THE fate of a planning application for a four-storey block of retirement apartments could depend on how far members of Frodsham Cricket Club can hit a ball.
Frodsham Town Council has already objected to the scheme for land off Moor Lane on the grounds there is inadequate parking provision.
But Sport England has lodged a holding objection because no information has been provided about the likelihood of the new development – or its residents – being hit by a cricket ball.
They have consulted the England Cricket Board (ECB) who say the proposed development could be at risk of ball strike. They say a Labosport UK ball strike risk assessment should be undertaken, which wiould measure the speed and trajectory of balls leaving the ground and establish the height of any necessary mitigation – such as protective netting.
Once such a risk assessment has been carried out, the ECB will be glad to advise on its findings.
Should mitigation be required, it should be positioned on the application site and should not be the responsibility of the cricket club at any time in the future. Trees should not form part of the mitigation as trees can blow down be cut down die or become diseased.
Access should be provided for maintenance of any netting.
Sport England say in view of the ECB’s comments a ball strike assessment should be provided to understand the level of risk and potential mitigation, including a management and maintenance and access plan.
If the local planning authority – Cheshire West and Chester Council – be minded to grant planning permission, the application should be referred to the Secretary of State for decision.
The scheme is for 69 apartments with 120 bed spaces. The development be surrounded by a landscaped garden. It would include 36 parking spaces. An adjoining public car park would be extended to provide another 47 spaces.
*The biggest hit ever made in cricket is believed to have been made by Albert Trott, who played for both England and Australia and in 1899 while playing for England against Australia, hit a ball 164 metres, clearing the pavilion at Lords.