Finsbury football pitch repairs thrown into question

Vital repairs to an estate’s football pitch that could be growing unsafe for the youngsters who play there have been thrown into question.

Water has been leaking through the pitch on the Finsbury Estate, off St John Street, Finsbury, into the concrete below for years, because a waterproof membrane was punctured in its installation.

The tarmac surface – built in 2005 as part of a multi-million pound works programme on the estate – sits on top of a former car park and residents say the structure will become dangerous if the problem is not fixed.

Repairs were expected to start in June last year, but residents say delays by Homes for Islington (HfI), which runs the estate, have cast doubt over the project.

Sharon Hayward, secretary of the Finsbury Estate Tenants’ and Residents’ Association (FETRA), said: “I don’t know why it has taken them so long. If you’ve got water coming in, you’re going to have problems with that at some stage. If it is just left, the concrete will begin to chip off and it will not be safe and secure.”

HfI won funding for the rebuild in court after it sued the contractor that did the original refurbishment and damaged the waterproofing.

A deal was then made for another company to carry out the work, but that fell through because of the delays getting on site. The contractor said this meant the work could not be done within the original quote. HfI is now trying to get more cash to fund the work.

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Ms Hayward added: “It took HfI long enough to go to court, but having won, they have still failed to get a contractor on site, which now means the whole thing is up in the air again.

“We don’t even know if it will ever be done. The whole thing has been a mess and we are left with this area that will become unsafe.”

A spokesman for HfI said: “There are no current dangers but over time there would be deterioration to the structure.

“HfI has worked hard to protect residents’ interests, taking the original contractor to court to recover funds for repairs. We are aiming to secure necessary additional funding to allow for the full refurbishment of the football pitch.”