3G Pitch

3G Pitch

Aim

Expand the sports facilities with a 3G pitch in order to widen participation, providing equal opportunities to students to benefit from the physical and mental health benefits of sport.

Progress

  • Lots of students are on board.

  • Alternative playing pitch confirmed for Reading University Cricket Club.

  • Alternative playing pitch being found for West Reading Cricket Club.

  • Additional research done on light, sound, ecology and traffic research since last planning round, with several new mitigations added.

  • Held a well-attended exhibition for the community on the project.

The 3G pitch is proposed to accommodate full-size Rugby, Football, Lacrosse and American Football use, but other clubs including Ultimate Frisbee, Rounders and Softball will also be able to train on the pitch. There will also be three cricket nets on the project. With some of these clubs using the 3G pitch, it will free up more space for teams on the astro pitch, such as hockey.

What will the pitch include?

The pitch will include an 8 column local sports lighting system, perimeter weld mesh panel fencing of 3m high, rising to 6m behind each goat, 1.2m high spectator fencing, 3m wide spectator hardstanding, spectator stand accommodating 75 people, 3m wide footpath connecting main access gate to existing footpath network, external synthetic cricket nets with 3 bays incorporating steel cage and netting.

What about how it looks?

Tree planting along Elmhurst Road will be reinforced which will increase the large canopy trees along this boundary and enhance the parkland character of campus. It will also massively reduce noise and light spill. Species of trees will include the Common Lime and the Common Oak. They will include bat boxes and bug hotels.

What about disruption to the local community?

We have commissioned a detailed survey which confirms noise will not increase for residents on Elmhurst Road (including for students in St George’s) as a result of this pitch. We are not using flood lights, we are using LED sports-lighting which falls to 5 lux (less than half as bright as a street-light) a few metres outside the pitch. The light doesn’t spill as far as the trees, or into the road, even at this low level. The lights switch off on a timer.

Timeline

2016/17 Proposal from students and RUSU for a 3G pitch on campus.
2017/18 Funding secured from the £1 Million Student Experience Capital Fund.
2018/19 Plans for the pitch and planning application created
May 2019 Planning application submitted to the council.
July 2019 Planning application withdrawn due to unresolved community complains about light, noise, ecology and cricket.
August 2019 Start of further work on light, noise, ecology, and cricket.
December 2019 Completion of further work on light, noise, and ecology.
January 2020 Community exhibition.
February 2020 Planning application submission.
Spring 2020 Lime tree planting.
Spring / Summer 2020 Planning application decision made.
Summer 2020 Pitch construction.
Summer 2020 onwards Landscape enhancements.
Autumn 2020 Pitch completion!

Where did the idea come from?

As a University of our size, we are lacking in sport facilities and we are at capacity, leaving no room for development of clubs - this was shown in the SUMS sports benchmark report.

There have been numerous complaints about the lack of a 3G pitch, from both students and our sports coaches. The idea has come through Change It! several times.

RUSU Activities Officer 2020/21 Alex Rose

Activities Officer
Alex Rose