Goodbye Gianluca

Oh dear. A final appeal to be allowed to finally appeal is turned down:

 A private company, which built the R2 million Gianluca Vialli Soccer Centre at Sea Point High School, has lost an application for leave to appeal a Western Cape High Court judgment ordering it to cease operating the facility.

This means the centre has to stop operating by Monday.

Emilel Investments 19 completed the construction of the centre last June.
With the blessing of the school principal, Emilel forked out the funds to turn the school’s unused, dilapidated tennis courts into two new five-a-side, Fifa-approved astroturf football pitches and a modern clubhouse.
The biggest earner was a friendly corporate league in which companies’ five-a-side teams competed. A weekend market operated by businessman David van Rensburg was also introduced.

However, residents around the school lodged an application to stop the operation of the facility, saying it contravened the city’s zoning regulations and constituted a common law nuisance because of the timing of activities, loud noise and parking problems.

In September, Judge André le Grange found the city’s consent for the facility was necessary. He gave Emilel and Van Rensburg until 6pm on December 12 to stop operating and to consider their options.
On Tuesday, Emilel applied for leave to appeal the ruling.

It’s sad, because this was a great, well-maintained facility on a patch of land which was previously completely derelict. But I do have some sympathy with the local residents as well: 5-a-side football isn’t exactly the quietest of sports – we tend to bring some passion and some volume each Tuesday and Thursday evening.
Fortunately, this year’s “biggest earner” (this a laughable statement, by the way) leagues had already finished.

Anyway, it looks like we’re going to have to take our balls and play with them elsewhere.

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