A WOKINGHAM school is set to receive a new 3G sports pitch despite opposition from residents.

Plans to deliver an artificial grass pitch at Emmbrook School are set to be approved by the council but Lib Dem councillor Imogen Shepherd-DuBey has contested the planning application after suggesting the pitch would be disruptive.

A report summarised the councillor’s objections: “The layout and the disturbance from additional operating hours will be detrimental to the surrounding residents.”

“There is a lot of concern about the noise from late evenings and cars leaving the premises in a residential area.

“Many residents have concerns about the floodlights causing evening light pollution.”

The pitch is being proposed by the council as part of needs to meet the FA’s requirement for more “competitive games.”

A report read: “The proposal would provide a new and enhanced sports facility for the school and also for the benefit of local clubs and groups in the surrounding area, including youth football clubs to gain the maximum football developmental outcomes during the day and evenings and weekends.”

The council received eighteen letters of objection to the proposals with residents claiming there would be an increase in traffic, balls making noise after hitting the fence and a loss of privacy.

Two letters of support were sent to the council and a report claimed these comments backed the pitches as they would help bring the community together and encourage health and fitness activities.

Wokingham and Emmbrook FC and Ashridge Park FC have more than 900 players combined and a report claimed that the new pitch project “will provide opportunities for a wider range of people” including “women and girls; people with a disability; older players through veterans football and walking football; and people who don't do exercise and don't want to play sport in a club, but would attend informal football activities.”

There are more than 450 football teams in the borough, and this is set to rise to 520 in 3 years.

Following requirements from Sport England’s ‘playing pitch strategy’, Wokingham Borough Council needs to build an additional five 3G pitches across the borough.

If the plans are approved the council plans to ask the Football Foundation for £420,000 to help build the pitches.

The council currently operates 3G pitches in Cantley Park, Arborfield, Ryeish Green, Montague Park and Goals.

Should the proposals be approved, the pitches would be available to organised pre-booked clubs and groups only with the pitches being available for use from 0730 – 2200 hours weekdays and 0800 – 2000 Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

The council’s planning committee is set to conditionally approve the plans at a meeting on Wednesday, October 10.