Storm brews over Prospect oval

PROSPECT Vale Park user groups have expressed concern following a decision on Tuesday to approve training use of the park for Western Storm TSL Club.

Although the Meander Valley Council approval came with nine conditions, including priority use for junior teams, clubs say the use of the grounds is already stretched.

In a  20-year development report for Prospect Vale Park, the council said the park was largely unavailable for additional sporting teams and had slots only available during school hours on weekdays.

Launceston Touch Association president James Anderson yesterday said he was worried that the association, boasting 1100 members, was being pushed out by AFL teams.

In a letter to the council, Mr Anderson said he might have to find another training ground after already cutting the 128-team roster to 110 teams, due to ground unavailability.

``We were advised by the council's maintenance people, as of last year, that the ground was at max capacity to keep it in its current condition,'' he said.

``The council is not listening to what users are saying - we had a users meeting a couple of weeks ago; we said no and council officers said no.

``My concern is, when we start in the first week of October, is that ground going to be good enough for us to play on five fields?''

Launceston City Soccer Club president Dave Backhouse outlined possible prohibitive costs to other clubs if touch football left the grounds.

``I'm under the impression that touch football pays something in the vicinity of $70,000 a year to rent the grounds,'' Mr Backhouse said.

``I'm more than happy there's a  new club -  that's fantastic and I wish them well -  but we have to protect our own interests in that respect.''

Council general manager Greg Preece said on Tuesday that  any deviance from Western Storm's outlined use would result in a cancellation of the team's agreement.

Meander Valley Council planning and development officers were   unavailable for comment yesterday.

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