NEW floodlights look set to be installed at a Wirral sports club despite fears of local residents over light pollution.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning committee is recommended to rubber-stamp installation of 12 new, seven-metre-high floodlights along with the resurfacing of four artificial tennis courts at The Neston Club when it meets next Tuesday.

The plans have been called in by Parkgate independent councillor, Martin Barker, due to what a planning report called ‘significant objections’ from local residents, these include the proximity of floodlights to residential properties, noise from extended playing hours and ‘loss of privacy and security’.

Objectors also claimed the existing gardens were waterlogged, the drainage on site was ‘not fit for purpose’, and the replacement courts would contribute to ‘further flood risk issues’.

Initial plans had been revised to address some of the concerns, with three planned floodlights which would have been situated closer to residential properties being removed from  the final scheme.

A planning condition has also been included to ensure that the floodlights are only in use between 9am-9pm, Monday to Saturday, and 9am-7.30pm Sundays and bank holidays. A report to the committee said this would be in line with the hours of use of existing hockey pitch floodlights.

The report said there were already eight, 15-metre-high floodlights on an adjoining hockey pitch at the Station Road club.

It added: “In summary, it is likely that the floodlights will be visible from windows at nearby residential properties and that this will have some impact on amenity, but the predicted level of harm is not considered to be significantly adverse.”

Objections have also raised fears over flooding, claiming that there are ‘existing drainage issues’ and high levels of surface water at the boundary of the site and the gardens immediately adjoining the courts.

But it said: “Given the existing materials of the tennis courts, the proposed replacement surface and the scale of the development within a (lowest risk) flood zone, it is considered that drainage can be suitably managed so as to not result in any unacceptable flood or drainage impacts.”

In conclusion, the report said the proposal would result in a small community benefit, by providing enhanced access to recreation facilities within an established recreational area.

It said: “The amended plans demonstrate that the proposal would not result in a significant adverse impact upon the residential amenity of the occupiers of existing properties, subject to conditions in respect of hours of use and requiring exact specifications to be approved.

“A condition requiring a drainage strategy would ensure that flood or drainage impacts can be minimised and mitigated.”