Homes deal good news for club

A HIGH-flying football club is celebrating after plans for a multi-million pound housing development at its old stadium were approved – paving the way for possible greater glory in the years ahead.

A HIGH-flying football club is celebrating after plans for a multi-million pound housing development at its old stadium were approved – paving the way for possible greater glory in the years ahead.

The long-awaited decision means Ridgeons League giants AFC Sudbury – currently preparing for its third consecutive FA Vase final – will now enter a financial deal with developers, providing crucial cash for major improvements at its current King's Marsh Stadium.

Once the redevelopments at the stadium are complete, the club will then be in a position to climb the football league ladder, which has long been its aim.

Babergh District Council yesterday approved plans to build 60 new homes at the Priory Stadium, the former home of Sudbury Town Football Club.


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The stadium has sat empty since 1999, when Sudbury Town merged with arch-rivals Sudbury Wanderers to form AFC Sudbury.

The new club has been trying to sell the ground to developers for several years, to enable it to carry out the major work at the King's Marsh Stadium.

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Previously, Fairview Homes received outline planning permission to build 42 homes on the site, but the scheme was dogged by delays due to Babergh's concerns over issues such as flooding.

Knights Development Limited has now taken on the scheme and yesterday saw its plans to build 60 new homes on the site approved.

Last night, AFC Sudbury director Peter Scott said: "This is excellent news for the club because we have been trying to sell the site ever since the merger.

"Hopefully, now planning permission has been granted we can proceed with selling the site to the developer.

"The club should receive a substantial amount of money that will enable us to fulfil our plans for the King's Marsh Stadium and leave the club with a lasting legacy.

"Once we get the new facilities it would put us in a position to go up the football league ladder, which has got to be our long term aim."

The new development will comprise 20 two bedroom units, 20 three-bedroom units and 20 four-bedroom units. Twelve will be affordable homes.

The plans were approved on condition landscaping, highways and wildlife issues are resolved before any building takes place.

Plans at the King's Marsh Stadium include doubling its seating capacity to more than 400, with a modern two-storey complex built at the back of the stand.

The ground floor of the complex would include a 150sq m lounge bar, offices, changing rooms, showers, a treatment room and a gym.

On the first floor there will be a boardroom, a 207sq m function room, further bar facilities and an executive and press viewing balcony.

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