Portchester games area could be resurrected at community centre

Gosport MP welcomes plans on homelessness but admits ‘it’s a significant problem’

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PLANS for sports pitches will be in the spotlight this week.

Fareham Borough Council is considering building a multi-use games area (Muga) in Portchester, on ground where the old Portchester Community Centre stands.

It would be 600sq m and would be used for a range of sports including tennis, basketball and football.

The new Portchester Community Centre opened on January 7, replacing the old building.

At its leisure and community policy review meeting tomorrow, the council will also consider extending the new centre’s car park with an additional 30 spaces.

These options are expected to be put out to public consultation and will be funded from £60,000 from the council’s Open Spaces Improvement programme.

Leader of Fareham Borough Council Sean Woodward said: ‘I have committed the money but what happens will go out for consultation.

‘I have been to the new community centre and many people have said how wonderful it is. I’m sure that this new games area and car park extension will only add to the already-superb facility.’

At the end of last year tennis courts at the old centre were ripped up after claims they had attracted anti-social behaviour.

Ward councillor Nick Walker said: ‘My only concern about bringing a games area back to the site would be about anti-social behaviour.

‘Some of these areas do attract all sorts hanging around late at night so the council would have to consider safety and ways to overcome that.’

The Portchester Community Association (PCA) will be consulted over the plans as its petanque club plays at the site. The tennis club associated with PCA folded when the courts were ripped up last year and the group was made homeless.

Sarah Moss, manager of the PCA, said: ‘We were in favour of resurfacing the original courts and fencing them off properly.

‘Five years ago we said we would like to see a Muga on that site, although with a Muga you need to consider which sport will be ultimately responsible.

‘We would certainly encourage more car parking as that is desperately needed.’