Thu, 05 Nov 2015
A PETITION to stop West Berkshire Council kicking Newbury FC out of its ground has been signed by more than 300 people in a week.
As reported by the Newbury Weekly News, the club have been served notice on its current ground in Faraday Road – its home since 1963 – and have to be out by June 2016 so that West Berkshire Council can redevelop the London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE).
In January, the chief executive of West Berkshire Council, Nick Carter, said in a public meeting that the council did not intend to close the club without a suitable replacement site being found.
But the council later backtracked, saying it “was not duty bound” to find the club another site.
The only two suggestions the council has made to date is either ground-sharing with rivals Thatcham Town FC or Newbury Rugby Club – neither of which the club feels is suitable.
The club's chairman, Keith Moss, said he feared the club would have to fold if no alternative was found.
The petition was started by the Community Representation for Openness and Fair Treatment (CROFT), which was formed to represent the community of people and businesses in the LRIE.
It says: "As well as being home of Newbury FC, the ground is the stadium facility for numerous other clubs in the community spanning young and senior football and local championships.
"The clubhouse is a popular venue for a range of community uses. The facility is run by volunteers and all income is re-invested in the grounds and clubhouse.
"The club has the potential for a great future, which is being thwarted by the Council's refusal to grant security of tenure."
One response to the petition, from Paul Brereton, said: "Newbury FC is part of the towns history and an important part of the community. Its scandalous that another part of our past is being forsaken for (yet more!) housing!"
Football has been played in the Faraday Road area of Newbury for 128 years – since Newbury Town were formed in 1887.
Newbury Town FC moved into the current ground in Faraday Road in August 1963 before the club folded in 1995.
To sign the petition, visit https://www.change.org/p/west-berkshire-council-save-newbury-fc-ground-from-development-of-flats