Campaigners opposing Rosebery School floodlights plan 'denied vital information about planning appeal'
Campaigners against Rosebery School's plans to install 14m floodlights in its playing field say they are being denied vital information about the school's planning appeal
Residents opposing a school’s plans to install 14m floodlights in its playing field for community use claim they are being denied vital information about a planning appeal.
Rosebery School, on Whitehorse Drive in Epsom, submitted a planning application to Epsom and Ewell Council in April last year asking permission to allow community use of its all-weather pitch until 9.30pm on Mondays to Saturdays and on Sundays until 6pm.
The plans, which was opposed by many residents living in a nearby conservation area because of the perceived traffic and parking problems, noise, light spillage and visual impact they would have, were rejected by the council in June.
But the school appealed the decision to the planning inspectorate in November, submitting new documents to counter claims that the floodlights would cause light spillage, traffic and noise.
Now residents are claiming they are not being given the chance to argue against these new submissions.
Ladan French, of Wheelers Lane, whose house is next to the school, said: "This new evidence has not been available to local residents to counter, despite numerous requests by local residents to the council's planning department, who supported the original application contrary to the local communities wishes.
"Residents have commented that in this digital age this is an inexcusable and unfair process.
"Some have gone further to question whether planning applications that are rejected at local council level are subsequently approved at appeal by the government inspectorate, due to a grossly discriminate, unfair and inadequate process."
But a council spokesman said it had notified the "hundreds of people" who had expressed an interest in the planning application and informed them that January 21 is the deadline for further comments by third parties.
He said: "We have made the appellant's supporting evidence available to those who have asked both in hard copy and electronically and put the documents on our website so that they can be viewed more readily."