News MUGA Whitegate

The lease of land for a new multi-use games area (MUGA) in Tanyfron was given the go ahead yesterday despite objections from local residents.

Wrexham Council’s executive board heard that 22 objections had been received against the proposed games area in Meadow View.

Concerns ranged from the proposed size of floodlights and fencing to the potential for anti-social behaviour in the area.

Residents were shown revised proposals for a games area with lower fencing and no floodlights, which was contained as a motion at the executive board meeting but a different motion was eventually passed allowing for floodlighting and 3m fencing.

Mrs Carol Dean spoke on behalf of residents in Tanyfron and told the board she felt there were a number of reasons why the games area should not be installed on Meadow View.

She said: “Brymbo Community Council said there was 99.9% support from the local community in a survey they carried out, yet none of us were approached. It’s just not suitable to host a MUGA so close to homes with houses on 3 sides.

“The area is already known for anti-social behaviour, you’ve got teenagers having sex on the field where the MUGA will go and urinating in the trees.”

She added: “We have concerns that we were ignored from the beginning, I didn’t hear about this till last year. We feel as if those that really matter weren’t consulted as it would cause a problem. Yes we need something for the youngsters in Tanyfron, but a MUGA in that area is not suitable.”

Cllr Malcolm King, Lead Member for Policy, Finance, Performance and Governance cited the community council survey from 2007 which he claimed showed widespread support, but was unable to produce it when asked by other members.

He said: “There was widespread support expressed for a MUGA in meetings years ago.

“The primary purposes of providing a MUGA is to address the issue of anti-social behaviour. There are examples of them decreasing anti-social behaviour. If there’s one thing we know it’s that bored children and young people spell trouble.”

Councillor for Brymbo Paul Rogers said: “This issue has been ongoing for a significant amount of time and I have been consistent in expressing my concern about the scale of the proposals.

“I ask the executive board to take into account resident’s concerns. If we are going to consult then we need to show that we’re listening to them.”

Councillor David A Bithell moved to defer the decision on the release of land to Brymbo Community Council until November pending further consultation.

He said: “I think what’s coming across is that this might not be the ideal location and I’m concerned about the lack of consultation. I move to defer till November pending further consultation.

Cllr Joan Lowe seconded the motion adding: “I think it’s a shame that at this stage consultation hasn’t been done right.”

However, ultimately the motion was defeated six to two and Deputy Leader Mark Pritchard entered a motion to approval the disposal of lease to Brymbo Community Council with three metre fencing and floodlights which was passed.