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Ball in council’s court for petanque grounds

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By Donald Turvill
Annan and Eskdale
Ball in council’s court for petanque grounds
MATCH READY . . . George Shepherd in Seaforth Gardens, where the court will be built

THE wheels have been set in motion to establish a home for Annan’s newest sporting club.

Planning permission has been submitted to the council to build a petanque court in Seaforth Gardens, beside the town’s tennis courts.

Annan Petanque Club has been formed by George Shepherd along with a cohort of other local players, who currently have to make a 60-mile round trip to Moffat just to play a game.

George said: “I’ve been battling away with this now for three years. We have a club in place in name and by constitution, but we’ve got nowhere to play at this time.

“In pre-planning, the officials said there would be no objections because it comes under the local plan for designated open space – and the council are actually paying the fees for the planning consent as they did for Moffat.”

George, a retired civil engineer who has been at the helm of numerous major construction projects across Scotland in his career, said he plans to oversee the construction of the terrain and pistes once planning consent is granted, adding it would only take one week to complete.

He continued: “My vision is to have a piste going back into the single lane version and I would like to see petanque become a recognised sport in every high school in Dumfriesshire. To that end, I have contacted the schools, I have been in touch with Annan Activity and Resource Centre who would all use the pitch with the support of Annan Petanque.

“We’re looking at it at two different levels, one as a venue for social interaction and social play, and the other is to encourage the youth of today to become international players.

“I’m fundraising at the moment to get sufficient funds to build the pitch; I’ve got applications in for about £29,000 and if I can achieve half of that I’ve got more than adequate funds to build it.”

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