Disused netball courts to be repurposed as five-a-side football pitches?

A DISUSED St Clement sports court could be turned into five-a-side football pitches – if an agreement over a long-standing covenant can be reached.

James Scott. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30068859)
James Scott. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30068859)

Former Muratti footballer James Scott has lodged an online petition suggesting that two pitches be built on the old netball courts at FB Fields as part of a call for Members to create more sports facilities in the east of the Island.

He has already received the backing of two politicians – as well as gathering more than 1,000 signatures just hours after the petition went live.

St Clement Deputy Lindsay Ash and Assistant Economic Development Minister Hugh Raymond, who holds political responsibility for sport, have indicated they would support Mr Scott’s plans.

The proposal, which was originally submitted last year by Mr Scott, had previously been rejected due to a covenant in place that provided certain neighbouring houses the ability to give or deny consent to any construction on the site. Some nearby residents cited noise pollution as the main reason for objecting to the plans.

But Deputy Ash said that updating the site could be a great start to improving facilities in the east of the Island.

He said: ‘I am fully behind the idea and I think if we can find a way around the covenant then we can get the pitches up and running in no time.’

He added: ‘So many facilities are built out west, but for such a densely populated parish like St Clement we need more sporting opportunities for everyone, especially young kids.’

The grounds, which were used for netball, had floodlights installed in 2014 but have rarely been used since and Deputy Ash said he wanted to see the area used for a good cause.

‘We have a lot of families and children in the surrounding area and I want to make sure the kids have something to do,’ he said.

‘If it had been used for netball before, then I don’t see the difference in it being used for football. The presence of the floodlights clearly suggests it was used in the evening, so why can’t James use it at those times too? It’s not like he will be running five-a-side games until 11 at night.’

Deputy Raymond said he would rather see young Islanders making noise on a football pitch than being the cause of anti-social behaviour. He added: ‘I will always support sport in the Island and I want to make sure kids have something to do.

‘We need to make sure all the sports in the area compliment each other and I am going to arrange a meeting next week to talk to all relevant parties about what is best to do with FB Fields.’

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