PLANS to create a grandstand and floodlights as part of renovations to a sports club have been granted permission.

Proposals for Windleshaw Sports Club in Dentons Green have been drawn up and submitted to the council by applicant Stephen Leather.

Plans include for the creation of a 50-seater grandstand; two porta-cabins; a new access road and an 80-space car park along with new hardstanding around the football pitch and six floodlights.

This site is of great historical significance in the town, being the headquarters of St Helens Cricket Club for many years and the home of Saints until their move to Knowsley Road for the 1890-91 season.

The site hosted the first-ever league fixture, played in the first-ever senior rugby competition in the Northern counties in 1889.

From the early 1900s, cricket was played there. However, since 2014 football has been played on the site, with FC St Helens based there.

St Helens Star:

The proposed use for floodlighting will be around five hours per week, from 3pm to 5pm on Saturday and 7pm to 10pm on one evening of the week from October to April.

Lights will auto switch off at 10pm.

An unused site of undergrowth will be used for the car park.

St Helens Star:

Plans stated: "As part of our new lease agreement with the St Helens Council we took on extra land adjacent to the site, this site was under long term growth, used for fly tipping and drugs/vermin issues.

"Within a few weeks of the control of this site, we have cleared the land at our own expense and removed all tipping, removed all anti social behaviour and eradicated a lot of the vermin on the site.

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"The site will now be used for a car park to house circa 80 cars. It has been established that since removing the debris from the site, that it was previously used as a car park as existing markings were now visible.

"Furthermore as you will see from the proposed plans, the this area will be given its own pedestrian access to the Windleshaw site, thus avoiding any use of Windleshaw Road".

St Helens Star:

They added: "The installation of new flood lighting, hard standing, car parking to the already existing community site for sport will provider greater opportunities for residents to participate in sports and recreation".

Approving the application, planning officer Natasha Ayres said in a report: "There is no objection in principle to the sitting of flood lighting on this site".

She added that in terms of noise that would be generated from greater periods of use of the site: "it is not considered that this would create such an intensification of the use that it could create a detrimental impact to the residential amenity".

St Helens Star:

Ms Ayres said: "It is also noted that the seating area will result in a greater intensity of use of the leisure facility however this will only be within the times of a game and the noise level from organised sports games is unlikely to cause a significant level of noise to nearby properties given the separation distance and the nature of the use".