A football team’s growth is angering locals, who say they are tired of noise and pollution they claim matchdays bring.
Cammell Lairds Football Club, a semi-professional team based on St Peter’s Road, near New Ferry , Wirral , want to extend their clubhouse and car park.
But many locals object, saying the car park is too near to neighbouring houses and devalues their property.
The plan was debated at Wirral Council’s planning committee last night.
Speaking about a petition signed by 52 residents, one - who the meeting was told was named Mrs O’Neill - said she lives behind the football pitch, which is “extremely disruptive” for her given the noise caused by people entering and leaving the club and light pollution caused by the club’s floodlights.
She added that her bedroom backs on to the football club, making the noise issue even worse.
Air pollution caused by car fumes was another gripe for Mrs O’Neill.
She said she felt these issues, combined with the problem of the club overlooking many houses, would devalue properties in the area.
The proposal is for a new single-story clubhouse and a 17-space car park.
A council officer’s report on the site states that parking is a serious issue on matchdays and the new car park will impact on the livelihood of those in the adjacent properties in terms of noise and disturbance.
But the officer recommended that the council approves the plan, because the disturbance only happens on matchdays and this proposal is unlikely to significantly change that.
The report noted the car park will close between 9pm and 9am each day.
Labour councillor Steve Foulkes supported the plan. He said there had been a football ground at the site since he could remember and he wanted to support the club in its plans.
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He also argued that people who live near a football ground should expect a certain amount of disruption.
Cllr Ian Lewis, leader of the Tories on the council, spoke against the plan.
He said no-one objects to a football pitch, but he was disappointed a car park of this scale was proposed so near to people’s homes.
In the end, the committee voted by nine votes to five in favour of the plan.
The expansion plan can now go ahead.
Another controversial item at the meeting was a fence on Blakeley Road, Raby Mere.
The fence was built at 2.4 metres initially, well above the 1.5 metres the council had initially allowed it to be.
Since then, the council has insisted the fence be reduced to 1.8 metres.
This debate concerned whether councillors would approve this fence or insist on a further reduction to 1.5 metres.
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Many councillors argued 1.8 metres was too high and blocked driver’s views of the adjacent road, which could lead to crashes.
Tory councillor Cherry Povall said no issue has caused more anger in her 12 years on Wirral Council.
She said it was both dangerous, owing to the view-blocking issue, and out of keeping with the nearby streetscene.
A council officer said there was no evidence the fence had caused accidents, but fellow Conservative Mary Jordan said just because it has not caused a crash yet, does not mean it will not cause one in the future.
Council officers noted 1.8 metres is a standard height for fences of a similar function in Wirral.
Cllr Foulkes said he would support the 1.8 metre fence, arguing 30 centimetres did not make much difference.
But Cllr Lewis disagreed and said if the council initially ruled 1.5 metres is the correct height it should stick to that, rather than letting people get away with flouting planning rules.
Ultimately, the 1.8 metre proposal was rejected by eight votes to seven.
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The Tories, a Green councillor, one Lib Dem and two Labour councillors joined forces to refuse the application, outweighing the six Labour councillors and one Lib Dem who were in favour of the 1.8 metre fence.
The owner will now be ordered to reduce the size of his fence to 1.5 metres unless he appeals last night’s decision.
A number of other proposals, including an extension of Caldy Golf Club’s clubhouse and seven houses in Cornelius Drive, Irby, were passed.