Letter to residents

Leicestershire CCC has sent the following letter to local residents regarding the floodlights at the Fischer County Ground:

9th May 2016

Dear Neighbour

I would like to apologise for the inconvenience that was caused due to the essential floodlight testing last Tuesday and Wednesday. This should have been communicated to the residents and to Councillor Clarke well in advance and so all I can do is apologise for the lack of notice about the testing procedure. Over the last 5-6 months, we have attempted to build a stronger relationship and understanding with you, so this complete oversight is disappointing on my part.

Following the lighting installation at the Fischer County Ground, Grace Road the installer, Abacus Lighting Ltd, is responsible for undertaking specific testing for the floodlighting.

Over the last week Abacus has been testing the floodlights with an independent testing body from the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to check the lighting performance. As part of their standard procedures, and in line with the ILP Guidance notes and the CIBSE Guide for Lighting Installations, the installer (Abacus Lighting Ltd in this instance) is duty bound to aim/test and commission the floodlights on completion of works. The testing of the floodlights can only be done in darkness and several different tests are required.

The testing which is carried out is to prove compliance of the design/installation in line with the ICC and ECB Guidelines, and also to ensure that the predicted computer aided design is met on site to ensure that the lighting overspill and impact on all areas are kept in line with the design. This routine testing and aiming is a procedure which needs to be undertaken and is permitted under planning condition 2 without prejudice to Leicestershire CCC’s permitted 10 days usage per year.

These tests are undertaken to provide precise gunsight aiming to ensure that lighting falls within the specified lighting levels on the pitch, and also, just as importantly, that lighting on the outside of the ground is in compliance with the lighting design and the planning conditions set by Leicester City Council.

During the testing earlier this week, we noticed that there are some dark spots and bright areas on the pitch, which suggests that the lighting isn’t performing to the design. Great care and attention is to be taken over the next working week to ensure full compliance. This is a routine procedure and because of aiming of floodlights being undertaken by hand and gunsight, this procedure can sometimes take more than one attempt to get right.

We accept that the lighting levels on Park Hill Drive and Milligan Road are higher than predicted and we shall be addressing this immediately with a re-aim of the floodlights.

When we re-aim the floodlights this will involve works to be undertaken in daylight hours. We shall be accessing the floodlights at high level with the use of a cherry picker/sky boom, and this shall be carried out during the morning of Thursday 12th May with testing being carried out from 9.45pm-10.45pm that evening. The floodlights will need to be tested again so that we can ensure that the system is performing with full compliance of the lighting design.

Abacus Lighting Ltd shall also be taking light readings around the ground to assess the lighting levels on the surrounding roads during that evening whilst the floodlights are on.

For your information, outside the final testing that will be taking place on Thursday 12th May, please see below for the dates when we are expecting to use the floodlights in 2016. Unless stated, matches will start at 6.30pm and finish at approximately 9.20pm.

Televised matches require the lights to be left on 30 minutes after end of play.

Tuesday 17th May (practice for Leicestershire players under the lights, to run from approximately 6.30pm to 11pm)

T20 - Friday 20th May

T20 - Saturday 4th June Sky TV Broadcast (game will start at 5.30pm and finish time is expected to be 8.20pm)

T20 - Friday 17th June

Monday 20th June – Women’s One Day International between England and Pakistan Sky TV Broadcast (2.30pm start with lights being used from roughly 6pm to 9.30pm) 

T20 - Friday 24th June

T20 - Friday 8th July

T20 - Tuesday 12th July Sky TV Broadcast

T20 - Friday 15th July

In addition, if we reach the quarter-finals of the T20 and get a home tie, then we will be using the lights for one evening between 8th – 11th August. 

Please note that once matches are finished, the floodlights will immediately be reduced to 50% and then are expected to be further reduced to 10% by approximately 10.15pm. Floodlights will be turned off by the curfew restriction of 11.00pm. Please also note that non-weekend T20s can go over by 30 minutes and weekend fixtures can go over by 60 minutes to make up for lost time in the match if it is weather-affected.  

We would like to invite you into the ground to watch the practice session taking place under the floodlights on 17th May. Please feel free to wander into the ground.

I’d like to thank the residents who have put themselves forward to be part of our residents group. Details about the first meeting will be emailed out in the next 2-3 weeks.

As I have said previously the floodlights are essential for the continual existence of the cricket club. When I arrived in 2015, we had endured four years of financial losses. However, we have managed to turn a £225,000 loss into a small profit of £4,000 over the last year. We still have much to do to become sustainable. The ECB will be making a decision on the viability of certain county cricket clubs over the next 12-18 months, so it was essential that we installed floodlights and improved our facilities overall.

It is critical that we get the lighting tests completed so that adjustments can be made to ensure that the spillage levels have a minimum impact on your lives.    

If you have any specific concerns, then please do email us at enquiries@leicestershireccc.co.uk   

Thank you for your understanding with this and I apologise again for the lack of communication about the initial testing.

Best wishes,

Wasim Khan,

Chief Executive, Leicestershire County Cricket Club.   

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