‘No more Mister, can I have my ball back’

The fencing erected around the new 3G pitches at Brooke Park.
The fencing erected around the new 3G pitches at Brooke Park.

Fencing erected around new pitches at Brooke Park is to be extended upwards following safety concern over “spillage of balls” posing a hazard to cars or pedestrians.

The Council’s Planning Committee have now approved a three metre extension to the existing five metre fencing surrounding the Multi-Use Games Area.

The problem relates to the stretch of fencing bordering Rosemount Avenue.

A Planning officer told the committee at its February meeting in the Guildhall on Wednesday night that the additional fencing would match that already in place, and that there have been no objections.

In her report on the matter she also stated: “In terms of the open space, this proposal will enhance the existing sports facility at this location by providing more enclosure to the site.

“This will prevent the spillage of balls onto the road at Rosemount Avenue. “Therefore, in terms of road safety this increase in height of the fencing at

this side of the pitch will prevent the escape of balls which could cause safety concerns not only to drivers but also to walking members of the public.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Christopher Jackson said he was happy to propose the committee accept the planning officer’s recommendation and said he had been “made aware of the difficulties experienced by users on the site”.

“I think the increase in the size of the fence will rectify some of the problems,” he said, adding: “We would hope in the future we get it right first time round.”

SDLP Councillor Gus Hastings said the move was welcome, particularly for cars travelling through the area and for people walking along the route.

“Nobody ever gets everything right the first time,” he said, adding that the Brooke Park redevelopment was “outstanding”.

Before the Committee voted unanimously to endorse the bigger fence, its Chairman, SDLP Councillor John Boyle, quipped: “I suppose we will have no more ‘Mister, can I have my ball back?’”