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160ft FLOODLIGHTS 'HIT HOUSE PRICES'.

Byline: Paul Suart

ANGRY residents living near Edgbaston cricket ground claim new 160ft floodlights have caused house prices in the area to plummet.

Members of Cannon Hill Neighbourhood Forum, who are longterm opponents of the pounds 32 million redevelopment of the stadium, also described the lights as an 'eyesore' and said they were not in keeping with the leafy area's 'parkland' character.

Two of the five floodlights included in the project, funded in part by a pounds 20 million loan from Birmingham City Council, were erected at the end of last month.

Forum organiser Vijay Sarathy said: "Property values are already falling.

"It's an eyesore and we have these things sticking into the air 365 days a year.

"It's brought an industrial outlook to what was a lovely area. "We warned about this for so long and now our fears are being realised.

"The councillors who voted for this scheme should be ashamed."

The redevelopment scheme has been hailed as safeguarding the future of international cricket at Edgbaston, which is home to Warwickshire County Cricket Club.

Work to erect the third floodlight will start this week.

Forum chairman Leo Nation said: "The most beautiful cricket ground in England is not being improved. It has an industrial appearance in an area of parkland.

It's as ugly and out of place as we warned."

But project director Phil Macdonald said the forum was dragging up old arguments put forward when the scheme was going through a lengthy planning process last year.

He added: "There are planning conditions to ensure there is minimal disruption to residents.

"We are meeting regularly with Forum representatives to keep them briefed."

Planning conditions limit the use of the floodlights to up to 15 days a year. The redevelopment, set for completion next summer in time for England's Test match against India, will incorporate a new conference and banqueting suite, executive boxes and lift the ground's capacity to 25,000.

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Angry residents: The new floodlights at Edgbaston Cricket Ground looking over nearby Willows Crescent.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Dec 14, 2010
Words:338
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