WISBECH: Fenland Council dismisses out of hand audacious buy back scheme by FC chairman

BY JOHN ELWORTHY AN audacious plan to try and persuade Fenland District Council to buy back Fenland Park and rent it out to Wisbech Town Football Club has been dismissed out of hand. Despite winning tentative support from Councillor Roger Green, a club

BY JOHN ELWORTHY

AN audacious plan to try and persuade Fenland District Council to buy back Fenland Park and rent it out to Wisbech Town Football Club has been dismissed out of hand.

Despite winning tentative support from Councillor Roger Green, a club vice president and former Wisbech Town FC chairman, the idea has been comprehensively rejected by the ruling Conservative group.

Council Leader Geoff Harper said: "The council has invested £400,000 to ensure Wisbech has a new public hall. The priority for any other investment must be other towns."


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His portfolio holder for business development, Councillor Alan Melton, was even more hostile to the proposal.

Asked if he thought it was a good idea, Cllr Melton replied: "No, I do not."

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The proposal for the council to buy back the ground they sold earlier this year for £1.4 million and lease it back was unveiled by club chairman Paul Brenchley.

"Wouldn't it be nice if Fenland District Council were to buy back Fenland Park and rent it back to us, similar to Kings Lynn and The Walks?," said Mr Brenchley.

"If that was to happen, FDC could sell off the car park - for whatever- while we concentrate our efforts on revamping Fenland Park."

Mr Brenchley's comments came as he accused Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council planning department of "dragging their heels for reasons best known to themselves" over the club's proposed new stadium on Lynn Road.

Mr Brenchley believes the club- which is currently playing at Outwell after being forced to move by the new Fenland Park owners Purple Properties- could use Lynn Road for reserves, youth teams and training. He also believes the site could be used for community groups. That would leave the club with the option of returning to Fenland Park as their main base.

Cllr Green said: "From a personal point of view, I would like to think that something could be worked out. Like many other supporters I was always extremely sorry to see the Fenmen leave Fenland Park.

"It would be wonderful to see them back playing on their 'home stadium' and added benefits could be that FDC would then have their own sports stadium."

He added that extra pitches would be helpful to a town which "is more bereft of football pitches than it ever has been, a deficiency which FDC might possibly like to consider rectifying."

Cllr Green is holding talks with fellow councillors to try and move the idea forward.

n What do you think of Mr Brenchley's ideas? Email: john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

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