The construction of a metal fence round playing fields in Wigan is again causing complaint form local residents as work gets underway.
They're concerned it'll stop kids being able to play on Laiththwaite playing fields in Newtown - although the football club who leases the fields - Cherrybrook FC insist they're free to use them during daylight hours.
The club say they are only responding to years of vandalism, fly-tipping and anti social behaviour.
Construction of the fence started on Monday although it's been years in the planning
On Social Media Michelle Jones commented "Oh dear the residents of St Marks Ave Newtown are NOT happy! Just found out that an approximately 6ft fence will be going up around the playing fields! Residents have not been informed of this action. Such a same for all the children that can't play on there, it's been there for many years! Sad"
Cherrybrook FC Chairman Mike Cotter says
"We have taken a 25 year lease on the land so that kids can continue using it for football. The place was falling apart, the changing rooms derelict and the pitches a mess. We have worked on the changing rooms and now have a café, first aid room, 4 changing rooms and toilets. On the fields themselves, we have had problems with fly tipping, (we’ve got pictures of sofas dumped on the pitches), fires (our bins have been set alight three times at £200 a time ), bonfires, used needles dumped on the pitches, dog mess, smashed beer, wine and vodka bottles, motor and quad bikes driven on the park whilst kids have actually been playing. Goal posts have been taken down and vandalised. Drug users and drunks are often found by the changing rooms. It’s not a good or safe environment for children. We can’t even open the café, toilets or the first aid room because of the mess caused by the drug takers and drinkers. We can’t keep the site tidy, because we can’t put the bins out. If we do, then they get set on fire."
"The pitches need a lot of work on them. There are holes in them and the drainage needs work. We approached the FA and asked them to invest in machinery to make the pitches better. They refused and won’t spend any money until we can protect any investment. This is why the FA have insisted that the pitches are protected from all of the above. Once this is completed then we can access the funding for new equipment to improve the fields and of course get more kids playing sport. "