north-east side. The main locational factor is the surrounding
residential development with houses occupying higher ground along Leek Road and
bungalows in Railway Court built on a lower level than the courts. To the south west is
the site entrance, car park and houses fronting Station Road with bungalows along the
opposite boundary in The Meadows.
The access is shared by a number of properties which front Leek Road whilst car
parking is provided both adjoining the site entrance and nearer to the club house. The
only other building on site is a small shed close to Court 1. The perimeter of the site is
bounded by a high conifer hedgerow along Station Road, more spasmodic planting
along the Railway Court boundary, a hedgerow again along the boundary with The
Meadows with a privet hedge and the club house itself being the main features along
the Leek Road boundary.
SM.0434-86. Erection of nine lighting columns, 8m high to serve Courts 4 and 5 and a
practice wall. No time limits offered. Refused as unneighbourly and dismissed on
appeal in 1988.
SM.99/01432. Erection of four twin lamps and two four lamp units on Courts 1 and 2
refused on grounds of light, glare and noise disturbance in 2000. Proposed operating
times of 9.00 p.m. October to March and 10.00 p.m. April to September.
01/00344/FUL. Installation of nine lighting columns, 6.7m high for Courts 1 and 2
refused, on grounds of unacceptable glare. Subsequent appeal dismissed on grounds
of noise and disturbance.
03/01138/FUL. Proposal for nine light columns 6.7m high for Courts 1 and 2 to operate
10pm week days, 6pm or 7pm Saturday and Sunday. Refused and dismissed on
appeal in September, 2004.
05/00008/FUL. Twelve lighting columns, 6.7m high for Courts 1 and 5, refused on
grounds of noise and disturbance. Proposed operating times 9.00 p.m. October to
March, 10.00 p.m. April to September.
Parish Council. Awaited.
Environmental Health Services. Awaited.
Sport England. Reiterate their comments on the potential value of sports facilities to the
health and fitness of the community and the use of planning conditions (hours of use,
court controls including turning lights off when not in use, maximum lighting levels and
checks on performance monitoring and maintenance). The proposed hours appear
reasonable and may be minimum for the proposal to be viable.
Twenty-seven households have been notified. 22 letters of objection have been
received from 18 households. The main points of concern are:
- there has been no dialogue with the local community since the last decision
- previous decisions, including those on appeal, have concluded that the proposal
would cause unacceptable harm to adjoining residents (75% of whom are over 75 years
of age and not likely to use the club facility.
- increased activity, especially in hours of darkness from cars, coaching sessions,
players shouts, after game conversations will cause unacceptable noise and
disturbance. Noise is amplified by the natural basin of the site and rebounds off
- the last appeal inspector recognised the potential disturbance which could be caused
- the lighting columns will be visually unsightly, lit or unlit
- persistent applications are causing anxiety and stress and the proposal will benefit
relatively few compared with the effect on residents
- lighting will illuminate the full length of the courts, affecting bedrooms and livingrooms
by light and noise pollution. Photographs have been supplied but the scheme should
be inspected from the adjoining property curtilages
- there is a lack of site security and supervision. The proposal will attract youths.
A petition has been received with 45 signatures from 31 households objecting to the
There are also comments on loss of property value and surface water spillage onto
adjoining property which are not relevant to the planning consideration of the proposal.
Staffordshire Moorlands Local Plan.
Policy H19. Activities within a housing area can be acceptable if no detrimental effect is
caused to residential amenity.
1. The submission follows the Committee’s encouragement to the applicant to discuss
the possibility to reducing the use of the floodlighting with both the local community and
Council officers in advance of submitting any revised application. Unfortunately, no
such discussions have taken place and in a supporting letter the applicant’s agent
suggests there has been bias against the club in Committee reports. It has to be
concluded, therefore, that the club’s approach to this matter has not been as productive
as had been intended.
2. The Tennis Club’s ‘alternative plan’ now proposed limits the floodlit use to three
week days, and between 3.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. weekends. The time limits for the
weekday periods remain 9.00 p.m. in winter, and up to 10.00 p.m. in summer. This
offer to omit floodlit play on Thursdays and Fridays as well as evening play at weekends
is considered a significant change which Sport England consider reasonable and
possibly the minimum to be considered viable for the Club. Other operational controls
could be considered such as timer controls, or planning conditions requiring lighting
remaining on only during games.
3. The comments from residents who oppose the scheme are concerned that the
Committee, when offering to consider the proposal more favourably for a reduced
period, have not given sufficient understanding of the impact of the scheme (which
would need to be viewed from their property), have not considered the issue of the age
of the majority of surrounding residents and should take more account of previous
decisions, particularly of the Inspector’s report on the last appeal relating to noise
disturbance to young children and from vehicle movements.
4. The Council’s sports strategy aims to secure greater usage of existing sports
facilities. It is considered that any restriction of use of floodlighting needs to be
measured against the planning policy aspect of having a “detrimental effect on the
residential amenity of the area” (Policy H19 of the adopted Local Plan). A consistent
use of floodlighting up to 10.00 p.m. with the later traffic movements of players leaving
the site would be the key concern in amenity terms. The applicant refers to playing
“short periods before 10.00 p.m.” but this is not sufficiently defined to be able to
measure the harm to residential amenity to surrounding residents. If the Committee
wish to seek a compromise, it may be an option to impose a planning condition which
agrees a maximum number of playing occasions between 9.00 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. per
week or month and requires the club to maintain a register of such occasions. In the
absence of such an agreement it is considered that the site circumstances justify a
resistance for floodlit play after 9.00 p.m.
Planning permission be refused for the following reason:
The use of the proposed floodlit courts until 10.00 p.m. with the subsequent noise and
disturbance to nearby residents of players leaving the site would cause unacceptable
harm to the amenities of nearby residents contrary to Policy H19 of Staffordshire
Moorlands Local Plan.