Pitch Perfect

By Jane Cruickshank / April 27, 2020
Rugby posts and blue sky

COMPETITION quality sports pitches could be on the cards for Stonehaven with a new, strategic approach to the provision of outdoor facilities.

Officers from Live Life Aberdeenshire, LLA, have looked at the seven playing field areas in the town – with their mixed bag of ownership and a range of booking and payment arrangements.

Facilities in Portlethen and Laurencekirk have also been examined. The officers’ findings are detailed in a report, Live Life Aberdeenshire Pitch and Open Space Strategy, which goes before tomorrow’s meeting of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee.

The report highlights some of the issues faced by sports clubs using Stonehaven’s facilities, including Mackie FP’s concerns about loss of pitches; inadequate changing facilities at Mineralwell Park; drainage and flooding issues; and local events that impact pitch use.

LLA want to create a forum with representatives from all the groups using the town’s sports fields. One key task would be to agree a designation for each area.

More money would be spent on competition pitches

Suggested categories are competitive sports pitch, community sports pitch or public space. Each would have a different maintenance regime and public access.

A competitive sports pitch, for example, would be groomed at a cost of £5,200 per annum compared to the current average spend of £900 – public recreational use and dog walking would be discouraged.

LLA’s recommendations for Stonehaven are: to improve football capacity by establishing two competitive sports pitches; to investigate options for the upgrading of changing facilities at Mineralwell Park; and to continue working with Mackie FP Rugby Club to ensure their continued provision of pitches.

A community asset transfer of the John McRobert Pavilion is one option to help upgrade facilities

And at their meeting, which takes place tomorrow on Skype, members of the Area Committee are asked to give feedback on the approach used, and the recommendations within the report.

A recording of the meeting will be posted online in due course.