£14m sports vil­lage plan may be ditched

Con­cern over costs may mean cy­cle tracks in­stead

Paisley Daily Express - - News - Chris Tay­lor

A £14mil­lion re­gen­er­a­tion plan for Pais­ley’s most de­prived scheme could be axed in favour of cy­cle tracks and new pitches.

Ren­frew­shire Coun­cil ad­mits it could U-turn on its sports vil­lage and beauty spot de­signs which formed a the cen­tre­piece of the town’s City of Cul­ture bid.

Hous­ing, an ath­let­ics com­plex and out­door am­phithe­atre are in doubt af­ter bosses re­vealed they were con­sid­er­ing “al­ter­na­tive pro­pos­als”.

Coun­cil leader Iain Ni­col­son in­sists suc­cess­ful events have been staged in the re­gion with­out splash­ing as much cash.

He said: “It is im­por­tant we get this de­ci­sion right for the peo­ple of Fer­gus­lie and for Ren­frew­shire as a whole.

“Of­fi­cers were asked to seek al­ter­na­tive op­tions for the de­vel­op­ment of sport fa­cil­i­ties at St James Park that would sup­port an out­door space for host­ing large scale events.

“Mem­bers of the Lead­er­ship Board will be look­ing at these next week.

“We’ve al­ready seen St James Park used for large scale events, such as the Bri­tish Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships.

“These pro­pos­als will help elected mem­bers look at what will sup­port Pais­ley’s bid to be UK City of Cul­ture in 2021 and what sup­ports the peo­ple liv­ing in the lo­cal area.”

St James’ Play­ing Fields would have been turned into a huge recre­ation ground, with early blue­prints fea­tur­ing an or­na­men­tal pond, for­est and climb­ing wall.

The coun­cil pre­vi­ously an­nounced a link- up with St Mir­ren FC and the Univer­sity of the West of Scot­land to build a state-of-the-art sports vil­lage in the area.

Swathes of Tan­nahill Road and Tan­nahill Cres­cent would be flat­tened to build train­ing parks, gyms, ten­nis courts and stands for 400 spec­ta­tors.

Com­mu­nity clubs and top and am­a­teur ath­letes would use the cen­tre and new hous­ing would be built nearby.

Fresh pro­pos­als would see an over­haul of the play­ing fields to in­clude pitches, cy­cle tracks, chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties, hard­stand­ing and car park­ing and will be pre­sented to coun­cil­lors on Tues­day.

Lo­cal author­ity chiefs in­her­ited the sports vil­lage and park plans from the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion af­ter tak­ing con­trol in May.

For­mer coun­cil leader Mark Macmillan set-out his vi­sion for the area when the bud­get was an­nounced in March last year.

He claimed the scheme would help draw in­vest­ment into one of Scot­land’s most poverty-stricken com­mu­ni­ties, while cre­at­ing jobs and hous­ing.

Nat coun­cil­lors pre­vi­ously blasted the “van­ity project” which would see more than 200 homes tore down to make way for build­ing.

Coun­cil­lors Kenny and Mags MacLaren, who were elected by fam­i­lies in the area, say “at least 60 per cent” of lo­cals they have spoke to do not want con­struc­tion to go ahead.

They main­tains it would be more cost ef­fec­tive to ren­o­vate the ex­ist­ing play­ing fields and hous­ing.

In doubt The pro­posed sports vil­lage

Worry Coun­cil­lor Ian Ni­col­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.