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Rainhill High sports pitch gets go-ahead despite protests from nearby Loyola Hall Christian retreat
3:55pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
PLANS to create an artificial grass sports pitch on school grounds near to a religious retreat have been granted approval despite considerable opposition.
The floodlit zone will be laid 55metres from the boundary of Loyola Hall, a Christian retreat used by visitors for reflection and prayer.
The proposals included an acoustic fence to reduce sound from the pitches – but residents and leaders of the retreat mounted objections about potential noise, light pollution and traffic.
Loyola Hall staff and users also raised concerns it would disturb the “peace, tranquillity and silence” of its environment, which it says has a “worldwide reputation”.
Protests had also come from Rainhill Civic Society and Rainhill Parish Council. In total there were 143 letters of opposition.
However, the school’s website had recorded 86 pledges of support for the multi-use pitch, which will be used by sports teams and community clubs.
It will replace a grassed area, which often becomes too soft and water logged, leading to school sports activities being cancelled.
The development also fits in with a local authority strategy to boost leisure opportunities in the borough.
St Helens Council’s Planning Committee approved planning permission for the pitch, which will be open for use from 8am to 9pm weekdays and between 9am to 5pm at weekends.