A drinking establishment and a funeral directors will make way for five new houses in Farsley – despite concerns about people being hit by cricket balls.
Applicant Jayne Verity has been given approval to demolish The Manor function suite – formerly Mick Brittons – and the nearby Chapel Of Rest on the green belt site off Stony Royd,
They were concerned that well-hit shots from cricketers could hit and injure people and damage property – and called for a 25-metre high net to be put up to protect the new homes.
Sport England said that management and maintenance of these should be carried out by the applicant and not the cricket club.
But councillors on the south and west plans panel this afternoon said a 25-metre net would be too high and settled on 10 metres, with council officers to negotiate the possibility of installing retractable nets with the applicant.
Cllr Sharon Hamilton (Lab, Moortown) supported the 10-metre-high net. She said:
“I would not like to look out of my window and see a monstrosity. Sport England is being a bit unreasonable on how high it should be.
“They would need to be really good players to hit the ball into some of these houses.
“I like the layout of the houses. If I had the money, I might buy one!”
Cllr Jools Heselwood (Lab, Bramley) added:
“At 25 metres the fence would be seen from the Ring Road. You could deck [it] with lights for Christmas, it’d be that tall.”
Meeting chair Cllr Caroline Gruen (Lab, Bramley) said she was concerned about the danger of the ball hitting someone – however remote the danger.
But she said there was already a problem with existing households and cricket balls and that no similar protection was found near other cricket pitches in Leeds.
In a planning officer’s report considered by councillors, Farsley Cricket Club added:
“While ball strikes are a rare occurrence, there is nonetheless a potential risk due to the proximity of the dwellings to the cricket club. We would like a clear understanding of the potential risk to our sporting activities if the application is approved. “
The plans – which can be viewed in full here – are were approved in principle by councillors, subject to a raft of conditions being met by the applicants. Final approval was deferred and delegated to the chief planning officer.