Claims of ‘deceit’ over 3G pitch plans for Girvan’s Victory Park

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South Ayrshire Council has been accused of misleading residents over the use of Common Good land in Girvan.

The long-awaited, multi-purpose 3G pitch, which will cost the best part of £1 million, is set to transform sport in Carrick once it is completed in the town’s Victory Park.

An initial public consultation took place in November last year to hear views on the need for a pitch, possible locations and the best use to which a pitch could be put.

However, changes to the use of the land did not get majority support with only 41 per cent of people consulted wanting the 3G pitch at Victory Park.

The sacred area was gifted to the people by the Dalrymple-Hamilton family.

South Ayrshire Council then said it would lodge a petition with the sheriff to get permission to allow the plans to go ahead.

However, campaign group Protect Victory Park for All claims that the council is being misleading around the loss of the common good status.

A member for the group said: “At a Girvan Community Council meeting some of the councillors wished to know the implications to the Common Good status of building a 3G football pitch.

“A letter was given to the community council which stated, ‘the council is seeking to have land released from the common good’.

“The council was then asked if this could be reinstated.

“We were then told, ‘the land remains common good throughout. This is covered in the Act.’

“This is just completely the opposite of the previous statement in the letter.

“It seems to me that the council should not be acting this way towards people that they are supposed to be serving.”

It has been claimed by the Protect Victory Park For All group that much of the community was unaware of a consultation which took place at Girvan Academy in November 2018 on the proposed pitch, as it as it had not been widely advertised.

According to the group, results of a previous consultation were cited by the council as a good reason to ignore the results of the common good consultation.

However, this consultation did not consider the fact that Victory Park has Common Good Status.

Another reason cited was “full support has been given from all community councils”.

However, the vote taken by Girvan Community Councillors at the July 2019 meeting was purely on whether the community council supported having the pitch or not.

It did not take into account the Common Good status of Victory Park.

Although Colmonell and Lendalfoot Community Councils expressed their support, this was on the provision that the land remained classified as Common Good.

Commenting on the issue, a South Ayrshire Council spokesman said: “A petition will be going to the Sheriff in due course about the use of Common Good land at Victory Park.

“Detailed points regarding the status of the Common Good land will form part of the deliberations relating to that petition.

“It is not appropriate for the council to comment further at this stage.”