Shirehampton Football Club gets go-ahead for floodlights and 50-seater stand

More than 100 people backed the planning application including the local MP

Shirehampton Football Club has received permission for floodlights and a spectator stand at its ground after more than 100 people backed the idea, including the area’s MP Darren Jones.

Planning officers at Bristol City Council said the introduction of the floodlights at the ground within the Kings Weston Estate was ‘not ideal’, but that the social and public benefits from the development outweighed any harm to the heritage setting.

The decision was welcomed by Shirehampton Football Club, which said on its Twitter page: “Huge news & a step in the direction for the Club as our application for floodlights has been granted, in principle, at Penpole Lane. We would like to thank everybody who contributed to the application and for the continued support.”

The football club has three Saturday men’s team, two Sunday men’s teams, a veterans’ team and several youth teams. The senior team is a member of the Western Football League - nine tiers below the Premier League.

The proposal submitted last year was for floodlighting - operated on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoons - and a 50-seater stand to the west of the playing field in Penpole Lane.

Over two consultations, more than 100 people supported the plan. A few people along with Kings Weston Action Group did object on the grounds the development would be ‘out of keeping’ with the historic character of the area and the floodlights would impact local wildlife.

But Bristol North West MP Darren Jones said he believed the club had devised strategies to mitigate effects from the lighting. This was backed up by Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston councillor Don Alexander who said: “The club is a great asset to the area both in terms of promoting physical activity and wider social cohesion. I believe this vastly outweighs any heritage or ecological concerns as the lights will be used for limited periods.”

Sport England and Historic England did not object either.

Writing in conclusion for a report attached to the planning application approval, Bristol City Council planning officers said: “The Council’s Principal Historic Environment Officer has identified that the proposed introduction of floodlights would cause harm to the significance and setting of designated heritage assets as well as non-designated heritage assets. This is not ideal, however when weighed in the balance with the social, public benefits associated with the development which will support vibrant and healthy communities it is not considered that the harm is significant enough to warrant refusal.”

The plans can be viewed by visiting Bristol City Council’s planning portal and using reference number 21/03673/F.