SINGAPORE: New operating hours for the football pitches at the Home United Youth Football Academy (HYFA) have been set by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), after residents' feedback on noise led to the authorities suspending football activities there last November.
Under the new operating hours, Home United Football Club (HUFC) may conduct youth training activities on the two football pitches at 8 Mattar Road from 7pm to 9pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. On weekends, HUFC may operate the football pitches from 9am to 6pm on Saturdays, and from 4pm to 7pm on Sundays, for training and community engagement programmes.
These are in addition to the current operating hours of 9am to 7pm on weekdays, for which public bookings are allowed. The new operating hours for the two football pitches will take effect from Feb 11, SLA added.
"The new operating hours were decided after discussions with HUFC, taking into consideration feedback from local residents. They seek to balance support for the development of HUFC’s youth football activities and addressing the concerns of residents," the agency said.
HUFC's chief executive, Azrulnizam Shah Sohaimi, said the revised operating hours is a "positive development" that will allow HYFA to continue with its youth training and community activities.
"The HYFA is part of the MacPherson community. Home United Football Club will ensure that our activities do not excessively inconvenience residents, while we continue to pursue HYFA’s mission of developing local football talent and developing character in youths," Mr Azrulnizam added.
SLA said on Friday its decision on Nov 24 last year was in response to residents' feedback about noise and disamenities arising from activities on the football pitch, and the restrictions were imposed to provide some reprieve to residents while the parties involved worked out a longer-term solution.
It was earlier reported that a contract breach could have been the real reason behind SLA's original decision as HUFC had leased the pitch on weekends to local football academy JSSL Singapore.
SLA has since clarified that the rental of the football pitches for commercial use does not constitute a breach of the tenancy agreement.
It added that the new operating hours "balances support for the development of youth football activities and addresses the concerns of residents".
Editor’s note: This story was updated to include SLA’s clarification that the pitch rental was not a breach of contract.