Giffnock North Athletics Club
Important Note from Facilities Committee
The club’s Facilities Committee has been doing its best, over the last several months, to work towards achieving the three main agreed goals identified by the club namely to secure:
- An 8-lane competition standard floodlit athletics track
- An indoor athletics/multi-purpose training facility
- A clubhouse
We assessed a number of possibilities but few seemed to offer realistic possibilities of being able to be developed.
We were very encouraged, however, by the announcement from East Renfrewshire Council (ERC) in March of this year that they plan to invest £1.7m in a 3G football pitch and athletics track at the Broom Park site in the grounds of Mearns Castle High School, particularly as we had already been involved in preliminary discussions with senior officers and politicians in the council.
Despite our best efforts, made in writing and meetings we have – so far – been unable to persuade the council to take any account of the many points we have raised in an effort to ensure that all users of the facility have access not just to a running track but to high quality athletics facilities. As a committee, we have been left hugely frustrated and disappointed at the lack of any meaningful engagement by officers of the council.
Many of you will be aware that the club’s attempts over a number of years to exert a positive influence on athletics developments in East Renfrewshire have also proved fruitless.
The council has now published its plan for the site which are available for public viewing and comment at: https://ercbuildingstandards.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/buildingstandards/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage
Comments are only able to be made until Thursday 1 July 2021 as it appears the application was received and validated on 12 May, at a time when we were under the impression that the council was still engaged in active discussions with us.
Attached to this notice you will find three important documents. These are:
- ‘GNAC – Our Club and Its Aspirations’ produced in February 2021 at the request of ERC officers to clarify what the club was looking to achieve.
- ‘Submission by GNAC to ERC’s Directors of Education and Environment’ 18 May 2021, in response to an email from a council officer setting out the three options being considered by the directors.
- ‘GNAC Comment on Planning Application’ made on Friday 18th June.
We believe that this last document provides us with the final chance to influence positively the proposed development at Broom Park. Whilst falling short of our overall ambitions, we would urge you to support the recommendations we make in this Comment paper as we are in little doubt that, without a strong show of support, the council will continue to go ahead with their hugely unambitious current plans.
To make a comment on a Planning Application visit:
From this page, you need to follow a few simple steps to register to allow you to make a comment on a planning application. The reference number for this planning application is 2021/0420/TP.
You are, of course, free to make any comment you wish but the club would encourage as many members, parents of members, coaches and friends of the club to support our position.
We are writing, on behalf of the club, to all East Renfrewshire councillors as well as the local MSP, Jackson Carlaw and the local MP, Kirsten Oswald to seek their support. We would, of course, welcome further communication being made with elected representatives on behalf of the club.
We regret having to write to you in these terms as we had very much hoped that our discussions with the council would produce more positive results. They have suggested to us that they wish to look into how best to satisfy our club’s ambitions in future developments at other unnamed sites but we find these vague platitudes to be unconvincing and would urge all with the best interests of GNAC at heart to act now to try to bring about a better outcome.
In the meantime, your facilities committee will continue to make representations to interested parties and to explore any realistic opportunities whether in East Renfrewshire or outwith the authority.
To allow club members, coaches parents and others to hear some more detail and to have your questions answered, the club will host a Zoom meeting on Wednesday 23rdJune at 8.15 pm. (Day and time chosen to avoid clashing with training to allow as many members, coaches and parents to attend as possible). Full details of how to join this meeting will be sent out in a separate email and we would encourage you to register and attend if at all possible.
In the meantime, anyone wishing further information should feel free to contact GNAC’s Facilities Committee Chair Ronnie Gourley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Giffnock North Facilities Committee
18 June 2021