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Exiled team will return to Chelmsford

PUBLISHED: 05:03 28 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:13 24 February 2010

CHELMSFORD City Football Club has vowed it will be back in its home town ready for the start of new season.

The players will be returning to Chelmsford this year after six years in exile in Billericay.

CHELMSFORD City Football Club has vowed it will be back in its home town ready for the start of new season.

The players will be returning to Chelmsford this year after six years in exile in Billericay.

Yesterday, the club officially presented its plans for the new ground – a temporary home in Melbourne Park – at a champagne reception at the Waterfront. The planning application for this site has been lodged with Chelmsford Borough Council and, if approved, building work should start shortly.

This will ensure the team will be playing back in Chelmsford by the autumn.

At the launch, the club also introduced its main sponsor – Ridley's Brewery, the sole remaining independent brewer in Essex.

Brian Field, managing director of Ridley's, said: "We are active supporters of sport in the community and are delighted that we can be involved with Chelmsford City Football Club at such an exciting time for them.

"We would also like to take this opportunity to formally announce the start of the Ridley's Player of the Month award. This will be presented to the Chelmsford player who has shown the greatest skill and dedication to his team each month."

Club chairman Peter Stroud added: "We are proud that Ridley's have chosen to support their local club and assist them in the move back to the county town. We hope this is the start of a long and successful partnership."

The borough council offered land at Melbourne Park to the football club last summer, pending the outcome of a public inquiry into the club's new purpose-built ground at Boreham on the outskirts of Chelmsford.

The inquiry has been requested by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and will be combined with that for the borough plan. Because of this, it is unlikely it will be able to move to Boreham until 2005.

Chelmsford City has been forced to play out of the town since the loss of its old ground in New Writtle Street and the proposed temporary facilities at Melbourne Park would be the minimum required to comply with the Dr Martens Premier League.

They include a temporary stand, covered terraces and a stadium capacity of 3,000 people. There will also be a permanent extension of the pavilion to provide a legacy for the local community long after the club has moved on.

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