St Ives Town Football Club pitches new proposals for their ground

St Ives Town Football Club.

St Ives Town Football Club. - Credit: Archant

St Ives Town Football Club have submitted revised redevelopment plans for their Westwood Road ground.

A planning application for up to 50 homes has been submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council – 10 fewer than a previous plan which was rejected by HDC in September last year.

The club are seeking permission, in principle, to relocate to a new pitch on the outskirts of town, off Somersham Road.

They want to sell their current three-and-a-half acre home, next to the St Ives One Leisure centre, for development into a mixture of one, two, three and four-bed homes.

A planning, heritage, design and access statement by agent David Mead, submitted with the plans, says the density of housing – 34.5 per hectare – is suitable for a town centre location.

Three layout options have been drawn up, each with access via Westwood Road.

A transport assessment by MTC Engineering has concluded the new homes would not have an adverse impact on traffic in the area.

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Its estimates, based on 60 homes, were that the number of vehicles leaving the site during the morning rush-hour would be 28, with 32 in the evening peak.

Mr Mead’s statement also stresses that HDC’s draft Local Plan, a planning blueprint for development in the district until 2036, has earmarked the site for about 50 homes, provided the club can move elsewhere, there is appropriate access and there is substantial landscaping on the western boundaries.

The club’s previous application was turned down by HDC last year on six grounds, including insufficient information about traffic and the effect of noise from the Burgess Hall on residents in the new homes.

A petition objecting to the original plans, and the site being allocated for housing in the draft Local Plan, was signed by more than 220 people.

Club chairman Gary Clarke said planning permission for Westwood Road was crucial to securing the club’s move to a new ground.

“We’re hoping to get permission on the move to Somersham Road but we’re also exploring other options.

“We’re going to need a first-team pitch, a training pitch and a new clubhouse, as a priority.

“But without that permission [for Westwood Road] we cannot plan for the future.”

Mr Clarke said the amount of money raised from the sale of the ground will dictate what the club can achieve at their new home.