Blow the whistle on football racket!

editorial image

DISGUSTED residents have cried foul over ongoing problems at a state-of-the-art sports facility.

People living in Blenheim Avenue, near Stepps Primary School, have raised a number of concerns about the astrograss football pitches since they opened several years ago.

North Lanarkshire Council is installing a ‘baffle board’ to help combat noise problems, but residents say that’s not enough.

They claim:

* Games are not supposed to be played during the week after 9pm, but can regularly go on until 11pm or midnight.

* The ball clanging off the fence at the side of the pitch - even if it is just one little boy kicking a ball against it - produces a “deafening” noise. Hockey matches are like “living next to a firing range”

* High-powered floodlights at the pitches “illuminate” the nearby houses - meaning players can clearly see through windows and residents are left bathed in artificial light at night-time

* Bad language from teams playing - and a mouthful for residents if they complain

* Residents say the noise is audible from every room in their properties

One Stepps resident, who asked not to be named, said: “The pitches have swallowed us up. We’re told this has all been done for the community - but I’m a member of the community as well.

“Apart from putting up netting to stop the balls coming over and players climbing into gardens, the council have done nothing.

“It’s noise 365 days a year. They are my neighbours - and as a neighbour, I’m asking them to keep the noise down.”

Lorna Milligan, Community Facilities Manager, said: “The pitch at Stepps primary has proven to be a very popular and highly valued community facility.

“North Lanarkshire Council in partnership with Balfour Beatty Workplace will soon be installing a baffle board to improve privacy at the top goal mouth of the pitch. Netting to prevent balls going in to gardens is also being installed at the right hand side of the pitch.

“All complaints are treated seriously and we remind our user groups that bad language is not acceptable. However, most of the reports of antisocial behaviour come from unauthorised user groups and residents are encouraged to work with the police to prevent this happening.

“The floodlights comply with lux levels as stipulated in planning.”