After campaigning for almost six years for improvements to the Carnie pitch, I was delighted today when colleagues on the Garioch Area Committee agreed the recommendations in the options appraisal put forward by officers.
Local residents will know that this synthetic surface, built by developers and opened to the public in 2008, has seen much better days. The surface has lacked maintenance and been misused due to the open access of the facility, particularly by dog exercising and other inappropriate use.
We have worked with a number of interested parties over the years looking at ways in which a new 3G or similar surface could be made sustainable by using a booking system so that different groups could make best use of the space, and at the same time generate income for maintenance of the facility. Unfortunately at this time, no group has expressed an interest in taking financial or ownership responsibility for the facility.
The option recommended to committee and agreed today was to replace the existing surface with a tarmac surface which would include an acrylic two-colour top cover to enhance playing quality for a number of sports including tennis, basketball, mini-hockey etc. This is a basic but enduring surface and the most suitable for a public access facility. The appropriate infrastructures (e.g. goals) and line markings would be included in the works. The work will be commissioned this month, although of course completion will be weather-dependent with synthetic surfaces typically laid in the April-September period.
This is great news and will mean that the facility can once more be enjoyed by nearby residents and the wider community. I have asked that Landscape Services input to the programme of works by tidying up the area immediately surrounding the pitch too.
I really appreciate the work officers have done in bringing this options paper forward, and the speed in which our new Area Manager has matched funding to appropriate local projects. A perfect example of the right people, in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time!