Work begins to restore the football pitch at Faraday Road in Newbury as new leader of West Berkshire Council lays down his plans for the site
Work is already under way to bring back football to Faraday Road in Newbury.
Just three weeks after the Liberal Democrats took control of West Berkshire Council, the former pitch is being reseeded and made ready for use as early as September this year.
The council is due to be officially formed tomorrow (Thursday) so council officers are using delegated authority to make things happen at the site.
Temporary changing rooms are planned as well, and perimeter fencing will also be put up.
But there are even bigger ideas coming forward for the site – which could include a conference centre.
The bold plans are still in early planning stages, but newly-elected leader of the council Lee Dillon (Lib Dem, Thatcham North East) said he wants to work in partnership with the town council and Newbury Community Football Group (NCFG) to make sure the site is properly available for community sport.
He said he would also like to see Newbury Town FC come back into the fold at the site.
Newbury FC had previously stated it would be moving to the planned Sports Hub in Monks Lane, and the team played in Lambourn this season, although the lease for this has not been renewed. The Monks Lane proposal sanctioned by the previous Tory administration may now be scaled back.
“In order to have the pitch in use in September, work needs starting now for cutting and reseeding,” Mr Dillon explained.
“We are pushing ahead with that and the intention is to then put up fencing, but we need planning permission for that. This is just phase one to get it functional so we can start using it.
“There is also a commercial opportunity to run the site so we might have to put out tenders for that.
“We might actually try to add some sort of conference centre in there for a commercial opportunity. At the moment we are trying to get things formalised for some terms of reference with all of this.”
He confirmed talks are already underway with the NCFG which got planning permission for stands and changing rooms at the West Berkshire Council-owned site last year, adding that the new council is keen to work in partnership to get the right solution.