PROPOSED floodlights at a school have been compared to ‘landing zones and communication stations for large alien spacecraft’.

Plans for a hockey pitch with 15m high floodlights and a playing field have been submitted by Kitebrook Preparatory School, but have been met with a negative reaction by residents.

After the proposals were submitted to West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC), 87 objections have so far been submitted, with 29 comments supporting the plans.

A planning statement says the project will ‘increase grassroots sport development and enjoyment at the school’, where fees for 2021/22 reach £5,100.

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In an objection comment, George Lambrick, chair of The Rollright Trust, which owns and manages the ancient Rollright Stones, said the monuments would be ‘harmed by glow from the floodlighting’.

Oxford Mail: The Rollright Stones near Great Rollright. Picture: Mark GuschtschaThe Rollright Stones near Great Rollright. Picture: Mark Guschtscha

Meanwhile, Graham Williams added: “I enjoyed the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

“This means I do not see the need to build huge installations that double as landing zones and communication stations for large alien spacecraft.”

Other objections centred on the potential impact on the wider area as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

In a comment on the WODC website, Joanna Virgin said: “I have lived in this area for all my life and have seen many areas of the Cotswolds gradually begin to disappear under new developments.

“Chastleton is a beautiful, quiet village in an area of AONB.

“A new sports complex of this nature would have a huge impact on this current status.

“The astro, floodlights and noise pollution would affect me directly as my house is in direct line of sight for the proposed development.”

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Julian Mathias added: “I object to this application as a neighbour who would be adversely and seriously affected by this ill-conceived, unnecessary and totally insensitive proposal were it to be allowed.”

Despite the host of objections, many have highlighted the positive impact the plans could have on children at the school.

In a comment supporting the proposals, Rebecca Haughton said: “We strongly support this application as the benefits to the children’s mental and physical wellbeing will be immeasurable.

“We have children at the school and the new development will greatly enhance the current facilities and let the children broaden their sports skills as well as increasing the number of hours in which they can participate in sporting activities and competitions.

“In short, this will be of great benefit to the school, students and local community.”

Kitebrook is a school for three to 13-year-olds.

It was founded in 1959 by Anne McDermott, with its mission statement to ‘develop the individual child holistically in a happy, safe and unique environment’.

To view the planning application, search the WODC planning application portal using the reference number 21/01456/FUL.