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'A first class facility' - Council approves plans for new stadium

PUBLISHED: 15:02 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:42 15 November 2019

A rough map of plans for Gorleston FC's new football pitch at East Norfolk Sixth Form College. Picture: Google Maps.

A rough map of plans for Gorleston FC's new football pitch at East Norfolk Sixth Form College. Picture: Google Maps.

Archant

A new football ground with a potential capacity of 800 will be built beside a school after a council gave the plans the thumbs-up.

Gorleston FC, a non-league club, will play at the stadium on the site of East Norfolk Sixth Form College (EN) on Church Lane.

At a meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council's development control committee on Wednesday (November 13), councillors approved the plans, despite a number of objections from residents over noise and pressure on local roads.

The scheme will see the construction of a new artificial 3G pitch with floodlights, supporter grandstands and a clubhouse.

The site is land which is currently a grass playing field and hard courts used by the school, and the proposal is for a shared community facility.

Emerald Park, the current home ground of Gorleston Town FC.  Picture: James BassEmerald Park, the current home ground of Gorleston Town FC. Picture: James Bass

Gorleston FC currently play at Emerald Park, on Woodfarm Lane - the ground has been its home for 35 years but dwindling crowds and increasing maintenance costs have made it unsustainable for the football club to remain there.

Alan Gordon, Gorleston FC chairman, said: "I am delighted as chairman that all the hard work by all parties has come to fruition.

"I look forward to continually working with everyone to bring a first class facility to our community."

Dr Catherine Richards, EN principal, said: "We are delighted that the stadium project has been given planning permission.

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"It will be a fantastic facility and we look forward to working with Gorleston FC and other partners on a project that will be hugely beneficial to our students, the football club and the wider community."

A number of the site's neighbours had objected to the plan over concerns about parking, pressure on the local road network and noise generated by matches, players and supporters.

A report before the councillors had stated: "The development will impact the character of the area and have an effect of the living conditions of existing residents by additional highway use and parking, noise and movement of people."

It concluded, however, that the benefits would outweigh any disadvantages.

Roughly 80pc of Gorleston FC's fixtures will be scheduled for Saturdays, with a 3pm kick-off, and the remaining matches will be scheduled for either a Tuesday or Thursday evening.

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