Market slump stalls playing field improvements

YOUNG footballers in Clevedon will have to put up with playing on bumpy pitches for longer than expected after work to rectify them was put on hold.

In March, North Somerset Council released details about a scheme to flatten the Strode Road playing fields, which are used by members of the Clevedon United Juniors football club.

Currently the club is only able to use two of the fields’ pitches due to their sloping and dipping surface.

The council had found a way to level the fields without any cost to the unitary authority, which would have seen tonnes of soil put on the fields to raise them by 1m and then render them flat.

The council had agreed housing developers could take their top soil to the playing fields for free in return for them levelling the pitches.

However, a slump in the housing market has meant the scheme has now been put on hold until the market picks up again.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “This was a creative way to try to do this a bit differently.

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“However, by the time the work had gone through the tendering process, the market had changed.”

Clevedon United Juniors has used the Strode Road playing fields for more than 15 years. Over the winter, the youngsters use the fields every Saturday and Sunday for matches. In the summer, during the light evenings, the club also moves its training sessions from Clevedon School’s flood-lit pitches to the Strode Road fields.

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