Turf times for gloomy pitch

A football club is hitting out at East Dunbartonshire Council for building a state-of-the-art pitch than can only be used four months of the year.

Lenzie Youth Club runs the after school classes for children at any Lenzie school, and the scheme is supported by Lenzie Academy and Active Schools.

They are having to limit their numbers because of the size of the games hall, but can’t use the outdoor 3G astro in winter because of a lack of lights.

Ian Stevenson, of Lenzie Youth Club, said: ‘‘It has no lighting so from October till March it can’t be used by either the Academy or the youth club, and if you deduct school holidays it can only be used for four months of the year.

‘‘It’s crazy not to have floodlights, which would also give the council additional revenue.’’

He claims an offer by the youth club to buy temporary rechargeable floodlights has been ignored by EDC.

Now he’s calling for permanent lights for the pitch, and suggested moving an unused set from Kirkintilloch’s Luggie Park.

Grace Irvine, director of neighbourhood Services, said she understood the concerns of the community, but lights could not simply be transferred.

“When the designs for the pitch were being drawn up the issue of floodlighting was given serious consideration. Given the close proximity of homes to the school and the very real concerns of neighbours about light pollution, it was decided not to install floodlights. As a council we have many responsibilities to many parties and had to make a balanced decision taking account of all views.

“I’m delighted that the pitch is proving popular and is being well used, however, I am aware that a lack of lighting does restrict use of the pitch in the winter months.

“While I appreciate that it is not ideal for teams to travel there are floodlit pitches available at St. Ninian’s HS and at Kirkintilloch HS as an option.”