Agent remains confident over Wisbech ground switch

Massive opposition to Wisbech Town's new £1.2-million, 1,500-capacity football stadium and ground has been dismissed by the club's agent, who says he expects approval shortly.

Massive opposition to Wisbech Town's new £1.2-million, 1,500-capacity football stadium and ground has been dismissed by the club's agent, who says he expects approval shortly.

Peter Humphrey, the architectural and design consultant employed by the club, has told planners: "I believe all your concerns have now been addressed and therefore approval should be likely."

In his final submission to West Norfolk Borough Council planner Harry Heywood, Mr Humphrey says he believes an amended design for a caretaker's log cabin on the new Lynn Road site should "overcome your concerns".

His comments come a month before councillors decide if the club can re-locate to Lynn Road, Walsoken, and at the very moment Fenland District Council's planning committee is deciding a planning application for 80 homes on the club's existing site in Lerowe Road.

However, Fenland's approval, thought likely, rests on West Norfolk allowing the club to build a new stadium to the east of Bronte House, Lynn Road.

Stephanie Thompson, principal planning officer at Fenland Hall, told West Norfolk Council she plans to tie both permissions together "so obviously cannot proceed until the new site has been granted". Staff pressures at King's Lynn have meant that an expected decision in December has been delayed for a month.

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West Norfolk Council is facing a barrage of complaints from residents near the site for the new ground who say their lives will be blighted if the stadium is built.

A 130-signature petition complaining about noise, traffic, floodlighting pollution, privacy, and potential anti-social behaviour highlights the dozens of protests lodged with the borough council.

The club believes that scaling back its original plans - significantly reducing the size of the clubhouse and producing transport and noise assessments - should have satisfied objectors.

The club says it needs to move to "continue and to enable us to fulfil our ambitions of providing sporting support to the children and communities of our surrounding neighbourhood".

In a plea to planners the club says: "Help us make the childhood dreams of today, the sporting achievements of tomorrow."

However, they will need to overcome local opposition, including the views of Walsoken Parish Council which says the "weight of public opinion" is against the application, and adds: "This is a Cambridgeshire club on Norfolk land."

Even Sport England is not convinced the club has got its figures right, querying whether "the site now has sufficient car parking should attendance at the stadium reach capacity" and suggesting that there may need to be overflow parking in the public highway."

Kevin Smith, chairman of the Nursery Drive Residents' Association, says the new plans allow for only 80 cars and has concerns over where others will park.