No more, ‘Mrs, can I have my ball back?’

The 10m fence will be erected along two sides of the Leafair 3G pitch.
The 10m fence will be erected along two sides of the Leafair 3G pitch.

A 10 metre ‘ball-stopping’ fence is to be erected around the 3G pitch at Leafair.

Derry & Strabane’s Planning Committee have approved the project along two sides of the pitch.

SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins said that “safety outweighs the ascetic effect” and proposed approval.

Her party colleague John Boyle said there would be ‘No more ‘Mrs, can I have my ball back please?’

“The number of balls I lost in my neighbours’ and never saw again!” he added.

The current site consists of an existing all weather football pitch enclosed by a 5m high mesh fence.

A Planning officer said the pitch was bounded by existing residential dwellings to the northwest, and that neighbours were notified and there have been no objections.

“The proposed ball stop nets are 30m wide and 10m high and a degree of visual intrusion is unavoidable,” he said.

“However the net to the south-east abuts an area of incidental open space which separates the site from Glengalliagh Road. That net will not cause any visual intrusion to residential amenity.

He said those residents at Fern park beside the pitch would benefit “by the prevention of balls dropping into their curtilage”.