RESIDENTS living next to a Dudley school are at loggerheads over a plan to provide a new games area for pupils.

Neighbours of Bishop Milner Catholic College on Burton Rd  have split into two camps opposing and supporting the upgrading of sports facilities for some 800 pupils.

The school is applying for planning permission to replace an ageing artificial grass pitch with a new multi use games area surrounded by a three metre high mesh fence.

The upgrade comes after a new sports hall was recently completed.

But after a formal consultation the plan has lead to 11 formal objections from residents living close to the college.

They say the area would increase noise late into the evening with balls hitting the fencing and from increased traffic of vehicles entering and leaving the site. 

There are fears neighbours will suffer disturbance during its construction.

In addition, objectors say the proposal will lead to a loss of  privacy and will stop residents using their gardens.

But nine letters of support have also been lodged with the council which say it is good for the community, improves facilities for the children and helps in providing a wider range of activities.

Recommending approval of the application, planning officers say the scheme has the support of Sport’s England and the council’s  existing policy is in favour of sports facilities which have an important role in promoting health and well-being.

In response to the claims of noise nuisance, they say:  “It is unlikely that any potential noise and disturbance would be over and above that currently experienced. 

“The proposed changes would allow a greater community use of the site, which is supported by (the) policies of the Local Planning Authority.”

Councillors will make a decision on the application at the next meeting on August 13.