Plans for a set of floodlights at Crystal Palace FC academy’s training grounds have been approved, despite claims no consideration has been made for the ‘long suffering’ residents nearby.

The club’s academy grounds on Copers Cope Road in Beckenham will see four 21-metre tall floodlights being installed around the central pitch.

The topic was discussed at a licensing meeting for Bromley Council on June 13, with the change being done to allow the academy to host outdoor matches in winter after sundown.

The proposal for the floodlights received 48 objections from locals, with neighbours concerned the addition would transform the grounds into a ‘stadium by stealth’.

Steve Parish, chairman of Crystal Palace FC, said at the meeting: “I would genuinely refute that we have ever had more than 150 people at an event. This is not a stadium. There are no spectators that come from outside.

"We have to allow scouts in. We have to allow the staff from the other teams in and we do allow parents obviously to come and watch their kids, but in limited numbers.”

The proposal was considered alongside plans for underground sports therapy pools being added to the site.

Lib Dem Councillor Will Connolly, who represents the Beckenham Town and Copers Cope ward, said he and his ward colleagues received ‘disgruntled and annoyed’ emails on a daily basis from residents regarding parking issues originating from the academy.

Conservative Councillor Michael Tickner, also representing Beckenham Town and Copers Cope, said at the meeting: “The residents are not very happy… Their consideration for their neighbours around the grounds, my long suffering residents, is absolutely zero.”

The club chairman said that the grounds were ‘incredibly ramshackle and run down’ before the football club took over the site and that the academy had maintained a good relationship with the community.

He noted previous complaints neighbours had made on players returning to the club late at night after away matches and added that club representatives were in a WhatsApp group with locals to receive any concerns.

Mr Parish said: “We are looking to get a coach parking space off road, which we think is probably the biggest issue on the odd occasion that the coaches are parked there. We do use Kent County Capital Club for parking as well.

"We have parking attendants, we do as much as we can to get the parking off of the streets. We’ve agreed to fund some traffic calming measures for the residents as well.”

He added: “We are aware and we’re making very sure we can do everything we can to reduce the impact to almost zero if we can.”

The planning committee agreed at the meeting to approve the proposals from Crystal Palace FC, with 7 votes in favour and one abstention for the underground recovery facilities and a 7-1 vote for the floodlights.

An informative was included in the planning permission for the new floodlights, advising the club to inform local residents on the times at which the floodlights were intended to be used.