More questions posed on cost of football pitch project

The site of new football pitches off Sim Balk Lane has been cleared. The will be used by a team from Bishopthorpe.

The cost of constructing a new “pavilion” at the football pitches near London Bridge has been questioned. It is claimed that the cost of providing 13 pitches plus changing rooms near London Bridge will be £1.5 million.

This compares to the £600,000 cost of providing of a modern changing room & clubhouse recently for the Hamilton Panthers team on Little Knavesmire.

The York Council has been asked to contribute £850,000 to the Bishopthorpe scheme with the rest coming mainly from the Football Foundation and fundraising.

Most of the £850,000 is being abstracted from the Westfield Ward.

Officials claim it is a substitute for the pitches lost at Lowfield which are now being built on.

NB. There has still been no progress on replacing the children’s all weather sports area which was a valued amenity in the Kingsway West area. The Council took the games area over as a building compound over 3 months ago, promising that alternative facilities would be provided.

The promised replacement isn’t event mentioned in the Council’s 4 monthly forward programme of upcoming decisions

£1.5 million cost for 3 football pitches

£850,000 to come from Lowfields project

The York Council courted controversy 2 years ago when it announced that the “replacement” football pitches – for those lost to the Lowfields development – would be provided on a site lying between Tadcaster Road and Bishopthorpe.

Playing fields at Lowfields have been dug up

The site is nearly 3 miles from Lowfield and does not have a direct public transport link.

In December 2017, the Councils Executive approved a £400,000 contribution from the Lowfields budget towards the Bishopthorpe plan. The project will provide a new home for the Bishopthorpe White Rose Football Club.

The new pitches must be ready before the new homes, being built at Lowfields, are occupied. Work on building the homes is due to start in August with road and some other infrastructure already in place.

Now a report to a meeting taking place next week reveals that the Council is to make a substantially greater contribution to the pitch project than has hitherto been admitted.

The Council will now, additionally, contribute £110,000 from Section 106 developer payments intended to provide alternative open space.

 A further £300,000 will come from a “Lowfields developer contribution”.  (The Council is, of course, the developer at Lowfields).

In total, therefore, the Council plans to spend around £850,000 on the scheme which, although it includes a clubhouse, now looks to be a very expensive way of providing 3 football pitches.

The Bishopthorpe football club itself will contribute £80,000, with the balance of £1/2 million coming from the Football Foundation.

Residents are bound to be angry about this latest example of Council duplicity. 

There is land available much nearer Lowfields which would benefit from open space investment. There is, for example, under-used land located between the built-up area and the ring road off Askham Lane.

…But this seems to have been overlooked as the local authority continues to snub the Westfield area.

NB. It also appears that Council officials have made no progress in finding an alternative location for the Kingsway games area. That facility is now being used as a building compound. The Council agreed 3 months ago to seek an alternative site on a nearby sports area and was to have opened negotiations with the current occupiers. Little progress seems to have been made