Howzat? have sent us an update on the position regarding the proposed floodlights at the Gloucestershire County Cricket ground.
April Update on Cricket Ground Floodlights.
1. The decision on the floodlights was deferred in February - so what's been happening?
The Planning Committee decided that a decision should be delayed until all options for floodlights at the Cricket Ground had been fully explored.
We are pleased that following this:
GCCC has been in discussion with another supplier of floodlights to see whether a better solution is available
GCCC has taken advice from an independent lighting engineer
GCCC has engaged with local residents who spoke at the Planning Committee, particularly around how and when the floodlights will be used.
2. There is new information about the proposals - has anything changed?
We are pleased that the design of the lighting heads has been modified and is now rounded, rather than a stark rectangle.
However, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and International Cricket Council (ICC) standards mean that there still have to be six floodlights and they still have to be 45 metres high.
Temporary floodlights will not do - Bristol would lose International Matches (and we know the Planning Committee will not vote for that!)
3. Other options have been looked at instead of fixed masts.
When retracted these would still be higher than the flats and would be more of an eyesore for those near the ground and cast more shadow. They are also very much more expensive.
Removable Lighting Heads (Heads removed out of season) :
The Cricket Club say this is too expensive (around £40,000 to remove and replace the heads, per year), there is a problem storing the heads and there would still be poles affecting the views.
Base-hingeing masts (Masts lowered to the ground out of season):
The Cricket Club say that the masts cannot be kept lowered for long periods and that there is not space to lower them. We are exploring this further.
4. What about light spill?
There does not appear to be any progress as yet in reducing excessive light spill to neighbouring properties.
5. What about the conditions of use for the floodlights?
We have had input to the Cricket Club's Floodlight Usage Management Plan (FLUMP) and have pressed for compliance with this plan to be a condition of the planning application.
In addition to lights being fully off by 23.00 the Club have agreed that for non-televised matches play will finish by 22.00 and lights will be dimmed to 10% immediately: for televised matches play will finish by 22.30 and lights will be dimmed to 50% immediately (to allow de-rigging).
There will still be maximum of 15 days usage of the floodlights per year (this is to cover World Cup Year in 2019 when there will be extra matches.)
The Cricket Club have agreed that "With the exception of those areas designated for hospitality use (currently the Grace room and Premier Lounge) that all public bars and catering outlets will close at the completion of play or 22:00 (other than for the purpose of cleaning / maintenance), whichever is the later and that spectators (other than those in hospitality areas) will be asked to leave the ground simultaneously." We hope this will help to reduce any late evening disturbance in the surrounding residential area.
The Club will also inform residents about proposed floodlit fixtures by leaflets, notices outside the ground and by their website, including phone numbers for the Club and the Council in case of complaints.
We have also suggested clauses to be incorporated into the travel plan, but do not yet have sight of this.
6. What happens next?
We understand that the application will be considered by the Planning Committee on 29th April.
Comments/objections can be made here, preferably by 14th April!