£14m sports village plan may be ditched
Concern over costs may mean cycle tracks instead
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