Labour brand Angerland delays “disgraceful
PUBLISHED: 16:47 21 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:47 21 February 2014
“Disgraceful” delays to the opening of Hatfield’s new home of sport are damaging the University of Hertfordshire’s reputation, critics have claimed.
A planning application is currently being considered by Welwyn Hatfield Council for the Angerland project, which will be used by two of the town’s clubs.
But Hatfield politicians are becoming dismayed with what they perceive as inaction, and the news that more funding might be needed.
Labour opposition group leader and Hatfield borough councillor Kieran Thorpe said: “The delays really now have become quite disgraceful.
“The university is doing real damage to its reputation within the Hatfield community, and I urge them to treat this more seriously.
“It’s outrageous to hear the excuse that the latest delay is down to various clubs needing to find additional funding, when those clubs have themselves suffered real financial harm by having no permanent home in Hatfield.
“What better way for the university to show they are a part of the Hatfield community than to immediately come to the aid of these struggling local clubs and make good on their obligations at Angerland?”
His sentiments have been echoed by Hatfield town councillor John Fitzpatrick, who asked a question at the borough’s Social Overview and Scrutiny Committee on February 5.
The development has been mooted for decades and last year the Welwyn Hatfield Times revealed Hatfield Queen Elizabeth Rugby Club and Hatfield Town Football Club were working with the uni on the project.
They formed the Hatfield Sports Association, and the university is understood to have invested £1.4m in the development, off South Way.
It now appears it may have to contribute extra money to the scheme.
Andrew May, director of estates, hospitality and contract services, at the university said: “There is a clear process that this needs to go through and a number of parties involved.
“At the present time, a planning application is under consideration by the council for replacement football and rugby pitches and clubhouse facilities.
“The clubs, with assistance from the council and specialist consultants, are continuing to explore opportunities for additional funding to meet the specific requirements of the clubs.”
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