“I can only say sorry,” Sandhurst Town Council’s mayor has told angry residents as he was challenged over an agreement to let Bracknell Town football club play at Bottom Meadows.

Residents at a public meeting complained they had suffered increased noise, light pollution and parking problems since a groundshare between Bracknell Town and Sandhurst Town football clubs began.

Sandhurst Town Council, which owns the Bottom Meadows football ground, agreed a 30-year lease, backdated to 2021, in August to let Bracknell Town FC play there. This replaces a previous 25-year lease.

But people at the meeting on Tuesday, November 21, said they’d noticed travelling fans parking on their roads, noisier games and training sessions, and light pollution from floodlights since Bracknell Town started playing at the Sandhurst Town FC pitch.

READ MORE: Bracknell Town FC’s 30-year deal to use Sandhurst ground under fire

One resident, Sarah Bird, said: “I have nothing against Sandhurst Town football club playing here. It’s been here for years.

“The issue we have is that Bracknell Town – a much bigger club – has come here, so we have two away teams playing here. So we have two away teams’ cars.”

She added: “It’s the council’s problem because they did not consider the impact it would have on the local community.”

Other residents said they’d noticed more noise from fans, as well as music during training sessions, and complained of floodlights shining into their homes.

Kayne Steinborn-Busse, director of the SB Sport and Education Group which controls both football clubs, said he would speak to staff about noise and investigate lighting problems.

He also said he could advise players and fans about parking – but that the club isn’t allowed to put signs or stewards on public roads directing people where to park.

People at the meeting asked whether the town council had considered parking problems, and why it hadn’t consulted residents before agreeing the lease.

One resident asked: “When and why did you not deem it appropriate to contact residents of very close proximity roads to the back of the club – why did you not inform us it would be happening?”

Sandhurst Town mayor Ray Mossom, who chaired the meeting, said: “There are faults on every side. So we hold our hands up – we haven’t been perfect, and if we’ve upset a lot of people, well you know I can only say sorry.”

But he said that residents had had the opportunity to comment on previous applications for planning permission for extensions at the ground. And he said Bracknell Forest Council planning officers found no problems with parking plans.

Bracknell Town FC left its Larges Lane ground in 2021, and Sandhurst Town Council says complaints only began in May this year.

Councillor Mossom didn’t feel able to comment further on why Sandhurst Town Council hadn’t consulted residents on the lease, when asked by Bracknell News. Executive Officer Angela Carey intervened to say councillors “don’t give quotes to the press without going through the press office.”