Floodlights at Crystal Palace FC approved despite residents complaints

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter 

Plans to install 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 grounds in Copers Cope Road, Beckenham, will see four 21-metre tall floodlights installed around the central pitch.

The topic was discussed at a licensing meeting for Bromley council on June 13.

The floodlights are intended to allow the academy to host outdoor matches after sundown in winter. The proposal for the floodlights received 48 objections from locals, with neighbours concerned the addition would transform the grounds into a “stadium by stealth”.

The Crystal Palace Football Club Academy is based in Copers Cope Road, Beckenham (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

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.”

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.

The topic was discussed at a Bromley council meeting on June 13 (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

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 that club representatives were in a WhatsApp group with locals to discuss 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.”

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

Pictured top: The topic was discussed at a Bromley council meeting on June 13 (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

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