ANGRY neighbours say their lives are being made a misery on match days at a football centre.
Hundreds of children and their parents visit the purpose-built Russell Foster Football Centre, in Stadon Way, Houghton, each Saturday.
But those living in a nearby housing estate say getting out by car is difficult on match days due to vehicles parking in the area. They say litter is also a problem.
People say there have been numerous incidents where police have been called after arguments between motorists.
Neighbours fear there could be a serious accident unless the situation is improved.
Mandy Bennett, 53, of Torrington Close, which is just yards from the site, said parents of children playing at the centre “don’t take care when they are driving into the estate to park”.
She added: “We have a long wait to get out as well.
“People have got out of their cars and had arguments about it.”
Tracey Robinson, 31, who also lives in Torrington Close, said: “It’s a big problem.
“The people who run the pitches put out cones but the drivers don’t seem to pay attention.
“I don’t think it’s the parents’ fault though because there aren’t enough places for them to park.”
The £1.8million centre has 21 pitches and a sports pavilion, as well as a car park.
Mick Clark, secretary of the Russell Foster Tyne and Wear Youth Football League, said steps were being taken to lessen the impact on people living nearby.
Mr Clark said: “We apologise if there is any inconvenience to residents in the area.
“We have reduced the number of pitches being used at this moment in time from 20 to 11.
“Next season when we recommence there will only be six pitches in use at one time.”
Sunderland City Council said a number of residents and councillors have contacted them about parking in and around the area and, following a parking survey and observations, it is considering what steps to take.
The centre was officially opened in April last year by footballer Jordan Henderson and the Football Association’s director of development Sir Trevor Brooking.