Football club in Bradford wins permission for major upgrade

THE nation’s sporting fixtures may be on hold, but a Bradford football club has just been granted permission for a major upgrade of its stadium.

Fans behind a #Proper Bradford sign during the Vanarama National League North match at Horsfall Stadium, Bradford, earlier this month Credit: Dave Howarth/PA Wire

Bradford Council approved Bradford (Park Avenue)’s plans for work to Horsfall Stadium, including new floodlights, changing facilities and a hospitality suite. The club plans to turn the stadium into a community sports hub, and earlier this month plans to replace its existing pitch with a 3G pitch were approved by planners.

Now a second application, for LED floodlighting around the pitch and the construction of a two-storey modular cabin building for hospitality and changing room facilities has been approved.

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Planning officers for Bradford Council said the club plays a “vital role” in the community, and that these facilities would enhance that role.

Fans in the stands during the Vanarama National League North match at Horsfall Stadium, Bradford, on March 14 Credit: Dave Howarth/PA Wire

The club announced ambitious plans to improve the stadium last year after the club agreed terms on a 30-year lease to take control of their ground from Bradford Council.

The installation of the 3G pitch, which will be suitable for rugby as well as football, is central to the club’s plans, along with the improved lighting, fencing, roadways, parking and some building work.

The aim is to turn the stadium into a better facility for the club and other local sports teams, as well as the wider community.

The new building will include a room for match day hospitality, a bar, kitchen and four changing rooms with showers.

As well as the club it will be used by the Horsfall College of Sport and students from local schools and colleges and The Horsfall Community Trust.

Approving the scheme last week, planning officers said the new lighting scheme consisted of four floodlights on 22m poles.

They stated: “The impact of the floodlighting is somewhat mitigated by the fact that this site has been illuminated in this manner for a number of years, so the high level of illumination provided by the lights will not be unexpected or, out of place in this setting.

“Modern lighting, such as this proposed, can be controlled so as to avoid light spill and harm to the wider amenity of the area.”

They described the building as of an “uninspiring, utilitarian design and appearance”, but said in the context of the stadium’s large metal-clad spectator stands and the similar single-storey, buildings close to the entrance, it should not appear out of place.

They added: “The sports hub plays a valuable role in the local community and these additions will enable it to continue fulfilling this role and will serve to improve the visitor experience.”

One condition of the planning approval is that the floodlights can only be used between 9am and 10pm.