Larkhall Football Club Pavilion, Plain Ham, Valley View Road, Charlcombe, Bath

Use of main ‘stadium’ pitch for football training and league matches (Certificate of Lawful Existing Use).
Our Response

The proposed site of development is Larkhall Football Club, situated within the Green Belt, Cotswolds AONB, and indicative landscape setting of the World Heritage Site as well as the Charlcombe conservation area to the west. The site forms part of the wider west-east slope from Woolley Lane with views out to the east over the Larkhall area of Bath, although it is noted that the site is strategically screened with tree planting along the north and east sides of the pitch. There are already floodlights installed on the pitch, although there doesn’t appear to be a history of planning permission associated with the current installation.

BPT notes that the CLEU is proposed to regularise the use of the existing rootzone pitch for football training and league matches from 2005. However, the application indicates plans “to resurface the pitch with a modern synthetic surface” to upgrade the pitch to meet ongoing use. The proposed pitch resurfacing works therefore would not come within the remit of a CLEU, a certificate that retrospectively legalises an existing use that has continued uninterrupted for a period of at least 10 years. Planning permission would likely be required for the installation of a new artificial pitch.

There are further material considerations as to the impact of the proposed use of the pitch as indicated, such as increasing requirements for associated infrastructure (eg. increased lighting), intensified use with resulting increases in incoming traffic, and elongated hours of use into the evening. We maintain that associated consequences of the proposed change of use need to be considered in relation to impacts such as longer periods of floodlight use and intensified use of the site on long-distance landscape views and the visual amenities of the AONB and Green Belt.

Application Number: 22/02044/CLEU
Application Date: 17/05/2022
Closing Date: 18/06/2022
Address: Larkhall Football Club Pavilion, Plain Ham, Valley View Road, Charlcombe, Bath
Our Submission Status: Comment