Location of new Bonnybridge pitch agreed

Will Bonnybridge soon be enjoying a MUGA pitch like this?
Will Bonnybridge soon be enjoying a MUGA pitch like this?
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A village’s lengthy wait for new sports facilities could soon be over after a decision was taken on a preferred site.

Bonnybridge is one of the last earmarked locations in the Falkirk area still to have a state-of-the-art multi-use games area (MUGA) built.

But things took a step forward at a meeting of Falkirk Council’s executive committee when members opted for Duncan Stewart Park as the location.

Bonnybridge councillor Billy Buchanan proposed siting it at the village’s Antonine Primary School.

He said: “I’m at my wit’s end with this. I want this to be decided today and not go back for reports. It has been going on for three years - the length of time it has taken is absolutely disgraceful.

“Here we have two local primary schools, Antonine and St Joseph’s, with little or no recreation facilities and we are not moving this forward.”

The committee heard a report had been prepared which narrowed down the options to five possible sites, giving the pros and cons of each.

Council Leader Craig Martin said: “Ten MUGAs have already been installed throughout the council area - an investment of £500,000. This is the only pitch outstanding and it needs to be resolved.

“It is only right we take into account the officers’ findings and any consultation that has taken place.”

After an adjournment of almost an hour to view the report and talk in private with officers Mike Joyce and Stuart Ritchie, committee members opted to concentrate on the site at Duncan Stewart Park and look at drawing up a planning application for this location.

Councillor Linda Gow said: “The overwhelming majority of people in Bonnybridge would prefer the MUGA to be sited at Duncan Stewart Park because it offers easy access. Hopefully the children of Bonnybridge will not go another year without a MUGA pitch.”

Councillor Adrian Mahoney also said Duncan Stewart Park was the best option, stating Historic Scotland had objections over the MUGA being sited at Antonine Primary.

He said: “We have heard advice from officers stating clearly this option is 
preferred so now we need to decide on Duncan Stewart Park so it can be taken forward to planning.”