Two local groups have expressed their interest in taking over the Blaes Pitch in Strathaven. 

Two competing asset transfer requests have been made to South Lanarkshire Council to lease the pitches, by 1st Strathaven Scout Group Activity Trust and Grow Together.

The Scouts request a 25-year lease of the land to build a Scout and community hall, while Grow Together wants to purchase the land to develop a community growing space.

The Scouts wish to lease the land for £2000 per year with the aim to provide a new, accessible indoor and outdoor space for Scout activities and make it available to the wider community. 

The group wishes to expand its public space due to an increasing list of people wanting to join; there are currently 100 young people on the list.

In their supporting statement, the Scouts wrote: ‘Strathaven Scout Group has almost 100 young people on its joining list. These children are unlikely to get a space at Scouts due to our current, shared facility being oversubscribed. There is no available time or space to expand the group, by adding new sections in our current hall as we only have two evenings due to the Guides having the other three nights.

‘We anticipate the group will grow to be upwards of 350 members if successful in our application, making it one of the largest Scout groups in the UK. Most towns have Universal Connections – our community doesn’t, and Scouts is one of the few outdoor-focused clubs, other than sports clubs, for children in Strathaven.

‘The use of the hall on weekday evenings and weekends would also go some way to addressing anti-social behaviour that the residents experience on a regular basis as the vacant area would be populated and maintained by the group, deterring any misuse or mistreatment of the area.’

Grow Together, is an organisation that has been formed to benefit the community of Strathaven.
The organisation aims to advance the health of locals by increasing and broadening access to fresh nutritious food and to promote and encourage gardening as a way of improving physical and mental wellbeing. 

The group wish to create their community garden at  Blaes pitches as the site is very visible, it is easily accessible and it is also central to the town centre.

In a supporting statement for the community asset transfer, the group wrote about what it would include at the proposed garden.

It said: ‘We envisage the garden as a place for all age groups, interests and abilities so we want to have a mix of amenities available including polytunnels for individuals and groups to grow on seedlings and cuttings, planters of varying heights to suit the needs of different user groups, compost area, a hub area for volunteers and members to meet and talk, a mud kitchen area for small children, a tool shed for storage, outdoor tables and seating area to socialise, fruit trees along part of the boundary and climbing and screening plants along the other boundaries.

‘We will offer therapeutic year-round garden access, supporting adults living with mild to moderate mental health issues. We will provide an impartial and safe space for adults to improve their mental and physical wellbeing in a friendly but structured environment.’

Anyone can make representations about these requests to South Lanarkshire Council. 

Representations must be made in writing and include the name and address of the person making it and a copy of the representation will be given to the organisation making the request.

They can be made via the council’s planning portal or by emailing and must be made by 5pm on December 15.