One of the ways to limit the visual impact is to use retractable lighting masts. These have a lower height during the day to as to not obstruct any views and extend to a higher operational height a night. These masts together with critically control floodlights can help gain planning consent.
The telescopic flood lighting masts can even retract totally underground in very critical areas so there is no visual impact during the day at all.
The increase demand for low energy LED floodlights is also a factor when proposing a lighting scheme. The light from an LED floodlight is more directional and requires them to be mounted higher so they can be angled downwards to reduce spillage and glare. Sometimes fixed lighting columns of such a height will never gain planning consent and the only option is to use retractable masts.
The thought towards using a lower power lighting solution can also help gain planning consent because you are thinking of the total environmental impact.
When submitting a planning application for floodlighting these issues will always need to be addressed. The more rural areas will require additional attention like painting the masts and floodlights to match the environment. Restricting the hours of use by imposing a timed lighting curfew can also help. These point will help the planners see that you are addressing the main issues and are trying your best to limit their impact to the surrounding area.
If you apply for planning permission without addressing these issues then you will more than likely have you application refused.
The cost of retractable masts has decreased over the years making them more viable and cost effective. LED sports lighting has also turned a corner by using higher output 120-130 lumen per watt LED’s. These reduce the running costs and maintenance over the more traditional high intensity discharge type.
Certain leaders in both fields are Sports Lighting UK and Sportpro LED. They have a lot of useful information on their websites.
If all these items are covered in your planning application you have a very good chance of gaining planning approval and allowing your team or club to use your outdoor sports area at night.