Two possible areas have been suggested at Craigerne, adjacent to the High School, and another in the Victoria Park, (Common Good Land), replacing the present “free” pitch.

The Victoria Park is not very large and is the only open space south-east of Peebles, where, over the last 40 years, large housing developments have been built off Kingsmeadows Road.

The all-weather pitch would not only encompass the present pitch but would also necessitate the loss of some of the “rough” dog-walking area and a significant number of trees. Some of the trees are very handsome mature specimens. Lighting columns, high chain-link fencing around the pitch, a car park, (in the park), and a building to house changing and toilet facilities, would also be included.

The sensible option would seem to be the site adjacent to the High School which itself has new changing facilities and car parking already in place. One tree appears to be involved in this area.

If the pitch was built in Victoria Park local kids would lose their only “free” playing area as this pitch would, in essence, be private, with controlled access. Runners also use the flat grass surface to practice. There is not another suitable area in the park for a “free” pitch. Presumably those wishing to use the new facility would have to pay a fee.

Younger High School pupils may have to be escorted backwards and forwards across busy Springhill Road to this pitch. The toilets etc. will have to be kept clean, and the whole edifice locked up at night. Are existing High School cleaners going to do this or are we, the council taxpayers, going to have to pay for extra cleaners and janitorial staff for Victoria Park? Scottish Borders Council is always warning of the necessity of more “cut-backs” so how could they justify this extra, apparently unnecessary, expenditure?

The proposed entrance on Kingsmeadows Road would be onto a busy road, which is often a “race-track”, especially in the evenings.

The housing adjacent to this eastern end of Victoria Park is largely social housing – much of it for pensioners and the disabled. Many residents will go to bed earlier, in houses not terribly well insulated, or with high-quality glazing, that would help to cut down the noise from the facility’s evening sessions, including car doors banging etc. Many of these residents are unlikely to have seen the exhibition at the High School or have internet access to comment on this proposal.

If school football and rugby really need this facility, then the sites adjacent to Peebles High School make sense! Leave the Victoria Park as a free open area for this part of Peebles.

We are, etc.

Alison and Mike Pearson Kingsmeadows Road Peebles