Rain

Rain

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°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 are investigating after rope was tied across a road

‘Lives are being put at risk’ – that’s the warning from Essex Police after motorists had to manoeuvre around a rope which was tied across a road.

Writer and historian Dr Mark Felton

A historian and author from Colchester whose book has been picked up by Hollywood has released a new thriller based on another daring Second World War mission.

Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House in Ipswich.

The number of high earners at Suffolk County Council has risen for the first time in four years, according to new figures.

Toby Freeman from Robin Cancer Trust, Ben Payne from Reflective Ice Limited and Angie Diggens from St Helena Hospice are teaming up to have a charity night at the Winter Wonderland and Ice Rink in Colchester Castle Park.

An ice rink planned for central Colchester this winter will be taken over by local charities for a night.

Ladbrokes

Two men stole hundreds of pounds during an armed robbery at a bookmakers in Felixstowe last night.

The scene of the accident on the A133 at Weeley between a push bike and a van.

A woman cyclist is in a life-threatening condition in hospital following a collision with a van on the A133 at Weeley.

Knives handed in during an amnesty at Clacton Police Station

A survey by a weapons awareness charity has found one-quarter of youngsters in Clacton have been threatened with a knife.

The Energy from Waste Site in Great Blakenham.

Nearly a year after it first started to turn Suffolk’s waste into something useful – electricity – the Great Blakenham incinerator is helping to keep rubbish out of the county’s holes in the ground.

Maggie Scorer and Oscar in front of Brighton Pier

It has taken close to six months, covering a distance of almost 5,000 miles, but the home stretch is in sight for round-Britain cyclist Maggie Scorer and her travelling companion, Oscar.

Robert Morton

The new chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, Robert Morton, has big plans for the future of the trust.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages