Hedge End Rangers Football Club are seeking permission to install floodlights on the Norman Rodaway sports field in Hedge End.
Raising the issue at this evenings Recreation & Amenities Committee meeting, of Hedge End Town Council, the Chairman of Hedge End Rangers, Richard Bauck, reported to the Councillors that;
Hedge End Rangers have recently been given a set of floodlights by Southampton FC, equipment that has been made redundant during the £30m refurbishment of the Saints training ground at Marchwood.
Hedge End Rangers is an ambitious club, having progressed through the local leagues in recent years and finishing 7th in its first season in the Hampshire Premier league. It is keen to retain its older players and progress further, becoming a football club that Hedge End can be proud of.
Delighted with and very grateful for the support from Southampton FC, the club would like to install the floodlights on pitch 1 at the Norman Rodaway sports field, a project that would help the club to achieve its ambitions.
The club is not looking for any money from the Town Council, just practical support in getting permission to install the equipment. The first step would be to carry out a feasibility study.
After the presentation, Cllr Val Houghton was the first to say that she supported the idea of the feasibility study, adding;
Her sons had progressed through Hedge End Rangers and she felt that Hedge End deserved a great Football Team.
Other Councillors were concerned that the Norman Rodaway sports fields are a public open space and the floodlights were inappropriate, but Mr Bauck replied that;
There were precedents locally, with Locks Heath and Hythe&Dibden FC’s successfully having floodlights installed in public open spaces.
There was a sharp intake of breath when, in answer to a question from Cllr Pretty, Mr Bauck revealed that the floodlights were 15m high. Concern was also expressed about the impact of the floodlights (when illuminated) on surrounding roads and properties.
The Recreation & Amenities Committee thus stopped short of agreeing “in principle” to the installation of floodlights, but generally supported the ambitions of the club and wholeheartedly agreed to progress the feasibility study, with Cllrs Keith Day and Derek Pretty volunteering to take this forward…