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Plea to landowners as clubs fear pitch shortage

 
Created on 20/01/2021 @ 09:55

 

A group of residents concerned about the town’s lack of playing fields caused by the loss of Salop Road Fields to Welshpool’s new primary school are calling on local landowners for help.

The loss of the fields has been a burning issue since the go ahead was given for the new £12 million Welshpool Church in Wales School, which opened this term, with sports and community groups understanding that they would be replaced by Powys County Council.

But, while the council has committed its verbal support towards a community bid for a state-of-the-art 3G pitch for the town, they have remained tight lipped over the potential for providing like-for-like fields.

The Salop Road Fields Community Group, made up of representatives from the various sports groups impacted as well as other concerned residents, said that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic the loss of the fields had a “disastrous impact on activity for young people in the town” with significant numbers of home matches and coaching sessions held out of town “putting time, transport and cost pressures on coaches and families”.

They also claim that plans to expand girls’ and women’s football were frozen – stalling the fastest growing sporting activity in Wales and the UK.

And as time rumbles on, the Group are calling for help from local landowners to prepare for the post-Covid period and the new season in September 2021 to avoid a repeat of the situation.

The Group said in a statement: “While our joint business plan with the Town Council has raised £100,000 from the Sport Wales Collaborative fund for a 3G pitch, no other organisation has put money forward so this money will be lost.

“We are now asking local landowners if they can help with grass pitches - 1.5 acres for one pitch or 3 acres for 2 pitches. 

“In the meantime we continue to press for a resolution of this issue through other channels but we need help for September 2021. We are supportive of both new schools but believe the local development plan protects against an either/or situation as seems to be the case currently.

“If you are a landowner that feels they can support then please get in touch. It will be a huge investment in the physical and mental health needs of young people in the community going forward. They need our support.”

If you can help, contact Paul Coackley on pcoackley@gmail.com.

 

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