Residents cry foul over stadium plan

Residents are crying foul over plans to site a new football stadium in West Norfolk.Wisbech Town's plans to relocate to a nine acre site off the town's Lynn Road have sparked a storm of objections.

Residents are crying foul over plans to site a new football stadium in West Norfolk.

Wisbech Town's plans to relocate to a nine acre site off the town's Lynn Road have sparked a storm of objections.

Club chairman John Petch said the site - the 11th identified by the club - was the last suitable piece of land in the area.

He said other areas of land considered had been either too far from the town or off public transport routes.

"Of those sites which did satisfy planners, as soon as land owners realised we were going to build football pitches, they trebled their asking price,” he added. “If we could have a site away from development, we would.”

A planning application for the Lynn Road site has been lodged with West Norfolk council. It includes a stadium with a capacity of 1,500, a second training pitch, social club, public bar, function room and groundsman's flat.

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But 28 people living around the site have written to the council objecting to the development nd a petition against the plan has been signed by 65 people.

Phil Perry, who lives in Walton Road, behind the site, said: "The first we knew about it was when a club member said to someone in an argument that there is going to be a football pitch here and we were going to have people climbing over our fences.

"People have invested time and money to where they want to live and they are entitled to the peace and quiet. It never included the football club moving here."

In a letter to the council, the Nursery Drive Residents' Association said: "We are very concerned about not being informed or consulted on this proposed site. We only know of this proposal by reading about it in the local press."

Residents were also defiant in saying they want to see any new football ground the other end of town, close to the redevelopment of Cromwell Road.

John Boyce, of Windmill Gardens, also said: "We were not aware of this happening and it is not good enough. We have been totally ignored."

Mr Petch met some objectors at the annual meeting of Walsoken Parish Council last night. He said the club would be looking to submit a much smaller scheme than was first envisaged.

Parish council chairman Les Simms said: "West Norfolk Council has told me the plans have got to be resubmitted in a different way.

"They told me they want it smaller, with some barriers around the site, some form of acoustic reflection and the boundary moving away from Nursery Drive."

The club has been looking to relocate from Fenland Park, in Lerowe Road, for more than three years.