Sports body sets out ambition to start work on new games area next spring

A charity hopes to have started the construction of a brand new multi-use games area (MUGA) for people living in and around Dunkeld and Birnam to play a wide range of sports on by next spring, a community council has heard.

David Tripney of the Dunkeld and Birnam Sports and Leisure Hub set out its plans to add a MUGA to its existing recreational facilities during the latest virtual meeting of Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council (DBCC) on Monday night (September 13).

Mr Tripney, an architect who has been a member of the hub for the last 12 years, told DBCC members the most crucial detail of the proposed MUGA was the fact it would be covered with a roof so the site can be used by sports players all year round no matter what the weather is like.

“The key factor is this type of building allows us to provide an all year round facility,” he said.

Mr Tripney said the £300,000 project was already fully funded thanks to contributions from the likes of SSE Renewables, sportscotland and the Gannochy Trust and that a planning application was now lodged with Perth and Kinross Council to progress the scheme.

He went on to say it is the hub’s ambition to make a start on the project next March subject to approval by PKC and its construction should take around 12 weeks meaning it could potentially be open and available for use next summer.

“Our ambition is to start on site with foundation works in spring next year,” he explained. “The completion [date] is approximately 12 weeks from that point.

“It’s a very fast form of construction – most of it is done off site and then assembled on site when the foundations are ready.”

Mr Tripney added his organisation has already agreed with the head of the Royal School of Dunkeld to allow pupils free access to the new facility through the school week and all under 18s living locally would be able to use it for free too.

“It will be free to use for all children,” he said. “The modest fees that we will expect members to pay will compensate.”

According to documents published by the local authority last week the proposed MUGA would be formed beside the sport and leisure hub’s existing tennis courts and an existing car park would have to be relocated to accommodate its creation.

A design and access statement published on PKC’s planning portal says of the project: “The proposed MUGA is simply an external, multi-use games area approximately the size of one of our existing tennis courts which is surrounded by rigid sports fencing.

“It can accommodate a wide range of sports such as five-a-side football, netball, basketball, hockey, tennis and also sports related activities such as fitness training.”

The statement adds: “The proposed MUGA adds a complimentary sports and leisure usage to the existing sports and amenity site.

“By providing a weathering enclosure to the facility this greatly extends the opportunities for usage throughout the year by the local community, whereas at present, usage of the site is highly seasonal.

“The facility has minimal ongoing resource costs as it requires no heating or ventilation and internal court illumination, when required, will be provided by low energy LED lamps.”

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