Controversial Ayrshire sports pitch given green light as ‘lawsuit’ claim made

Plans for an all-weather 3G sports pitch in Girvan have been given the green light, bringing an end to a three-year-long controversial saga.

The motion to construct the £850,000 artificial grass facility at Victory Park, in the town’s South Park Avenue, was backed unanimously by members of South Ayrshire Council’s new-look regulatory panel.

Planning officer Erin Goldie told the panel on Thursday that fencing, floodlighting, access paths, a service access road and drainage are part of the plans.

She said lateral drains would be installed across the pitch which would connect to a carrier drain, then onto an existing outlet.

A total of eight floodlights, measuring 15 meters in height, would be installed, as well as a three meter wire mesh fence around the perimeter of the site.

The current children’s play equipment would be relocated elsewhere on the site.

Ms Goldie said SEPA and Ayrshire Roads Alliance, the council’s local flood authority, were consulted with both having no objections.

Almost 75 percent of the public who contacted the council supported the plans, with 175 letters backing the project.

Sixty-one objections raised concerns including flooding and drainage, traffic, parking and road safety concerns, and visual appearance.

The pitch has been a hotly debated topic in the town for the last three years, after several residents raised their concerns back in 2019 surrounding the loss of Common Good Land.

Resident Stephen Galloway spoke on behalf of local sports clubs and said some clubs have to book a pitch at Maybole or as far as Cumnock to play games.

“We’re the only town of our size without one,” he said.

“My proposal is for it to go ahead; as a resident of Girvan and a resident of Victory Park, we need this.”

Long time supporter, councilor Alec Clark, reiterated his support and said: “The overwhelming majority of people in the town and district are desperately looking forward to this tremendous £850,000 worth of investment.

“All issues have been addressed by the planning officer, who, after carefully taking all factors into consideration, has recommended approval for the application of the 3G pitch.

“This project would bring to life the part of the project which sits with surface water for periods in autumn and winter, and has done for years, and would contribute to the use of common good as it is intended to, to enhance leisure and sport .

“Common good has not been taken away, it’s being enhanced.”

Newly elected Carrick councilor Gavin Scott (Conservative), who was among those to vote in favour, did outline some concerns, adding: “This fence and floodlights are most unsightly, they’re ruining a beautiful landscape.

“We’re not killjoys. We want the 3G pitch.

“We want it in a safe environment, we want to encourage the youth of today, the middle-aged, the pensioners, let’s enjoy it — but not in Victory Park, it’s not the site for it.

“Victory Park pitch is one massive lawsuit in the future.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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