Lighting columns at Southwick school’s car park ‘not acceptable’

Plans for lighting columns in Glebe Primary School's Car Park
Plans for lighting columns in Glebe Primary School's Car Park

An application to install lighting columns at a Southwick school car park has been deferred, with one councillor calling them ‘hideous’.

The Glebe Primary had already installed three 5m columns around the boundary of the car park, without planning permission.

Now the school wants to replace them with three 4m high columns and one 1m high bollard, with five more bollards along the Church Lane side of its access road.

At a meeting of West Sussex County Council’s planning committee, on September 11, members were told the application had attracted 11 letters of objection, with concerns including light pollution and the ‘overbearing’ look of the columns.

In addition, the county’s tree officer was worried the columns already installed had damaged nearby trees and their roots.

One resident, from Oldfield Crescent, which backs on to the car park, said: “It is not a sports pitch or playground. It is just a small car park. The use of columns is overkill.”

David Simmons (Con, Southwick), who asked for the application to be brought before the planning committee, said: “When you are dealing with light pollution it can have quite a significant impact on homes that are adjacent to it.”

Mr Simmons also told the committee that the floodlights on the front of the school building also had no planning permission.

While none of the committee had any problem with decent lighting at a school, they did share the concerns about the effect The Glebe’s lighting was having on its neighbours.

Andrew Barrett-Miles (Con, Burgess Hill North) said: “It’s not acceptable to cause this kind of light pollution. They’ve come up with a poor job that’s annoyed people.”

Liz Kitchen (Con, St Leonard’s Forest) said: “I think they’re hideous. When I first looked at them, I thought they were something that had been in for 20 years.

“I’m absolutely convinced that this can be improved on.”

The committee voted to defer the application because of the way the appearance and light pollution would affect neighbours, as well as the affect the lights would have on the nearby Conservation Area.