A SCHOOL in East Dorset has been met by a surge of objections from residents over plans for a floodlit sports pitch.

St Ives Primary and Nursery School is seeking permission from Dorset Council to build a multi-use games area on its grounds in Sandy Lane.

The school has, through its own fundraising and a confirmed Sport England grant, secured funding for the new facility, which would be shared by the school and the wider community.

However, the proposals for the artificial playing surface include the construction of three-metre high perimeter netting and eight eight-metre high lighting columns.

And this point in particular has led to a raft of objections from residents.

Maureen Small, aged 76, who has lived opposite the school in Sandy Lane for 29 years, said: "It is quite a big playing field. They have cut the trees down in front of me.

"They say the floodlights mean they can use it 365 days a year and up until 10pm at night.

"It is a quiet residential area and it just seems ludicrous that they are doing that.

"You can accept having the school traffic in the morning and the afternoon, but it has grown in the last couple of years from how it was as just an infants school.

"They say it will help the surrounding area but the majority of people in this area are in the older generations. It just seems so heavy handed and terrible to me."

Ms Small is one of dozens of residents who have submitted their opposition to the application.

A statement submitted on behalf of the school by Pure Town Planning says: "The lighting scheme has been carefully designed by specialists selecting the most appropriate scheme to provide the minimum necessary light and avoid light spill into the surrounding area."

Pure Town Planning claim a lighting assessment shows the proposal would not "significantly result in light spilling into residential properties".

The firm's statement adds: "The facility would be available for extra-curricular activity for the school and also available for local community to hire in the evenings and at weekends where in combination with the lighting it would be a particularly valuable community facility."