A fee dispute between Belfast City Council and local cricket clubs has been resolved after the intervention of a local councillor.
Fullerton Park in Dunmurry is the only municipal cricket ground in the Lisburn area. Under plans for the reform of local government Fullerton Park is due to transfer from Lisburn Council to Belfast Council on April 1.
The move le ft the local club facing a steep hike in fees as charged by the new Belfast City Council,
Stuart Hughes, the Chairman of Derriaghy Cricket Club said: “Both Lisburn and Derriaghy Cricket Clubs make use of this facility.
“While we have our own grounds we regularly have multiple home fixtures on a Saturday and we regularly use Fullerton Park to deal with the overflow.
“Belfast City Council informed us that as the site was moving under their control they would have to harmonise the rates across Belfast.
“This would have seen the day rate triple to £120 a day. That would have been totally unsustainable for us to pay.”
Lisburn Councillor Alexander Redpath has been working behind the scenes to try to resolve the issue and prevent the local cricket club from having to find additional resources to pay the increased fees.
“Thankfully I was able to work with my colleagues in Belfast to resolve this problem,” said Mr Redpath.
“Once we arranged for an inspection of Fullerton Park we were able to provisionally agree that the old fee for the pitch would be applied in the future.
“I am glad that local cricket teams will not have to pay the much higher cost originally proposed.
“The City of Lisburn has an excellent cricketing tradition and has enjoyed significant success in recent years.
“I am keen to offer any support I can to help our local clubs thrive.
“I would like to thank my colleagues in Belfast, particularly Councillor Jeff Dudgeon, for his help in resolving this matter.”