Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Woodbridge: New joint home proposed for football and cricket clubs

10:09 01 August 2014

Woodbridge Town entertain Newmarket Town at Notcutts Park.

Woodbridge Town entertain Newmarket Town at Notcutts Park.

Archant

Ambitious proposals could see two Suffolk sports grounds merge to make room for more than 100 new homes.

shares

Plans have been unveiled for a new venue to accommodate Woodbridge Town Football Club and Melton-based St Audry’s Sports and Social Club.

The move, agreed between Hopkins Homes and Notcutts, would see both clubs operate from the garden centre firm’s old nursery site in Yarmouth Road, Ufford.

It would free up land for some 95 properties at the current Notcutts Park home of Woodbridge Town FC, while creating space for 12 homes at the St Audry’s site - home to Melton St Audry’s cricket and football teams, as well as a sports and social club, near Hopkins Homes’ Melton Park development.

Woodbridge Town FC will hold an extraordinary meeting in September to vote on the proposals, while St Audrys Sports and Social Club and the cricket club have already voted in favour of the move.

The football club, known as The Woodpeckers, was formed in 1885 and moved in 1990 to Notcutts Park, where it has a lease until 2015 from the landowners.

The new site would provide both clubs a long-term 99-year lease and an initial 10-year rent free period.

Mayor of Woodbridge and former district council leisure chief, Geoff Holdcroft said the move could help protect the future of the town’s football club.

Mr Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal’s current planning chief, said: “I broadly welcome the proposals from a leisure perspective but they will still have to go through the appropriate planning procedures.

“The club could otherwise be in grave jeopardy. A long-term lease and 10 years rent free is a very good offer.”

Mr Holdcroft compared the potential benefits of a move to the establishment of a permanent home for Woodbridge Rugby Club at in Bromeswell in 1974. He said the rugby club had since gone “from strength to strength.”

John Beecroft, Woodbridge Town FC chairman, called it an “exciting development” for the club. “The board are very supportive of the move,” he added.

Nick Shrubshall, Melton St Audrys CC chairman, said: “We’re delighted about the prospect of moving to a new improved home. This will allow us to fulfil our ambitious agenda for the future of the clubs.”

Proposals to develop the vacated land comprise 95 homes, including affordable housing, a community building and an open space at Notcutts Park, with a smaller development of 12 family homes at St Audry’s.

At Yarmouth Road, development would include new football and cricket pitches and nets, a social club and changing rooms and possibly an all-weather multi-use games area.

Simon Bryan, development director at Hopkins Homes, said that talking to the clubs and their members had been the essential first step in the consultation process, ahead of full public consultation and exhibitions scheduled for late September.

Geof Butterwick, chairman of the planning and transport committee on Melton Parish Council, welcomed early engagement shown by Hopkins Homes. He said: “This is clearly a complex proposal, involving directly or indirectly four parishes and with wider ramifications than a typical development proposal. Melton Parish Council will play a full part in the forthcoming public consultation process and will form a judgement on the planning applications when they are submitted, which I do not expect to be before the New Year.”

shares

2 comments

  • 2 greedy firms getting their own way so a team in Woodbridge and a team in Melton can play in Ufford? Based on how Melton have been run the past 2 years this is like winning the lottery for them and as for Woodbridge I agree that as always the fans suffer the consequences. Im not sure Ufford players will be too worried as there is a chance that they will be higher then Melton in a few years time! Awful decision for all the wrong reasons.

    Report this comment

    fence sitter

    Friday, August 1, 2014

  • I can see that this would make sense for St Audrys Sports Club, but cannot see the Woodbridge Town followers being happy to travel so far to see their team. And what about poor old Ufford FC? The sudden influx of Woodbridge Town FC with bright, shiny facilities could see the end of the village side.

    Report this comment

    Shimbo

    Friday, August 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Police enquiries are ongoing

A woman arrested in connection with suspected drug overdoses in Bury St Edmunds, has been bailed.

Former headteacher of the Oakwood School Eric De Smith arrives at Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing

Showing no contrition or acceptance of guilt former Stowmarket headteacher Eric De Smith was jailed for seven years for sexually abusing four boys.

The scene earlier when travellers parked up at a supermarket in Woodbridge.

A group of travellers which moved in to a supermarket car park in Woodbridge has left, police have said.

BBC Springwatch presenters Martin Hughes-Games, Chris Packham and  Michaela Strachan launch the new series at Minsmere Nature Reserve.

The BBC’s new Suffolk-based Springwatch series was launched yesterday with an impassioned call from Chris Packham for the popular TV wildlife programme to be a springboard that switches viewers on to the urgent need to reverse nature’s dramatic declines.

Thousands do not use the internet

As more and more vital services move online, figures have revealed more than 15% of Suffolk residents have either never used the internet, or not logged on in the past three months.

Police were alerted on Wednesday

A 30-year-old woman who was reported missing from Sudbury has been found.

Charity heart cushion makers who create them to help cancer patients.

Heart-shaped cushions which are being donated to breast cancer patients are supporting them both physically and emotionally.

Stephen Robson on his Lands End to John O'Groats cycle ride

A 12 day bike ride from the bottom of England to the peak of Scotland has raised more than £4,000 for charity.

Speed restrictions on the A12 for resurfacing

Officials at the government’s new Highways England agency are hopeful that the speed limit on the A12 between Ipswich and the Essex border will be lifted by the end of the month.

The old Oakwood School in Stowmarket.

As a former headmaster was yesterday jailed for seven years for sexually abusing four boys, one of his victims spoke out about the legacy of the teacher’s abuse in the 1980s.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages