Football pitches project has 'excellent potential'
PLANS for four playing pitches at a recreation ground have been unveiled.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has drawn up a proposal to develop land off Handley Street, Packmoor, to create changing facilities, parking for 22 cars and pitches.
The Packmoor Recreation Ground is currently split into three areas accessed by a single track.
The land is sloping and bound by trees and hedges, some of the areas have been used as pitches more than a decade ago. Those pitches were abandoned because of poor quality and lack of facilities.
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The application has been drawn up by Chris Brumby, a council officer in the city renewal department.
In a design statement he said: "Packmoor Recreation Ground provides the best solution to develop new pitches, bringing back into use the dis-used playing field.
"The site offers excellent future development potential."
A study in 2008 established the need for more outdoor sports facilities across the city to meet local demand, particularly providing larger playing fields with two or more pitches.
If approved the Packmoor Recreation Ground pitches will be mainly used by schools and only be available for community use at the weekend. Six trees need to be felled to clear space for the changing rooms, but under the plans replacements will be located adjacent to the entrance to offer screening to Handley Street.
The three changing facilities will feature home and away team facilities and additional space for officials.
The development is scheduled for completion by July next year.
Grey sheet membrane will be used for the roof, with plastic coated steel for the mushroom coloured walls.
Consultation letters with details of the proposal were sent to 17 residents living nearby but nobody has objected to the plans.
However, architectural liaison officer for Staffordshire Police David Elkington, said: "Experience indicates changing facilities in isolated locations can result in incidents of crime. Two types of vulnerability exist. When matches are taking place, there is a high likelihood items of value such as wallets, mobiles and car keys will be left in the changing rooms representing a potentially attractive target.
"And the changing facility could be targeted for copper pipe work. This national epidemic can often result in thousands of pounds worth of damage."
The officer recommended secure storage bins should be provided near the pitches to house personal items during matches and the changing structures should be alarmed.
The council's plan for the site is to establish basic facilities with plans to improve them depending on future demand.
The pitches could be transferred to a community football club at a later date, as seen at Hanley Town FC and Abbey Hulton United.