Aylestone residents protest against Leicestershire County Cricket Club’s floodlight plans

By Jack Gabriel

Aylestone residents have challenged Leicestershire County Cricket Club’s efforts to increase the usage of floodlights for games at the Fischer County Ground.

Currently, the Club are restricted to using the six 40 metre tall lights on ten occasions throughout the year, but are seeking an advanced allowance.

However, residents living close to the ground have protested against possible changes, arguing that the floodlights disturb the area’s amenity.

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Leicestershire County Cricket Club hope more flexible floodlight use will help grow attendances

Aylestone resident Spencer Roe, said: “The lights are extremely bright and are clearly visible from most homes in the area.

“It’s incredibly difficult for my family to sleep when they are being used for night games as the light beams through the bedroom windows.”

He added: “They are unnatural and daytime use would be detrimental to me especially as I am often at home sleeping before working night shifts.”

Leicester City Council has received multiple objection letters on the grounds of ‘light nuisance/glare, general interruption to residents, interests of the club put before residents and loss of privacy’.

The Council also received a letter from Aylestone Ward Councillor, Nigel Porter, who said the floodlights are ‘an eyesore and are environmentally unfriendly’ and questioned ‘if there is a genuine requirement for the proposed changes.’

The Club has requested for the restriction on lights usage between 7.30am to 11pm to be removed on days outside the 10 permitted.

Despite this, they have insisted there will be no additional night games or detrimental effect on the area and its residents.

The application plans to ensure that no games are curtailed due to bad light, an occurrence that regularly frustrated supporters last season.

Opportunities to win games and aid the Club’s promotion prospects to Division One of the County Championship were squandered because of dark conditions on multiple occasions.

The Club originally agreed to stipulations limiting their usage when the floodlights were approved in January 2016, but are wary that restrictions could limit the club’s growth.

They are set to host a number of Women’s World Cup games later this year and are keen to ensure the facilities are capable of fulfilling the maximum amount of game-time possible.

Councillors will decide whether or not to grant the application when they discuss it on Wednesday.

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