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Woodbridge Town FC search for new home as Ufford move falls through

PUBLISHED: 09:00 29 March 2018

Proposals for homes at the current Woodbridge Town site were put on public display at the time. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Proposals for homes at the current Woodbridge Town site were put on public display at the time. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Plans to move Woodbridge Town FC to a new site in Ufford appear to have collapsed leaving the club with little time to move.

Woodbridge Town in action. Picture: PAUL LEECHWoodbridge Town in action. Picture: PAUL LEECH

The Woodpeckers have been at their home at Notcutts Park since the early 1990s when a 25 year lease was signed.

The site was due to be turned into housing by its owners Notcutts and so plans were made to move Woodbridge Town to along with Melton St Audry’s Sports and Social Club to a new venue.

After extensive searches across the area for a new location proposals were made for a site in Ufford which were accepted by the club back in October 2015.

Club chairman John Beecroft says that initially plans had been “moving along nicely” but in the last 9 months concerns had been growing that little progress had been made wit no plans being submitted for the site.

After meeting with Suffolk Coastal District Council Mr Beecroft says the club were told that the move to Ufford was no longer an option.

“Suffolk Coastal District Council would not approve the site,” said Mr Beecroft, “even though they had offered the site.

“They thought it was too far out.”

The club now have until December 31 2024 to find a new home. Despite the apparent abundance of time Mr Beecroft is concerned that the club don’t have long enough, particularly considering the fact they are having to look at venues they had previously turned down.

“When we hit December 31 2024 Notcutts will not grant us another lease.

“We are back to square one.”

The club are now searching for a new home which suites FA criteria and is approved by the district council.

It comes at what should be happy time for the club with the men’s first team doing well in their league with both a women’s and girls team set to rejoin the club next season.

It could all be shortlived if the club fail to find a ground.

“People at the club are angry and annoyed,” said Mr Beecroft, “they feel that they have been done wrong.”

County councillor for Woodbridge, Caroline Page is also concerned about the club’s future home.

“I would be very keen to make sure it’s publicly accessible by bike or on foot particularly for young people,”said Ms Page.

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