ANGRY Penrhyn Bay residents are campaigning against Conwy Council’s plans to build an all-weather football pitch on fields behind a secondary school.

Campaigners have claimed artificial surfaces could contain carcinogens.

Conwy has applied to its own planning department, seeking permission for the artificial grass pitch at Ysgol y Creuddyn on Derwen Lane, meaning the proposals will likely be discussed at a future planning committee meeting.

If granted planning permission, the pitch will be built on fields behind the school.

Despite the plans only being unveiled last week, dozens of residents are already in opposition, citing noise and light pollution and anti-social behaviour as some of the reasons they are against the pitch.


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A public meeting organised by Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders took place in the village last week, where an overwhelming number of residents were said to be against the plans.

Now some residents are criticising the plans due to some studies indicating that some rubber pitches could carry cancer risks, due to the surfaces containing chemicals such as mercury.

Consequently the European Commission is targeting banning the pitches by 2031, but this does not apply to the UK.

Last month the BBC reported that Stirling University claimed “crumb rubber” infill on pitches should be replaced with alternative materials.

Resident Mark Adamson was against the plans.

“I am aghast at how an educational establishment that houses on campus a primary, a pre-school, a sports hall, and a community centre can apply for a 3G pitch, just after a (proposed) ban in Europe due to the carcinogens which are particularly dangerous to developing lungs,” he said.

“The Welsh FA are awaiting a report from DEFRA, which is due in spring, so the question is undoubtedly, why not wait until this report to know for sure if the rubber crumb is safe.”

Joel Groves added: “These 3G pitches are extremely bad for the environment and health and have now been banned in Europe from 2031 with a phase out period until then.

“Conwy County Council is completely ignoring the European decision and, in my opinion, trying to push this through as quickly as possible, knowing the UK is currently reviewing the legislation and is due to report back in spring 2025.”

Janine Nichols also wrote a letter to Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders.

The letter read: “Our homes and gardens are our sanctuary after a busy day at work. We use them for rest, recovery, respite, and our mental wellbeing.

“This is going to be totally disrupted and affected by the high-pitch noises, anti-social behaviour, bright floodlights, and continuous balls coming over into our gardens and causing damage to our garden and property.”

David Evans agreed.

“The proposal is for a pitch surrounded by a 15-foot fence, floodlighting, and changing rooms. It will be hired out when not in use by school as it has to be self-supporting, thus turning a school field into a commercial enterprise,” he said.

“There will be constant noise, possible anti-social behaviour, and vandalism in a quiet village.”

Luca Zanolin said: “No consideration has been given to the toxicity of the materials that would be used.

“There has been a total disregard for the wildlife that populate the field at certain times of the year like curlews.”

The planning application for the pitch includes six flood lights, 2-metre high earthed mounds with 1.5m acoustic screens at the northern and eastern sides of the pitch, perimeter fencing, and storage space.

“The pitch also includes a modular changing pavilion with two changing rooms and private showers and toilets.

The facilities will also include a three-person changing room for match officials with showers and toilets, a community room, kitchenette, and a spectator area.

Last week, Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders claimed many residents living near the school were against the plans for the synthetic pitch.

Speaking this week, after last week’s public meeting, Mrs Finch-Saunders said: “Whilst I have received numerous representations from those wishing for this new development, it has to be said there is a large body of opposition.

“As a result of the meeting, I will now be contacting the Welsh Government, the education department at the local authority, and Ffit Conwy.

“There is a distinct feeling that this application is being rushed through, and I do intend to ensure that full facts of the scheme are provided to these very concerned residents.

“The least Conwy County Borough Council should do is hold another public consultation session.”

A Conwy County Council spokeswoman said: “The planning application has been submitted and is going through the usual planning process.

“The application can be viewed online here.”

She added: “We urge local residents or other interested parties to make their representations by the closing date 11/06/24.”