Scarborough councillors set to approve new floodlights at Whitby Tennis Courts despite concerns

A 3D impression of the Whitby Tennis Courts. (Photo: submitted)
A 3D impression of the Whitby Tennis Courts. (Photo: submitted)

Councillors on the Scarborough and Whitby area planning committee have been asked to approve a planning application for six floodlights mounted on both courts at Whitby Tennis Courts.

The planning meeting, on Thursday, September 14, has been recommended to approve the application which was submitted by North Yorkshire Council.

The proposed LED floodlights would be mounted on heavy-duty tubular steel posts measuring 6.1 metres in height and are set to be positioned on the outer section of the courts.

No objections were raised by the Highway Authority and Whitby Town Council said it was in favour if the lights were switched off at 9pm.

However, objections have been raised by members of the public owing to concerns that the lights would be “intrusive” to neighbouring properties as well as having a “detrimental effect” on the habitat of bats in the vicinity.

In a letter to the council, Michael Stones said: “Such floodlights would be inevitably intrusive to all residences backing onto Tucker’s Field only a few yards away and directly impact upon our quality of life.

“In addition, this is an area where bats live and such lighting would undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on their habitat.”

Another affected neighbour, Stephen Hartley, said: “I have lived at this address for the last 40 years and recall when it was used as a thriving tennis club with a clubhouse – there has never been a need for flood lighting at this location.

“I cannot imagine there being no light spillage while my grandchildren are trying to sleep.”

However, whilst the council’s environmental health officer did not object in principle, the officer noted that “the technical lighting report shows high luminance levels concentrated in the centre of each tennis court with levels falling towards the periphery”.

The officer stated that it was “essential that the installation and positioning of the lights be carried out in accordance with the report”, adding that consideration should be given to minimising “the impact of light on these properties and so as not to cause a statutory light nuisance”.

A report prepared for the meeting by planning officers concedes that “certain residents would incur some impact in terms of light spill” but states that this would be “relatively minimal” and would be focussed towards the rear boundaries and gardens.

The plan has been recommended for approval and will be discussed at the planning meeting on September 14.