Watford FC has applied for permission to keep the inflatable dome at its training ground up all year round.

In October last year, the Hornets were granted approval for the dome at the UCL training centre in Bell Lane near London Colney – which provides a space for training sessions.

But the permission only allowed the dome, which is 22m high, to be up during the winter months.

Previously, the club used temporary floodlights around a grass pitch, but their preferred option was an indoor artificially surfaced pitch that can be lit from within.

Read more: Watford FC given permission for inflatable dome at London Colney training ground

Hertsmere Borough Council will now consider new plans to keep the structure up all year round – although the idea has not proved popular with some neighbours.

Eight objections have been received. One objection says the dome is “detrimental to the green belt” while another has described the dome as a “bit of an eyesore”.

Another comment reads: “The inflatable dome is a complete eyesore and can be seen for miles around and is out of character for its surroundings. We thought this would be a temporary building.

“When they have allowed events taking place, it appears visitors are not allowed in the grounds and Bell Lane is now a giant car park. There have been cars parking inconsiderately making it difficult to get in and out”.

The club says one of the main reasons it wants to keep the dome up is the “substantial and unprecedented interest” from groups within the local community who want to use the site for activities.

Watford say the retention of the dome on a year round basis would continue to “open the club’s facilities up to the community”.

Under the conditions agreed in October, the dome was supposed to come down in March, but Watford submitted the new application in March.

When a planning application is in place, councils do not have powers to take enforcement action – if it wanted to – which is why the dome has not been deflated.

The dome permission during the winter months lasts for up to five years.

The new planning application can be found at https://www6.hertsmere.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=PO7OR5IFJRH00