Senior teams at Penn's successful football club are under threat after the council yesterday threw out plans to install new floodlights at the pitch.

Penn and Tylers Green Football Club applied to install six retractable lights, extending from 2.8 metres to 15 metres, at the pitch in Elm Road following strict instructions from the Football Association (FA).

However the club now fears its senior teams may be relegated after Chiltern District Council's planning committee refused the plans yesterday evening (February 22) on the grounds the lights would cause "tremendous harm" to the AONB.

Addressing the meeting, club committee member, Nigel Miller, said the lights would only be required for a maximum of nine hours a week for eight months a year, and reminded councillors the club already has "sub standard" six-metre flood lights.

He said: "FA regulations mean we will be relegated should we not provide floodlights, with significant consequences for the membership of the football club, and the financial health of the adjacent sports and social club. 

"Facing enforced relegation, we will lose players to other clubs. Our principle local competitors all have flood lights - many of these are in the greenbelt, AONB, and at the Amersham Town Football Club, adjacent to a conservation area."

Penn have managed to win the title in the Hellenic League Division One East for the past two seasons, and currently top the table this campaign. However, they have been halted from promotion due to the fact that they have sub-standard floodlighting with the current situation ongoing.

The application recieved 176 letters of support, however Penn Parish Council opposed the plans due to a "lack of restriction places on flood light usage".

Members of the planning committee feared the lights would impose on the village, which does not have street lighting, and nearby heritage sites - despite councillor Murray Harrold pointing out the lights would only be required in the dark, so residents would be unable to see the AONB anyway.

Councillor for Penn and Coleshill, Julie Burton, opposed the application, saying: "The football club does an excellent job but sadly they have outgrown their playing facilities. 

"Not their fault, they are overly enthusiastic, and everyone appreciates what they do. But I am afraid that that doesn't overcome the tremendous harm that these lights will do to our precious countryside. 

"This is a village, like many of the villages around here, that doesn't have street lights and for good reason, because people don't want the intrusion of lighting. 

"This would be, in my opinion, inappropriate development, and I don't see any special circumstances which will outweigh the harm to the AONB and greenbelt."

A total of three councillors voted in support of the plans and three voted against, with the casting vote left to chairman, Cllr Don Phillips.

The club's committee now plans to appeal the "disappointing" decision, and in the mean time will look to share pitches with nearby clubs.

Penn and Tyler's Green Football Club was founded over 100 years ago and is now home to 26 teams with players ranging from five to 35-years old.

To view the full application visit