Plans approved for ‘much-needed’ new play facility in Bristol neighbourhood

Some residents are concerned about the proximity of the new ball court to neighbouring houses
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Plans have been approved to create a ‘much-needed’ new ball court in a south Bristol neighbourhood.    

Councillors have approved plans to construct the facility, known as a multi-use games area (MUGA), on part of playing fields in Knowle West.      

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The new MUGA on Filwood Playing Fields in Creswicke Road will be a replacement for an existing one nearby, which is due to be removed for a housing development.   

The facility was approved with conditions including that CCTV is installed and that the flood lights are turned off at 8pm, to address concerns about anti-social behaviour.

The plans received 44 objection letters from neighbouring residential properties, with issues including noise and light pollution.       

Speaking to the planning committee, one local resident expressed reservations about the proximity of the MUGA to his house.     

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“I want the committee to give a lot of thought to the people that are going to have to live very close to this,” he said.     

The closest property boundaries to the MUGA will be more than 30 metres from the site, which the council says adheres to the relevant guidance.  

The new MUGA will be built on land between a football pitch and a parkThe new MUGA will be built on land between a football pitch and a park
The new MUGA will be built on land between a football pitch and a park

The site where the MUGA is proposed is currently long grass and shrub, between a football pitch and Filwood Park, which was previously developed for 150 homes.     

The ball court will have basketball nets, football goals and netball posts, as well as seating and fitness equipment. It will be accessed by a new route created from Creswicke Road. 

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The council says the new MUGA will combat the loss of a nearby one on Filwood Broadway. It is due to be removed for housing, but a planning application for the site was recently withdrawn.    

In Knowle West, MUGAs at Broad Plain, Airport Road and Salcombe Road have also been lost to development in recent years.     

To address concerns about anti-social behaviour, the new MUGA will also contain flood lights, which will be switched off at 8pm. CCTV will monitor the site.

It will be designed so that it can be secured at night, with gates that could be locked in the future by the council’s parks team if necessary. 

The new MUGA will be located near an existing one which is due to be removed for housingThe new MUGA will be located near an existing one which is due to be removed for housing
The new MUGA will be located near an existing one which is due to be removed for housing
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Ahead of the planning committee voting to approve the plans, Chair Richard Eddy said: “This seems a no-brainer. 

“Filwood is neighbouring to my ward Bishopworth, we have problems nowhere near as acute as Filwood. 

“A MUGA to use constructively the energy and time of young people has got to be a great idea.”    

Filwood Councillor Chris Jackson, who also sits on the committee, added: “I am pleased, because this is quite a bad area for anti-social behaviour, that there is going to be CCTV cameras.

“So although I’m not happy with the location of it, I will be voting to approve."

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