A LOCAL authority has announced the public can now book two new sports pitches near Romsey.

This comes after Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) started to take bookings from clubs who wanted to use the pitches in Cutforth Way, Abbotswood, in time for the new football season in September.

The pitches, run by TVBC, will feature a community sports pavilion on the site, which is also available to book.

Other facilities in the area include 40 car parking spaces, a bicycle storage facility, and a multi-use games area on the site, but it is not known when these will be completed.

Cllr Janet Burnage, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council and visited the new pitches on October 10, said: "It has been a really long time coming, but I am delighted to see the pitches are open and they are in superb condition.

"It is a good site for the young football players to use and I was very impressed by their indoor facilities, where there were good changing rooms and showers.

"I am sure it will be fully utilised."

Cllr Neil Gwynne, who represents the same ward, added the sports pitches had been "a while coming, but I think they have been worth the wait".

He stressed it is "really good there is an increase in sports facilities" in the area.

According to the council, the site is the first new outdoor sports facility in the south of the borough for "a number of years", but will "set the standard for additional facilities like Ganger Farm as they come over to the community for use".

However, no date has been set for this yet.

The final stages of the site were completed in August and "significant drainage work" was completed by AMS Contracting to ensure the site met Sport England's standards.

As reported, the previous Romsey town centre manager, Mark Edgerley, told the Romsey Advertiser the work on the pitches had been "delayed," due to the company responsible for building the pitches going "bust".

He said: "Abbotswood was built by a consortium of different builders and as part of the development they had to provide certain facilities, so those sports pitches were part of that.

"The fact the company went bust meant this caused delays and what TVBC has done is finish the work."

It is not known which company went into administration.

To book one of the pitches, visit https://pitchbooking.com/partners/TESTVALLEY.