West Hill Wasps could use Ottery’s Strawberry Lane facilities if request granted

West Hill Wasps Under-12s after their stunning success at reigning champions and age group cup holde

West Hill Wasps Under-12s after their stunning success at reigning champions and age group cup holders CS Tigers of Sampford Peverell. - Credit: Archant

Ottery’s young footballers could finally have basic changing and toilet facilities if a request to use a currently redundant pavilion is granted.

The community sports asset on the Strawberry Lane site, owned by Ottery Town Council, cost £130,000 – including £85,000 of town funds - but remains unused as prospective clubs have struggled with funding.

Now, a representative of the West Hill Wasps junior football team has put forward a request at Ottery Town Council’s meeting on Monday for the club to use the Strawberry Lane facilities for team practises.

He explained, the team welcomes males and females, but youngsters currently have to change in the open and go to a leisure centre to use a toilet which, he said, is not ideal for any of the players.

“The club has children from West Hill, Ottery and also Tipton,” he said.

“Parking is also an issue, and we have to park on the streets. I always say to walk as much as you can and car share but there are still problems.”

He added: “We would be very glad of support if you could let us have the area and, as a junior football team, we would look after it very well.”

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The request received a wave of support from councillors.

Councillor Jessica Bailey declared an interest in the matter as her son plays for the team. She said: “The West Hill Wasps is a great success story.”

Cllr Roger Giles added support: “West Hill is a growing area for young people and there is nothing for them,” he said.

“I do hope we do all we can for them.”

Cllr Robin Mitchell said: “I would like to support everything my colleague said and also if the changing room and facilities were better, it would encourage more people to join the club.”

Mayor Glyn Dobson said, as there have been some problems with the land, a working committee would have to discuss the request to see if the site can be used for the purpose.

He said this would be done as soon as possible.

Cllr Martin Thurgood suggested a short term answer might be to make the changing facilities and parking available, even if the land cannot be used for playing.

Cllr Bailey said: “It is just a shame that it has not been used yet and a lot of money was spent.”

Cllr Dobson responded that the council always knew it was a long term thing.

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