PEOPLE living close to a Hereford school have laid out their tactics in a row over plans to build an artificial sports pitch.

The Herefordshire Football Association has received support from many football clubs for their bid to develop an existing sports field at Aylestone High School.

But the Aylestone Conservation Area Action Group (ACAAG) have given the application the red card with members saying they never envisaged the extent of the plans.

Jeffrey Hancorn, 57, and Padraig Kelly, 52, are members of ACAAG and residents of Athelstan Hall, a grade II listed building that sits adjacent to the site which could soon be developed to include a floodlit artificial grass pitch.

Mr Hancorn said: "You can imagine the horror when we discovered what it was, an industrial prison-like complex."

The group object to the location of the site, believing it would be better placed in a more built-up, non-residential area of the city.

Mr Kelly said: "This is not NIMBY but rather 'not in anyone's back yard'."

ACAAG believe that the development will cause 'unbearable' noise and light pollution from floodlights while increasing traffic congestion along Broadlands Lane.

They are also concerned about the noise and disruption caused late at night as the application seeks permission for the site to remain operating until 10pm in the week.

The group, made up of 50 members from the community, has also called into question the environmental impact of the site, as the existing field is home to bats and newts, and may create draining issues.

However, the pair are pleased with how the group has helped bring the community together.

Mr Kelly said: "The campaign has brought us all together as a community. Our first meeting had 40 people in our living room. We now work together to better the area."

The group is now working together to tackle other problems in the area such as traffic, parking and speeding.

Mr Hancorn added: "We plan to fight the plans as far as we can, to a judicial review if needs be.

"You just hope that common sense prevails."

The Herefordshire FA funded proposal has been launched to increase the provision of training areas for young people in the county.

Former Hereford United manager Jamie Pitman was one of many to back the application – and pointed to the lack of all-weather pitches currently available in the county.