Thu, 21 Jun 2018
NEWBURY FC’s 55-year stay at Faraday Road will come to an end on Sunday.
West Berkshire Council wants to redevelop the site as part of its wider plan to regenerate the London Road Industrial Estate.
For that reason, the local authority said it couldn’t commit to the club’s request for a one-year extension to its current lease.
This means the club will have to find somewhere else to play its home games next season.
It is believed that a ground share with Frilsham & Yattendon Football Club is on the cards, although this has not yet been officially confirmed.
After the lease expires, the site will be temporarily unavailable while the council surveys its condition and safety.
Subject to the results of the survey work, the local authority aims to have the site open in September and will be making it freely available to the public as a multi-use games area.
The ground will be operated in this way until the proposed redevelopment of the London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE) begins.
While residents may choose to use it for different sports, it will be marked up with two five-a-side pitches for those wanting to play football.
Residents will be able to simply turn up and use the space, rather than needing to book in advance.
These arrangements will be kept under review by the council to ensure the facility is being used responsibly.
Speaking about the council’s plans, councillor James Fredrickson (Con, Victoria) reiterated the need for more high-quality business space in Newbury, which the redevelopment of the LRIE would achieve.
Mr Fredrickson said: “Whilst we would have liked to allow the football club to stay at the pitch, we now need the site to be available for redevelopment to commence.”
However, no concrete planning applications have yet been submitted for the proposed regeneration.
Mr Fredrickson continued: “I’m pleased that we have found a way to keep the site open to the community until we are ready to begin the redevelopment.
“This will mean many more groups will be able to enjoy the facility.
“Our plans to redevelop the site have been known for a long time and when we signed a short-term lease with Newbury Football Club in 2005 we said even then it would only run for a few years.
“The time has now come to move on to the next chapter for the London Road Industrial Estate.”