Plans to fence off football pitch at park spark resident objections

Residents living near the park were not notified of the plans to erect a fence around the football pitch.

Plans to fence off football pitch at Glasgow’s Cathkin park spark resident objections SNS Group

Plans to fence off a football pitch in a public park has sparked objections from residents living nearby, who were not notified of the proposals.

People living around Cathkin Park in Glasgow’s southside have submitted a series of objections in opposition to a planning application submitted to the city council.

The Jimmy Johnstone Football Academy, who received a 20-year lease of the area, has proposed the plans which include an up to 3m high twin wire and an up to 5m high ball-stopping net.

In the documents submitted, it is marked that the proposal will not affect any public right of access to the park.

Community groups in the city’s southside including members of Friends of Cathkin Park submitted 154 objections on the planning portal.

Alice Piggott wrote: “The space is well used by local residents, and removing it will really limit green space in the Mount Florida/Govanhill area. There’s been no engagement at all with the community (no one was even aware that this was happening).”

Allie Naysmith added: “The need for a huge fence is completely unnecessary, there’s no issue with the pitch being utilised, in fact it should be as that’s its purpose.

“However that does not mean a fence is needed to cut it off from the community and stop them from using it. Why should people be denied from using a football pitch to play football? It’s a huge part of the community, bringing people together and all this 5m fence would do is push people apart and damage the community.”

Stephanie Twigg said the football academy “have made no efforts to engage the community in conversations around usage and development of the space”. 

She added: “Their approach is in direct conflict with the Placemaking Principle in City Development Plan. It is also in conflict with the City Plan’s Community supporting objective which commits to ‘encouraging the provision of accessible community facilities to support neighbourhood living’.”

Mahesh Uttamlal wrote: “The proposal by Jimmy Johnstone Academy Of Football wants to make this park ‘exclusive’ to them by building barriers and walls. This will change the entire character of the green space it is. Locals will be told to permanently move out of the way and find somewhere else.”

A spokesperson from the Jimmy Johnstone Football Academy told the Glasgow Times: “It’s important that we fulfil our obligation to look after this piece of world footballing history which we are now the custodians of for generations to come for this great city of Glasgow.

“When we took on the long-term lease, we promised that we would improve the grass football pitch for future generations, which is still our plan.

“To protect the grass football pitch from vandalism by ways of stolen cars, quad bikes, broken bottles and dog fouls, along with unauthorised golfing on the pitch.

“The grass football pitch is also being used for BBQ on summer days we can only do this if the grass football pitch is protected with the fence that we have applied for via our planning application.

“May we stress that the monies and investment that we have already invested and shall continue to invest can only be justified by protecting the grass football pitch, which helps this asset owned by Glasgow City Council to flourish.

“We do not wish for anyone not to have access to the actual park and never will.”

The planning application is currently pending and a decision is expected to be made by Friday, July 21.

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