New sports pavilion planned

FOOTBALLERS and cricketers in Nailsea gave plans for their long-awaited new changing rooms the once over on Sunday.

The exciting proposals for Grove Sports Centre, including a new pavilion to be built alongside the existing complex and revamped pitches, were revealed to the public for the first time at the current St Marys Grove site.

The informal public consultation, organised by Nailsea Playing Fields Association (NPFA), was attended by more than 100 residents, of which only one registered an objection to the plans.

The proposed single-storey pavilion, which will cost between �400,000 and �500,000, will be split in two, with dedicated entrances, access to the pitches and changing rooms with showers, for footballers and cricketers.

There will also be a kitchen, clubroom, storeroom, rooms for umpires and a veranda for the cricket teams.

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Football teams would get a food servery, rooms for referees and a kit storeroom, with both sides providing toilets for spectators.

At the moment sportsmen and women share changing rooms in temporary cabin-style structures branded ‘an eyesore’ by town councillor Mary Ponsonby, in April last year.

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The Times reported at the time that Nailsea United Football Club was told the changing rooms do not conform to league standards and urgently need replacing.

North Somerset Council tasked NPFA with finding a long term solution within the next few years when it extended planning permission for the cabins for the second time.

NPFA chairman Maureen Brady said the current building, which was built in the 1960s, had been ‘extended to its capacity’.

John Fox, of Nailsea Cricket Club and former treasurer of Grove Social Club, said: “We hope we can have a building which will do justice to the very fine location here.

“A lot of work has gone into producing good quality sports facilities but what is lacking is proper changing rooms as the current ones are too small.

“I think this was a very good exercise because sometimes in a more formal setting people don’t always speak up.”

Ash Hayes Road resident Richard Newton said: “I’m wholly in favour of the scheme.

“It will definitely do the trick and the sooner it’s built the better.”

Clare Green, of Morgans Hill Close, who was involved in fundraising for the original building, said: “My sons played cricket here and the facilities are embarrassing.”

The plans will now be on display at the Tithe Barn until February 10.

A spokesman for the scheme’s consultants, Bristol-based Sports Solutions GB, said ‘a variety of funding sources will be investigated’ and the organisations involved want the building in place by the summer of 2013.

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