Head of Muir residents split over proposed football park

Councillor Billy Buchanan, convener of Falkirk Council's planning committee (left) takes notes as community centre board member Anne Montgomery speaks in favour of the proposed all-weather pitch
Councillor Billy Buchanan, convener of Falkirk Council's planning committee (left) takes notes as community centre board member Anne Montgomery speaks in favour of the proposed all-weather pitch
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Residents in Head of Muir have clashed on whether a new all-weather sports pitch should be built next to a community centre.

Falkirk Council wants to create its latest multi-use games area (MUGA) on land to the east of the Archibald Russell Centre, adjacent to the main Glasgow Road which runs through Dennyloanhead.

So-called MUGAs are enclosed, free to use and are suitable for most types of ball games.

The move is supported by the centre’s management committee, which claims there is a real lack of facilities for children in the area and that a MUGA would be well-used by local youth clubs.

But several residents have voiced their opposition, arguing that it would be dangerous to build a pitch so close to a main road and that it would cause traffic and noise disruption.

Falkirk Council’s planning committee visited the site on Monday afternoon to hear from those in favour and against the scheme.

Anne Montgomery, director of the Archibald Russell Centre, said there had been similar opposition to building the hall 11 years ago, but that it was now an indispensable community facility that has continued to be well-used.

“I believe the MUGA would be a great asset to the community,” she said.

“There is a lack of play facilities, and a MUGA would be a great starting point in obtaining additional facilities. It would be such a pity to lose out on this application.”

A petition in favour of building the pitch, signed by more than 80 people, has been submitted to the council.

But resident Gordon Munro argued that the proposed location for the MUGA was wrong.

“None of the existing MUGAs have an A-class road next to them or are as close to houses,” he said. “This is a dangerous road. Kids playing here would be exposed to danger.”

Falkirk Council officer Russell Steedman said that the proposed facility would be “acceptably safe” and would be adequately fenced off.

A decision on whether to build the pitch will be made at a planning committee meeting in Falkirk Municipal Buildings on August 22.