A VANDALISM hit football club in Flintshire has been granted permission to place a 3m high security fence around its ground, despite concerns from dog walkers.

Lock Stock Ardal League North side Saltney Town FC’s Sandy Lane home has been targeted by vandals over the last few years and the club has moved to protect its facilities.

The planning department at Flintshire Council, which owns the land the ground is on as part of St David’s High School, has granted permission for the security fence with double gates.

A planning officer’s report gave details about the proposal.

It said: “The application seeks consent for the creation of security fencing / gate and access to enclose the existing playing field, as the site is prone to ongoing vandalism and trespass of the existing playing field.

Chester and District Standard: Saltney Town FC's Sandy Lane ground.Saltney Town FC's Sandy Lane ground. (Image: Staff. Rory Sheehan)

“The field is used by both in association with the school, wider community and football club. The fence and gate are proposed to be 3m high of a green mesh weld security approved design.

“Access is proposed by a 1.2m wide pedestrian, mobility friendly gate and double width 5m vehicle gates.”

The application was made by Saltney Ferry Cllr Jason Shallcross (Ind), the chairman of the football club, who declared an interest when submitting the proposals.

In a letter to the planning department submitted with the planning documents, he said: “After repeated vandalism to the stand and pitch side advertising hoardings over several years we (Saltney Town FC) were approached by the Welsh FA regarding financial support via an equipment grant.

Chester and District Standard: Saltney Town FC's Sandy Lane ground.Saltney Town FC's Sandy Lane ground. (Image: Staff. Rory Sheehan)

“Through the local police involvement, the crime officer for Flintshire was invited down to make some recommendations on ways to improve the security of the area. One of her suggestions was to erect a security fence.

“I spoke to the headmaster at St David’s for their permission and the Education and Youth Works approval form was completed and approval given by the governing body.

“St David’s school will be given keys to the gates of the secured area and will have access to the playing areas.”

The planning officer’s report suggested some local residents who walk their dogs on the field did were not supportive of the application.

But the club intends to continue allowing access to the site.

The report added: “During the consultation process on this application, concerns have been raised by local residents who use the field for dog walking purposes, and whilst these are noted, I have been advised that Saltney Football Club intends to ensure that access to the site will remain.

“In any regard the planning application form confirms that the applicant Saltney Football Club has served the required notice as a Certificate B on the owner of the site (Flintshire County Council).

“From this it is evident that the land in question is private land and rights of access are within the jurisdiction of the land owner, to which there would appear to be no automatic rights of access to the application site and access appears to have been undertaken on a good will basis as a present.”

Approval was given through a delegated decision made by the council’s planning department.