Club’s relocation plan is backed by officials
- Credit: Archant
Plans for a new football complex for St Ives Town FC have been given the go-ahead by Huntingdonshire District Council.
The authority has approved the construction of new pitches, floodlights and the re-profiling of land at Hillside View, Somersham Road, as well as giving outline permission for a clubhouse and access at the site which will be used for county tournament finals.
It has taken years for the club to get the green light for the scheme which hinged on the redevelopment of its present headquarters, off Westwood Road, for housing.
There had been heavy opposition to the redevelopment from people living near the current pitch who were successful in campaigning for a reduction in the number of homes proposed for the site which they felt would overwhelm existing properties.
But now the new ground has been approved by the council, subject to a number of conditions, including restricting floodlight use to 10pm, drainage and highway matters.
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Sport England also backed the project. It said: "The proposals relate to the relocation of St Ives Town FC to a greenfield site at Somersham Road. The new site will provide a main pitch, 3G training pitches and a grass training pitch, together with a clubhouse, access, car parking and cycle-footpath access.
"The principle of this development has previously been established and Sport England took the view that the scheme was in line with Sport England policy, given that the new site will provide enhanced facilities for the club when compared to their existing site."
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Sport England said they were content with the loss of the present pitch as it was being replaced by better facilities.
The redevelopment has also been backed by Huntingdonshire FA which would use the new site to host tournament finals.
St Ives Town Council recommended approval for both plans, but raised concerns including that access should be from the existing roundabout, over the way heavy vehicles would move around the site and the impact of floodlights.
Councillors were also concerned about the safety of the junction and felt the provision of a public address system was necessary for safety.
Needingworth Parish Council also supported the plan but raised concerns about light pollution from floodights and the adequacy of the 80 proposed parking spaces.