A new sports center will be built on the playing grounds in Wallsend after the proposal received strong support. North Tyneside councilors have now approved the construction of the sports center at St Peters Playing Fields, Wallsend.
St Peters will host a single-storey center with a pavilion, changing rooms and reception hall. It is hoped that residents will be able to use new 3G football pitches with floodlighting and 2.5m high fences. The site will also provide additional parking spaces.
The proposal proved popular, generating 161 comments of support on the council’s planning portal. However, 42 objections were registered.
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A supporter took to the council’s planning portal to say: ‘I think this would be a fantastic opportunity for the community of Wallsend. We should encourage more physical activity among the general public, particularly in deprived areas such as Wallsend.
“This facility could make such a difference in the lives and future of young people in Wallsend. Rugby and football, any sport really, can distract from crime and channel young people’s energy elsewhere. Sports participation and club membership can empower young people and promote self-confidence and self-esteem and help them follow a positive path in life.
“This facility could give the youngsters of Wallsend a club to belong to!”
One objector said: ‘It’s not community building, what it does is force people to pay for something that is rightfully free right now.
“This will in turn put pressure on families to pay to access this facility when we already have a cost of living crisis. It’s in bad taste to take away free space from a community.
“It will increase the number of children playing on the roads because there is no free space for them because massive fences prevent them from getting there and if they want to get inside the fence, then they will have to pay to do so.”
Wallsend Labor adviser Matthew Thrilaway said: ‘I think it’s a serious investment, it can only be good news. I hope the planning committee has taken all concerns in mind.
The floodlights will be switched off between 10:10 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. and permanently when the grounds are not used for sport.
Planning committee chairman Willie Samuel said: “I would just say that the committee felt it would be very much in line with council policy to promote sport and health. It will also provide space for long term football and rugby.