Pitches in pipeline for playing fields branded ‘dog’s toilet’

The pitches at Deanshaugh have become unusable since councillors rejected proposals to build changing rooms in 2016.

Pitches in pipeline for playing fields branded ‘dog’s toilet’ LDRS
Elgin: The three pitches have become unusable since councillors rejected proposals to build changing rooms at the site in 2016.

Football could make a return to overgrown playing fields in Moray that have been described as a “dog’s toilet”.

The three pitches at Deanshaugh, Elgin, have become unusable since councillors rejected proposals to build changing rooms at the site in 2016.

Before that the playing fields were used as a waste sorting area during the construction of the town’s flood alleviation scheme.

At a meeting of Elgin Community Council on Tuesday, chairman Alastair Kennedy told members an application had been made to the developer contributions fund to erect goal posts at the site, and Moray Council lands and parks department had committed to cut the grass and line out one football pitch as part of their regular schedule of work.

Proposal: An application has been made to erect goal posts at the site.LDRS
Proposal: An application has been made to erect goal posts at the site.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Kennedy said: “I’m pleased something is being done at Deanshaugh.

“It’s just a piece of wasteland really and nothing more than a dog’s toilet at the moment.

“At least there will be somewhere the kids can have a kick about.”

Kim Slater, acting educational resources manager with the local authority, submitted the application for around £1000 of funding this week.

She said: “The community council has campaigned to bring Deanshaugh back to some sort of area for play rather than a place where people walk their dogs, and we have had problems with dog fouling.

“It will certainly encourage informal football in the area and I’m sure it will be appreciated by residents.

“It has been lying void for some time and could be put to good use.”

Active: A decision could 'come quick'.LDRS
Active: A decision could ‘come quick’.

Although no decision has been made on the application, Mrs Slater is hopeful the pitch can be in place before schools return after the summer break.

She said: “I think a decision could come quite quick, and it’s something that’s simple to do.

“The land is dormant and a pitch can benefit people of all ages.”

By local democracy reporter Hazel Lawson