Club plans set for council red card

AMBITIOUS and controversial plans to relocate a football ground look set to be refused this week.But Michael Cole, chairman of Brightlingsea United Football Club, vowed to press on with efforts to expand the organisation away from its current base.

AMBITIOUS and controversial plans to relocate a football ground look set to be refused this week.

But Michael Cole, chairman of Brightlingsea United Football Club, vowed to press on with efforts to expand the organisation away from its current base.

Currently, the club's one pitch, at the end of North Road in Brightlingsea, is surrounded by houses and so is unable to create any more playing areas for the seven teams that already use it.

Complaints have also been received from local residents because of floodlight pollution, noise and balls landing in the gardens of neighbouring properties.


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The club made two planning applications to Tendring District Council, one of which would see its current base being used for new housing

The second would see a brand new club house built alongside five new pitches on agricultural land at the edge of the town.

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However planners at Tendring District Council have recommended that both schemes be turned down at a meeting of the Development Control Committee tomorrow night.

Reasons given against the plan for new housing – which could see as many as 70 homes created – include the fact that the pitch is listed as "protected open space", that there would be an increase of traffic, especially in North Road, and greater disturbance from pedestrians.

Objections to the creation of new grounds on the town's borders include the fact they would be in a designated "special landscape area", the floodlighting would be obtrusive in the rural surroundings, and not enough work had been done to assess the impact of increased traffic.

However Mr Cole said yesterday that having a base with more pitches was essential for the future of the club, as the current ground was being "hammered" by the number of teams using it.

"We have three youth teams – which we would like to expand – we've got firsts and reserves on a Saturday and we've got two Sunday teams. We would also like to get womens' football involved," he explained.

"We have overgrown our present ground. Years ago we were miles away from the town but today we are surrounded.

"Now we have the chance of a 17 acre site on the edge of the town, which would allow us five pitches and a slightly bigger clubhouse.

"It's the way forward for 100 years more football in Brightlingsea."

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