Storm brews over Prospect ground

A REQUEST for new Tasmanian State League team Western Storm to use Prospect Vale Park for training has angered existing users of the sports ground.

It is understood a number of sporting clubs will meet the Meander Valley Council's recreation officer Bonnie McGee later this week to express their concerns at the request.

Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins said yesterday that the council was looking at the impact of extra use on the football ground as well as the change rooms and medical room, which are used by other clubs.

``Council staff are currently managing the process,'' Cr Perkins said.

Western Storm, which is part owned by the Prospect Hawks Football Club, is based at Prospect Park and has replaced South Launceston in the State League.

It has been using Royal Park for some of its preseason training and is to play its home games at Aurora Stadium.

Prospect Vale Park covers 9.5 hectares and has a football ground, two soccer pitches and associated training areas.

It caters for an estimated  3000 regular users. 

It is home to the senior and junior Prospect Hawks clubs, the Launceston Touch Football Association and  four soccer clubs - Prospect Knights and Launceston City senior clubs and the Southern Raiders and  Westside Devils junior clubs.

A 2012 council development plan  on the facility said there were drainage problems and it had reached its capacity and use could not increase.

With both football and soccer seasons about to start Cr Perkins said he would have preferred the issue to have been resolved earlier.

``The concern is that the Western Storm were allocated that ground by Football Tasmania without any consultation with the council.

``The general manager and I met with Michelle Strickland and Chris Webster of the [Western Storm] football club about five months ago after I mentioned  to them a couple of times that they should come and talk to us.''

Cr Perkins, who is listed as vice-patron of the Western Storm on the Prospect Hawks website, said he understood there was a lot of work in setting up the new State League football club.

The Western Storm is expected to draw a large part of its supporter base from the Prospect and Meander Valley areas.

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