New Hucknall 3G pitch will be 'for the whole town'
Ambitious and exciting plans to create a major new community sports facility in Hucknall - a project more than a decade in the making - have been officially submitted.
The initiative, if given the go-ahead by Ashfield District Council, will see a full-sized 3G football pitch built on recreation land off Papplewick Lane, plus a modular classroom building and goal-storage enclosure.
This will go alongside the current clubhouse with five sets of changing facilities and officials' rooms. This was built as part of an agreement when the former Wigwam Lane playing fields were used for housing.
Behind the application is well known Hucknall man Jamie Brough.
And he was keen to explain, through the Dispatch, that the facility would be for the wider community - and not just those involved in football, for which Hucknall is a hotbed.
Mr Brough said: "This has been recognised by the Football Association (FA) and the Football Foundation as being needed by the town of Hucknall and something I’ve been working on with the FA for ten years now.
"This is for the town of Hucknall and for people who not only play football but play netball or other sports, which something like this can accommodate. This whole area and project is for the community and we want people to use it.
"Health and wellbeing is so important nowadays and this can help promote that and something like this will not only service people today but it will service the children of tomorrow.
"Things like walking football and disability football can all be played there and many many people will get use out of this for years to come.
"It seems lots of towns have facilities like this but not Hucknall and we want to change that.”
Jamie, who is heavily involved in Sports Gateway (formerly Rolls-Royce Leisure) also made it clear that the scheme is a long-term commitment with funding also in place to enhance and maintain grass football pitches on the site.
Some people have objected to Ashfield District Council around original plans that showed a perimeter fence around the project. But Mr Brough categorically explained this will not be the case.
He clarified: “That was a simple mistake on the application, we never had any intention of fencing this off and once we realised it said that, we changed it immediately.
A decision is due to be made on the plans by the council by July 5 and a number of other objections include one that claimed it would be an ‘atrocious eyesore’ and another saying it would ‘completely destroy the only area of the estate where the community can use the shared space for dog walking, exercising, and general recreational use’.
However, some have also spoken in favour of it with one resident stating ‘a 3G pitch should have been in place from day one and should be linked to the school for seven-days-a-week use.’
A local football coach, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "Hucknall is and has been crying out for something like this. Football - and sport in general - is the lifeblood of the town. To make sure people of all ages can enjoy sport to the full, we need decent facilities. As far as I'm concerned this would be fantastic."