Village's new community sports pitch set to open within few months
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Construction on a new multi-use games area in Tunstall is nearing completion - with community leaders hoping it will be open in the coming months.
Neighbours in the east Suffolk village secured more than £80,000 in funding for the sports facility, which has been in development since last spring.
Tunstall Parish Council opted to invest £30,000 of Section 106 funding generated from housing developments into the games area, further netting £43,000 and £10,000 from Sport England and East Suffolk Council's exemplar fund respectively towards the project.
The council submitted the proposals to East Suffolk Council last January and planners gave the scheme the green light the following month.
Work on the sports pitch, on the village's recreation ground close to the Green Man pub, began soon after, with community leaders hopeful of an opening by the end of 2020.
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However, a combination of the coronavirus crisis and wet weather has delayed the project by several months, with rain forcing contractors to postpone laying the facility's anti-slip surface.
The pitch is set to measure 36.6metres x 18.5metres upon completion, according to planning documents submitted alongside the proposal.
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A footpath from the community centre car park to the new games area is also under construction to allow for easy access.
Tunstall councillor Andy Vince has said the parish council is optimistic the pitch will be open by Easter, but acknowledged it could be delayed further.
However, he said the parish council are hoping to invite a famous Suffolk figure to mark its official opening when the work has been finished.
Mr Vince said: "There were several options, but around 70% of people voted for the games area.
"It's been a bit of a slog, but we're almost up and ready to go. We were waiting for a spell of good weather that never came.
"We are planning an opening event and we want to try and get a local celebrity to come along.
"Fitness and sport needs to be at the forefront of everyone's minds. We've had quite a bit of interest in the games area already. It will be a nice-looking facility.
"We're still aiming for an Easter opening - we're nearly there."