Singapore

Revised operating hours for Home United Youth Football Academy 'a positive development'

New timing for Home United Youth Football Academy pitches

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has set new operating hours for the two football pitches at the Home United Youth Football Academy (HYFA) along Mattar Road.

The new operating hours, which will take effect from today, were decided after discussions with the S-League club, following feedback from residents in the area who had been complaining about the noise from the facility since last year.

An SLA statement said the new arrangements "seek to balance support for the development of HUFC's youth football activities and addressing the concerns of residents".

From today, Home may conduct youth training activities on the two football pitches from 7pm to 9pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. On weekends, Home can operate the pitches from 9am to 6pm on Saturdays, and from 4pm to 7pm on Sundays, for the club's training and community programmes.

These are in addition to the current operating hours of 9am to 7pm on weekdays, for which public bookings are allowed.

HUFC chief executive Azrulnizam Shah Sohaimi said: "The revised operating hours is a positive development and will still allow HYFA to continue to organise some of its community and youth training activities.

"We appreciate and thank our residents and the agencies for their understanding."

Ms Tin Pei Ling, the MP for MacPherson, said: "I appreciate the efforts of the SLA and HUFC in listening to local feedback.

"Residents have always understood the importance of coexistence and the need for give and take in a diverse and built-up community like ours."

Despite the new operating hours, some affected residents are dreading the return of the noise from the activities.

One resident, a father of two young children who lives in Block 126, which is nearest to HYFA, told The Straits Times he is thinking of moving out.

"I'm disappointed. The issue is that the usage of the land is wrong. It's still loud even if they are using it for one day, two days or three days."

Another resident living in the same block, Mr Alan Hoong, 56, took a more conciliatory tone, saying he is "willing to give them (HYFA) a chance".

"I hope that now, they realise how bad things can be if the noise is not controlled," he said. "We hope the SLA will continue to monitor the noise levels."

On Nov 24, the SLA had slapped an injunction on the facility, ordering Home to cease activities at the two football pitches on weekends and after 7pm on weekdays.

This was after residents complained about noise and inconvenience stemming from the activities on the football pitches.

After the injunction, football academy JSSL Singapore, one of the major users of the facility, was forced to relocate to The Arena at Woodleigh Park.

HYFA, a 25-ha facility, opened in February 2013 and signed a new three-year lease last April.

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