Planners told lights plan vital for future of Yorkshire cricket

PLANS for new permanent floodlights at Headingley cricket ground – considered vital to its financial future in Leeds – are set for the go-ahead despite a flood of objections.

The Carnegie Pavilion at Headingley Stadium
The Carnegie Pavilion at Headingley Stadium

Yorkshire Cricket Club bosses say the ground needs the lights and associated work to ensure its future as an international quality venue, and to allow it to host games during the 2019 Cricket World Cup. It is one of the few remaining major sports venues in the UK without floodlights.

However, people living nearby are worried about light spilling into their homes and the size of the columns.

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The club wants to build four pylons, each nearly 60 metres tall. Its directors hope the scheme – costing £1.8m – will be up and running by the start of the 2015 season.

A report to be presented to a Leeds council planning committee on Thursday recommends approval.

It says that, after concerns, the scheme has been amended, with the size of the columns now reduced to 50m height and with efforts made to reduce lightspill onto homes. However, there have still been 23 letters of objection to the plans.

The main concern is that the floodlights “would add to the over dominance of the stadium already in the locality”, and that the height of the pylons “will harm the skyline”.

The report says: “The applicant has instructed an additional expert to assist them in trying to reduce the amount of lightspill from the floodlights. The scheme has been amended to reflect the concerns of neighbouring residents. This has also resulted in the reduction of the size of the columns.”

The report adds the lights would not be used more than 20 times per season. They would be powered by a new electricity sub-station in the grounds, which also forms part of the proposals.

It says: “The provision of permanent floodlighting is essential to ensure that international cricket, including test cricket, continues at Headingley.”