Football stadium decision deferred for site visit

PUBLISHED: 16:28 03 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:22 02 June 2010

A DECISION over whether to approve controversial plans to build a £1m football stadium for Wisbech has been deferred for a site visit. Officials at West Norfolk Council had signalled they are recommending the application for approval, but it would have to

A DECISION over whether to approve controversial plans to build a £1m football stadium for Wisbech has been deferred for a site visit.

Officials at West Norfolk Council had signalled they are recommending the application for approval, but it would have to be referred to the government for the final say.

Football chiefs want to relocate the Wisbech Town Football club to a potential new stadium on the Norfolk and Cambridgeshire border. They want to move the club from Lerowe Road to a purpose built ground on Lynn Road, Walsoken.

Representatives from the club and residents who object to the plans attended a meeting of the development control board today (Monday) to give their views.

Roger Green leader of the town council, also spoke and said it was vital that Wisbech retained its football club, as it would be a huge loss to the town.

Peter Humphrey, the club's planning agent, also explained that if the application was turned down it would spell the end for club as it was at its lowest ebb with debts of £300,000. He said that the only way the club could afford to pay off its debts would be sell off the existing site for housing.

But residents against the proposal are concerned that if the site is relocated it would create traffic and noise chaos.

The existing stadium at Fenland Park in Wisbech, is old and outdated and the club needs to improve and expand the facilities, but there is not the scope to do it at the current ground.

The development comprises of the main pitch, surrounding clubhouse, stands, some covered stands and seating areas. The clubhouse would include a bar function room, club shop, changing rooms, public bar and toilets.

The council has received 13 letters of support for the application, but 54 objecting to it and a petition.

A report to the council, said: "The introduction of a development of this nature and scale will undoubtedly have an impact on the visual amenity of any area.

"One of the main grounds of objection locally has been that of noise and disturbance and the potential affect on residential amenities of neighbours."

The report concluded: "The proposal to relocate Wisbech Town Football Club from Fenland Park to a new stadium is a significant development which presents a complex set of issues both for and against it."

The council is recommending the application is approved subject to it being sent modified plans relating to access and junction and that it is referred to the Government Office for the East of England (Go-East) for them to assess whether or not the application should be called in for determination by the Secretary of State.

Councillors will carry out a site visit on Thursday.


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