AN ‘iconic’ floodlight will remain in the grounds of Fratton Park to act as a reminder of Pompey’s history, despite being switched off for good.
Today councillors voted unanimously to allow one of Portsmouth Football Club’s four disused floodlights to be transferred from the north-west corner of the site to the north stand car park.
The 57-year-old pylon will no longer act as a light source but planning committee members were keen to see it remain an ‘important landmark’ for the city.
Speaking at the meeting Councillor Terry Norton said: ‘It is important for our city to retain some of those iconic features. And it looks to me like there is little or no impact to nearby residents.’
Cllr Stubbs added: ‘I can see that they’re leaving this effectively as a piece of public art.’
Speaking on behalf of the applicant Matthew Pickup explained why the floodlights were significant to Pompey.
‘In 1956 Fratton Park hosted the first ever floodlit football game, which was against Newcastle – unfortunately we lost two-nil.
‘The floodlights have always helped people get to the game as they recognise their iconic shape.’
The other three floodlights will be completely removed this summer.
Former council leader and Tory boss Cllr Donna Jones had to leave the planning committee meeting during this item due to her paid role as the club’s strategic stadium development consultant, which she assumed last summer.
Speaking about her role she said: ‘It’s an absolute dream as a Pompey fan.
‘They are a great team to work with. I think the owners have absolutely got the right vision for Portsmouth and to be able to support them both as a fan and professionally is amazing.
‘We are working to make sure the club is properly maintained as well as looking at how it can develop in the future.’
She added: ‘My role there has no effect on my council work, although it would be if I were to take part in voting on an application such as this.’