Council spends £500k on sound proof barrier for football pitch after getting just one complaint – Telegraph.co.uk
The idea was for adults to use it outside school hours, but that was kicked into touch after a solitary resident complained the plan would lead to more noise.
Residents say they are astonished that money which would normally be spent on books or teachers will be spent instead on an acoustic fence.
Shop owner Shah Arshad, 28, who runs the Serve N Save shop just yards from the pitch, said: “This shop has been run by my family for 30 years and I’ve never heard any noise from people playing football.
“It’s incredible really – it’s caused a real stir in the community. People really don’t understand why the council is so keen to spend the money on a fence.”
Council officials then took the matter further, suggesting worshippers attending Sunday services at nearby St Peter’s Church could be offended by profane shouting from footballers.
As a result, use of the all-weather pitch has been limited to pupils of two primary schools while plans are drawn up for the noise blanketing wall.
It is due to be built by August.
Neighbour Johnny Millar, 28, a print assistant, said: “The only word to describe this is ludicrous. There’s always been a pitch there and my friends and I played on it when we were younger.
“There’s never been an issue – I spoke with the local priest as well and he said none of his parishioners were against it or had spoken to the council.
“It seems one moaner is going to cost us all.”
Maurice Golden, Tory MSP for West of Scotland, said: “The decision to build the acoustic fencing should be reviewed immediately.
“Given the scarce resources local councils have at their disposal people will rightly question if this is a sensible use of public money.”
Acoustic fences can be found near busy roads to keep noise to a minimum.
The structures work by either “absorbing” sound waves or “reflecting” them back.
In 2011, supermarket chain Morrisons agreed to build an acoustic fence around its supermarket delivery yard in Paisley after residents complained lorry traffic was keeping them awake.
And a year later St Mirren Football Club built a partial wall at its training ground amid complaints residents at a nearby upmarket housing estate could hear “foul language” from its players.
Last night, West Dunbartonshire Council defended the outlay – which would be enough to pay for 132,275 meals on wheels or hire nine full-time teachers.
Convener of planning, councillor Lawrence O’Neill, said: “We are finding the cash from the existing school budget. There has only been one complaint but if we increase the use of the pitch we can expect to see that number increase.
“Ultimately we are finding money to ensure the pitch is not wasted and more young people can enjoy the use of the facility.”