Turf wars

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Residents have raised concern over plans for a new artificial pitch as part of the development of Queensferry Community High School.

The City of Edinburgh Council has lodged a separate planning application for the rugby and football synthetic surface on the site of two smaller grass pitches on Ashburnham Road behind the Queensferry Sports and Community Hub.

The pitch will be used mainly by the school and the community and controlled through the hub. It will also include a five metre high perimeter fence to restrict access and floodlighting for winter months.

When the Gazette went to print yesterday (Thursday) there had been 88 comments received on the council’s website with 16 objections.

Some residents are unhappy about the loss of a green playing field while others see it as a huge opportunity to enhance the facilities in the area.

Niki Graham, a father-of-two who lives near the development, said: “I object to this wholeheartedly, as this is one of the last large free grass areas in the community.

“There are lots of kids, of all ages, using this field all the time. The council and MSP continue to say they want more and more kids getting out and playing freely and exercising more.

“But the plans proposed will limit some kids from doing so, where are they meant to safely play if they keep building on all available areas?”

Councillor Graham Hutchison said: “It is a one-off opportunity to deliver the top class community facilities for Queensferry.”

He added: “I encourage residents to engage in the planning consultation process to ensure aspects such as the height of fencing and floodlights and hours of operation do not negatively impact on neighbouring properties.”

The deadline for comments is next Friday, with the determination deadline on August 29. To view the application go to the council’s website and search for 17/03110/FUL.