PROMISES MADE ALMOST a year ago that Elgin would have ‘SFA Standard’ public football pitches on a site that has not been used for ten years are still looking some way off.
A shortage of football pitches in Elgin has been the subject of debate for years, so a warm welcome was given to promises that the flood-hit recreation area at Deanshaugh was to be restored.
In April 2015 reports by the P&J and insideMoray were being described as ‘woefully inaccurate’ by a local authority spokesman when it was suggested that a temporary car park on the site during the flood alleviation works would remain in place. At the time it was planned by Moray Council that one of the pitches would be turned into a permanent car park, a requirement that was not sought by sections of the community who argued that was not required.
The local authority insisted, however, that three full-size pitches and a training pitch would be created on the site which had for years been blighted by flooding. The new laying of the pitches was to be part of the flood alleviation scheme – but while no timescale was given for completion, a year later the historic flood issues still appear to be blighting progress on the site.
This week an insideMoray reader took a number of images around the area that show it still appears to be a long way from being ready for use, saying: “I have walked past the field in the last few months and along with other people in the area note that it still seems to be very soggy.
“We have noted that works to improve drainage have been happening but do not appear to have been very successful. These were the second round of drainage works on this field, and we feel sure the field was supposed to be ready for playing before now.
“It was noted that the field has been torn up again and it looks like some more works are going on, but it is not looking good as these images demonstrate.”
In April last year Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters echoed the thoughts of the community when he said that the area was “desparate” for usable football pitches: “People are crying out for new pitches. We have to send our young kids to play in Aberlour and we are an Elgin club – it’s ludicrous. We were depending on Deanshaugh coming through as promised.”
Elgin community council chairman Alistair Kennedy also issued a plea for an early end to the impasse at Deanshaugh, saying: “The fields have not been used since 2005 when contamination was discovered at the site, which was formerly a rubbish dump. But it was agreed that, at the end of the flood alleviation process, they would be fully reinstated and we were looking forward to the fields returning to use.
“We have spoken to residents in the area and they certainly want to see all the pitches that were there brought back.”