Councillor criticises football pitch glitch

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PLANS for a new football facility in Bury St Edmunds, which were deferred by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, last week have been described as a ‘shambles’.

On October 6, the council deferred a planning proposal for what would become the new home of Bury Town Football Club, after mistakes were spotted on the site blueprint.

The site proposal said there were to be 236 car parking spaces at the ground near Moreton Hall but the architect’s design showed only around 140.

It was only when Cllr Jim Thorndyke totted up the car parking spaces that the error was spotted.

Trevor Beckwith, councillor for Moreton Hall, said it should not be the responsibility of councillors to discover mistakes like this.

He said: “The whole thing was a shambles. I think we are lucky that Jim counted up the parking spaces, but the question has to be asked of how did it get to this stage? The architects come up with 236 parking spaces and we find 140 – that is not good is it? I do not think it should be up to members of the council to count the number of car parking spaces. Even so, I think 236 parking spaces for a 500 seater ground doesn’t seem to be adequate.”

Cllr Thorndyke confirmed it was him who spotted the discrepancy but said he still believes the build would be good for Bury.

He said: “The scheme has been revised a few times before and this is what has caused the situation.

“They had shortened the site by 18 metres and had lost 100 parking spaces in the process.

“I was sitting at home on Wednesday and looked on the website and through what I had on paper and had a eureka moment.

“It is a good job I did spot it.

“But it will be back – next time I hope we have an application that we can approve.”

A St Edmundsbury Borough Council spokesman said: “Suffolk Football Association, Bury Town Football Club and St Edmundsbury Borough Council remain committed to delivering the exciting community football scheme on Moreton Hall and are confident it will soon be back on track.

“Work has started on sorting out the error and the planning application will be resubmitted.”

The application will be resubmitted on December 1.