Mansfield Harriers lose home in spat with park trustees

NNAC12-1500-1''Mansfield Berry Hill Park
NNAC12-1500-1''Mansfield Berry Hill Park

MANSFIELD Harriers and Athletic Club have lost the use of their Berry Hill Park facilities in the latest twist in a long running row between the club and the park’s trustees.

Club chairman Paul Gair was told by the trustees of Berry Hill Park Ltd last week that from Monday the Harriers would have to submit a written application to hire park facilities for training sessions and events instead of a single monthly reduced fee.

Mr Gair told Chad the charging of standard usage rates for facilities like toilets and floodlighting would mean a 100 per cent rise in the current monthly fee - a cost which the club could not meet beyond Christmas.

Said Mr Gair: “This action places significant pressure on the club at a critical time when members are preparing for national standard competitions including the Olympic Trials as well as fulfilling their normal league competitions.

“The loss of resident club status also means that the ability to raise money via refreshment sales and the staging of matches is removed.”

Ray Jackson-Smith, secretary of the trustees of Berry Hill Park, said: “The normal hire and booking procedure for use of the Berry Hill Park facilities has been in use for three years, posing no problems for the many schools, clubs and groups that use them including interest from a new club.”

Mr Jackson-Smith said the trustees hoped to have repairs to the park’s changing facilities - without which the club cannot host events - completed by the end of June.

A Mansfield District Council spokesman said he hoped to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.