Ottery’s “forgotten” £51k sports facility

PUBLISHED: 10:07 03 January 2012

DIGGING IN: Glyn Dobson heralds the start of work at the Strawberry Lane site in September 2009

DIGGING IN: Glyn Dobson heralds the start of work at the Strawberry Lane site in September 2009

Archant

A COMMUNITY sports facility that cost £51,000 to create has been “forgotten about” and never used by Ottery clubs and organisations.

Civic leaders hope building a pavilion at the Strawberry Lane amenity will kick-start interest in the site - more than a year after it was completed.

Town councillors will discuss proposals to accommodate changing rooms and toilets on the land on Tuesday.

The site can be used for any sporting purpose and mayor Glyn Dobson hopes to see it utilised in 2012.

“It was all ready last year,” said Councillor Dobson.

“It’s been forgotten about. There’s been no recent interest.

“We want it to be a sports and recreation ground, especially in an Olympic year. Its use depends on demand. Anybody interested can get in touch with the council, and quickly.”

A deal for the land to be used for parking earlier this year by construction firm KIA, while Sainsbury’s was being built, saw £3,000 handed to parish causes.

Cllr Dobson said a pavilion could cost around £50,000 and added: “We’re looking to take things a stage further. This is a long term project.

“It’s a chicken and egg situation. People have said ‘how are we supposed to use it if there are no toilets or changing facilities?’ - which is fair comment.

“A pavilion will mean people will be able to go down there. If we get planning permission then we’ll have to look for funding.”

Work to transform the once overgrown plot into a site for sports began in September 2009. County council cash from the sale of Exeter Airport, to the tune of £45,000, was spent on an access road to the site.


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