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Application to convert Newbury FC's former Faraday Road football ground into recreation area to be heard tonight

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to convert the derelict Faraday Road football ground into an open recreation space will be voted on tonight.

The Conservative-run West Berkshire Council has submitted plans to demolish the clubhouse at a cost of £191,000 and replace it with more pay-and-display car parking spaces until the council gets the go-ahead to turn the site into flats.

The application will be heard tonight by the council’s cross-party western area planning committee.

The derelict Faraday Road football ground.
The derelict Faraday Road football ground.

In planning documents, the council says the “demolition of the old clubhouse will remove a potentially unsafe building, beyond economic repair and for which there is no future use.”

It says the plan will “create a safe and self-supporting environment allowing the public to safely and appropriately make use of the old grass football pitch for general recreational sports until the land is needed for redevelopment, subject to planning.”

However, the plans have come under heavy criticism from Newbury Town Council and the Newbury Community Football Group (NCFG).

NCFG has submitted its own planning application to redevelop the site with two new artificial, all-weather playing pitches, and has also produced a document proposing the ground be temporarily reopened for football at a cost of just £27,000.

The town council meanwhile has argued there’s no public demand for the facility with Victoria Park around 100 metres away.

The derelict Faraday Road football ground.
The derelict Faraday Road football ground.

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