Lights out for star's football dream

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NOEL GALLAGHER, famous for upsetting people with his views on drugs and somewhat outspoken manner, has now fallen out with his neighbours over his plans to play football.

The guitarist and songwriter with Oasis had planned to play late night matches on a pitch in his back garden with his brother Liam and their friend and fellow football-crazy singer Rod Stewart.

Gallagher has already built a five-a-side pitch complete with artificial grass and goalposts, at the rear of his pounds 2m country mansion in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire.

But neighbours have complained that his plans to erect six floodlighting columns would disrupt their peaceful way of life.

They complained to the local council that the glare from the lights would be very disturbing, and that it would also be illegal to site them in an area of outstanding natural beauty. They also complained that there was a danger of the Gallaghers and their friends breaking into noisy football chants.

Gallagher's application was last night expected to be turned down when it was read out at a planning meeting of Chiltern District Council.

Johnny Hopkins, a spokes- man for Gallagher, said he could not say whether not being allowed to build the 8m-high lights would dampen the star's football spirits.

"I will be speaking to him later about it, but really it is part of his personal life so I don't know if he'll want to talk about it," he said.

Three letters of objection have been received about the plans which had been lodged for the rock star in the name of Sheldon Andrews.

The three letters complained that the 400-watt laser floodlights would "adversely affect" the rural character and appearance of the woodland area.

"It is presumed that the proposed floodlight use will be mainly during the winter months when the dark evenings are longest," they told the council. "Trees and vegetation will be at their least so the floodlights will be seen from long distances giving the impression of alien urbanisation and visual intrusion in the landscape."

The report to the committee recommended that it refuse the lights on the grounds that it will be "detrimental" to the rural character of the area.

Brian Horton, a spokesman for the planning department, said it was unlikely the committee would go against the recommendation of the report.

"They generally accept the conclusions from all the issues in a report," he said.

Gallagher, who also has a home in St John's Wood, bought the 100-year- old house, last year. Named The Sheiling, the house is set in eight acres and features eight bedrooms, four bathrooms, a music hall and an indoor swimming pool.