PPS 8: Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation
Policy OS 7
Justification and Amplification
5.51 There has been an increasing trend in recent years towards the provision of floodlighting at sports and outdoor recreational facilities. This can extend the hours of operation of such facilities, thereby creating greater flexibility and potential for enhanced use by more people, both as participants or spectators. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that such development will not cause unacceptable harm to amenity or prejudice public safety.
5.52 Where floodlighting is proposed as part of a new sports or recreational development or in association with an existing facility, a number of issues need to be considered. These include the potential for increased use of the facility, light pollution and increased traffic and noise generation. Such issues are particularly relevant where the proposed floodlighting is close to residential properties. The impact of the design and size of the floodlighting structures on visual amenity and their use on the character of the wider area are also important considerations. Particular care needs to be exercised in the countryside and those areas identified for their landscape, townscape or heritage value.
5.53 In assessing the impact of floodlighting on public safety, the Department will have regard to its effect upon the safe use and operation of any form of traffic or transport on land, on or over water or in the air. For example, glare from excessively bright or poorly aimed floodlighting can cause dazzle with implications for transport users and pedestrians, particularly the elderly. The alignment and brightness of the lights are important considerations, therefore, in determining proposals for floodlighting.
5.54 In certain cases it may be possible to permit proposals subject to the imposition of conditions limiting the hours during which the floodlights may be operated and/or the frequency of their use, restricting the luminance or brightness of the lights or requiring the installation of appropriate shielding.