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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Mid and East Antrim Council to continue discussions over a “scaled-back MUGA” for Portglenone

Planning image showing the "scaled-back MUGA"

Planning image showing the "scaled-back MUGA"

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will continue discussions over the size of a proposed new multi-use games area (MUGA) for Portglenone later this month.

Planning permission has already been given for a new pitch at Gortgole Road. A report was presented for approval on the final design at last month’s meeting of the council’s Environment and Economy Committee.

The report to councillors said:

“Council had a long-term plan to provide a MUGA and a grass football pitch in Portglenone village. The grass football pitch was removed during a redevelopment of the marina area around 2011 and the village area.”

The report indicated the original MUGA size was to measure 50 metres by 30 metres. It was to be located on an “event space” but this was said to have caused concern locally over the impact on the site.

A re-examination of the lay-out resulted in a proposal to reduce the size of the MUGA and to alter the lay-out to enable “the vast majority of the event space being retained”.

Planning image showing the previous MUGA proposed

Planning image showing the previous MUGA proposed

Councillors were told a “scaled back MUGA” and upgrade to the play park would cost approximately £420k. The council has secured 80 per cent of the funding through the Department for Communities Covid Recovery Small Settlements Programme.

A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said:

“The report was approved at the Environment and Economy Committee and will go to council for consideration at the July council meeting.

“The revised size is now 34m by 18m, however elected members wish to see the size maximised within the available space and funding envelope.”

Gary McGuinness, the council’s principal planning officer, told a meeting of the council’s Planning Committee, last July, the site is in close proximity to the River Bann.

He reported the pitch would be suitable for seven-a-side football and a variety of sports.

Also speaking at the meeting Bannside DUP Councillor Tom Gordon said:

“Neighbours from the Bannside area have been campaigning for this for a considerable time. It is much-needed in this area.”

Last month, Mid and East Antrim councillors supported a motion for a review of sports pitches in the borough to identify areas of need.


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