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Newbury Town Council says plans for sports hub will limit Newbury FC ambitions

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Plans for the sports hub at Monks Lane have been branded 'ludicrous' and 'frankly laughable' by Newbury Town Council's planning committee.

They roundly objected to the scheme after residents near the Monks Lane site said parking would be a major issue for them.

Town councillors also felt the proposal - from West Berkshire Council to shift football from Faraday Road to the rugby club was poor, lacked any credible transport plan and would limit any ambition that Newbury FC might have to go up the leagues.

"There is not enough space to build a big enough ground should NFC become more successful," said David Marsh (Green: Wash Common).

"This application was very poor. It doesn't give enough information about extra noise generated, or light pollution, loss of trees, traffic and parking. The report was frankly pathetic and laughable.

"The noise report was based on a crowd of 30 people - even now Newbury Football Club gets a bigger crowd than that! And there is no credible transport plan. The entire scheme is based around car use - there isn't even a proposal for extra bus routes or cycle lanes."

The committee, made up of Liberal Democrats and Greens voted against the proposal with the one Tory member abstaining.

"No attempt has been made to address people's fears. But as importantly, we still do not know what this scheme is going to cost the council tax payers of West Berkshire. We don't know how much we are paying and what for. Under this scheme the council will be paying the rugby club for using its ground."

The plans are submitted by West Berkshire Council - which will have its own planning committee and executive committee which will decide on them in November.

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