Despite initial indications that the MUGA application might be rejected due to Highways England objections, the Parish Council has been able to convince the Local Authority of the robustness and safety of proposal and have committed to a couple of small changes to ensure that the Tweener Lighting has minimal impact on passing traffic.
We will be installing a green mesh cover along the sides of the courts that face the road. This is standard in many such facilities and you can see examples of this at the Shelford Tennis Club already. This mesh will dissipate/minimise most light pollution. Post construction, we have also committed to planting a screen of evergreen hedging midway between the MUGA and the road (probably laurels) which will further act as a block to light impacting any drivers. The installation firm were able to show that light levels from the MUGA to the road (which is 15m from the road) will diminish rapidly without these aids but it is best to be sure when it comes to road safety. We have also been required to show how we will protect the existing trees in the vicinity during the work and ETC Sports have committed to producing those plans, which is a pretty standard thing for them to need to do.
More details will follow in the coming months on how you and your family can access the facility, what the schedule will be and how much it will cost. Tennis can be played by either joining the Stapleford Tennis Club or on a “pay-to play” basis. Netball, Basketball and Football will all be pay-to-play initially. The Parish Council will endeavour to keep costs low and competitive (compared to other venues) so that we maximise usage and uptake of this significant investment in our community. Please see the tennis club website for their plans with regards to this facility. Tennis club members will be able to use the tennis courts whenever tennis is playable in the schedule. We will have an online booking system so people can book the time slots that best suit them.
The MUGA work will start in late February/early March dependent on the weather. The new surface requires a sustained minimum temperature to be laid safely (so they last!) and as such we expect the work to complete in April allowing us to open the venue in May 2021, all going well.