NEW artificial grass football pitches are coming to the Braintree district after funding was given the green light.

Braintree Council bosses approved more than £1 million of Section 106 funding to help deliver a scheme to provide four pitches in Braintree and Witham at a meeting on Monday, September 25.

The funding has been allocated towards projects for new floodlit pitches for community and school use.

They will be located at Alec Hunter Academy and Notley High School in Braintree, as well as New Rickstones Academy, in Witham, and the Witham Sports Ground.

Existing artificial grass pitches in the district include Great Notley Country Park, Halstead Leisure Centre, Braintree Sports and Health Club, Hedingham School and Lyons Hall Primary School. 

Council planning boss Gabrielle Spray said: “This is a great example of where the planning process can play a crucial role in securing financial contributions from developers that can be used to improve community facilities, and this contribution will hopefully leverage a larger investment to improve the district’s outdoor sports facilities.

“We continue to work hard to bring in Section 106 contributions to support with much-needed infrastructure improvements and community facilities to benefit our communities.”

Communities boss Mary Cunningham added: “This funding will be a huge contributor to delivering new artificial grass pitches across the district for not only existing clubs but also for new junior and adult football teams in the community.

“We hope football clubs and any community or health organisations and groups who would benefit from the pitches are able to come forward to help deliver priorities, including tackling sporting inequalities and enabling greater opportunities for sports and physical activity in the district.”