Cricket Club wins’ approval for extending floodlight operating hours.
By Simon Sansome
Leicestershire County Cricket Club has won permission to have the ground’s floodlights on more often despite residents’ objections.
Approval from the Planning Committee at Leicester City Council means the Grace Road Cricket Ground can now host major events.
Aylestone residents and councillors objected to plans by Leicestershire County Cricket Club to increase the length of time its floodlights are used.
Leicestershire CCC Chief Executive Wasim Khan MBE said: “In hosting the ICC Women’s World Cup this year, it is essential Leicestershire County Cricket Club has the ability to turn on the floodlights during the rare periods where bad light may affect play during daytime hours.
“The other three host counties are able to do it, and the majority of counties on the circuit can utilise their floodlights during daytime hours for domestic fixtures too. I’d like to assure our neighbours the club is not looking to have more than ten usages in the evenings, those dates are locked in for the 2017 season.”
Aylestone councillor Nigel Porter addressed the planning committee last night at City Hall, representing a number of residents objecting to the extended usage.
He said: “I am disappointed the planning committee were not shown any pictures with floodlights on.”
Asking for committee members to make a visit to see the floodlights on and described them as an ‘eyesore’.
Planning committee councillor Elly Cutkelvin said the ground was the only cricket ground in the country without some kind of lighting and was needed to be competitive.
Approval was granted by the committee with two abstentions. Grace Road will now be able to use the floodlights daily if needed up to 7.30pm and up to 11pm on ten days of the year for night matches
Eight letters objecting to the planning application were received by the city council. One of the letters received was from resident, Lynda Grant, in an objection email to Leicester City Council calls the floodlights an ‘eyesore and nuisance’ and added: “With each season we see the cricket ground become more less of a cricket venue and more of a multi entertainment park.”
Application approval means the club can now play games for longer in bad, overcast weather and turn the floodlights on as and when needed.