Light the fuse

ANGRY residents have been left in the dark after rugby club bosses planning to build flood-lit sports pitches in Muirend snubbed a community meeting.

Over 100 people packed out Muriend Pavillion on Tuesday night to discuss proposals by Glasgow Hutchesons’ Aloysians to introduce the all-weather pitches next to their homes.

Representatives from GHA were invited to the meeting but declined citing “holiday commitments”.

Caroline Elliot, a Braidholm Road resident who helped organise the event, said: “The club’s future is really, really important to our community.

“But we are concerned about noise pollution, the increase in the volume of traffic, light pollution and what impact this will have on the value of our homes.

“I bought my flat 18 months ago but would never have purchased it if it was overlooking pitches like these.

“I urge everyone to oppose this planning application and stop a corporate company destroying the beautiful area we live in”.

Answering questions at the meeting was a panel consisting of planning expert Neil Bell, East Renfrewshire council leader Jim Fletcher, Giffnock community council chairman Hugh Moore and Braemar Court resident Janey Floyd.

Councillors Gordon McCaskill and Ralph Robertson were also in attendance.

The Soccer GHA application is for seven five-a-side all-weather football pitches and one seven-a-side floodlit pitch.

Neil Bell said: “One of the main issues is the intensification of the use. The main question should be will the intensification of the use be detrimental to the area.

“Light pollution can be controlled but how can a planning authority put a control on noise?”

Councillor Fletcher added: “I am objecting to this proposal. We have hundreds of boys’ clubs looking for better facilities. But that is a different type of facility than the one detailed in this application”.

And Hugh Moore said: “It didn’t address any of the key issues and they haven’t demonstrated the need for this development and benefit to this community”.

Bernard Dunn, club president, told The Extra: “I was invited to the meeting and replied saying I was unable to go as I am on holiday until August 8.

“I also explained as other senior members of the committee were on holiday we couldn’t send a representative to the meeting who would have been able to speak with authority.

“I have offered to meet with the organisers of the group who set up the meeting to exchange views upon my return from holiday, as we see that as an important part of the planning process”.